First day in paradise
Excited to see what the place actually looks like, I got up pretty early and went for a quick dip in the ocean. When I stepped out of the bungalow and looked around me I was speechless in awe of the beauty that surrounded me. The beach is encased in green mountains to both sides and with a little island jutting up just outside of the shore. The water is crystal blue and just the perfect temperature in this part of the island. The breakfast at Santia has so much choice and although it isn’t free with the room it is so cheap you can’t even contemplate complaining. The eggs (any way you like them) come with toast, tomatoes, onions and grated cheese, or else you can choose from porridge, pancakes or fruit. They make fresh juices, coffee and teas, all for under $2.50! I would most definitely recommend staying in this spot not only for the beauty of the area but also the cleanliness, level of food and friendliness of staff.
Today I decided to go climb the mountain/very big hill to the left of our accommodation. I could see a clear path to get up the middle and figured I would decide on the rest as it came!
In the heat of the afternoon, armed with my trainers, a bottle of water and music in my rucksack, not to mention of course my note pad and pen to do some all important writing at the top, I set off along the beach to find the pathway onto the hill. The walk along the beach was quite tough as it is on a slight lean down to the ocean, it took around 15 minuits to get to the pathway I could take. I had a good feeling about this adventure, if there’s one thing I adore from time to time it’s going off on a little trek on my own (as long as I know the route is safe). The feeling is just so elating to be so free and in sync with nature, I can really feel the power of nature at these times and the sheer respect I have for this power and beauty. In fantastically high spirits I set off up the path. The floor was an orange, brown colour cracked all over from the heat, the cracks creating miniature pathways linking every area of mud like a jigsaw puzzle in nature. Sparse areas of greenery peppered the hike up to the top which was, in parts quite steep. Due to the dust and rocks, areas were slippery and I did question at times how I would get back down in my trainers which weren’t the best for grip! After around half an hour of pure uphill walking and a few water stops, I reached the top of this section. The whole hill area made a ‘U’ shape so where I had walked to get up the path was right in the middle of the ‘U’. Getting closer to the top the greenery started to increase and by the time I reached the top of this section I was surrounded by just under head height bushes. From this point I could see clearly into the bay we are staying and also down onto the other side of the hill to the bay named ‘Tropics’. I could now either have gone left or right. I chose right as the path seemed clearer. The trees have pink ribbons on them to mark the way so I figured this must be a route either the locals took for some kind of farming or a route tourists climb frequently. Having said that there wasn’t a soul in sight, which made the walk even more serene.
I pushed on through the bush hoping that I would arrive at the peak on my right. I kept a look out for snakes, only bumping into one grass snake on the way, I knew from my own knowledge that at this height and dryness this was probably the only type of snake I would see so I wasn’t too worried. The path was mostly clear, but what I found at the end of the trail was the last thing I would have expected.
I encountered a tall wired fence reaching way over head height; the gate was open.
In front of me was a bright white tower with windows carved out of the concrete in an intricate design. With this being a Muslim island I was slightly apprehensive that I was trespassing on sacred ground! I approached the tower with some caution, the doors were open. Shouting “hello” with no response I entered the room, staring up at the stair way above me. I couldn’t help feeling a bit trippy thinking this looked very similar to the tower in Shutter Island… i climbed the stairs and a pair of sketchy ladder to look out over the whole island and out to a mammoth expanse of sea. Tripping over a wire on my way down and noticing what appeared to be old speakers resembling the school bell in the 70s show Saved By The Bell on top of the tower, I came to the conclusion that this must be either a light house type of deal or simply a tower that was used to signal invasion to the islanders once upon a time.
Satisfied by the views I had absorbed into my memory, I followed the same track down the point, pricing that the pathway was also signposted by spray painted kiwi birds on rocks.
On the descent I heard some rustling which was particularly dissimilar to the lizards I had heard before. This was clearly something much larger, either a monkey or a seriously big lizard. I armed myself with a trusty stick but thankfully didn’t have to use it!
Back down to the bottom of the ‘U’ and I climbed up some rocks where the ground was charred away by fire, onto the cliff face and sat for a while to write.
By the time of my return I was completely covered with sweat, slightly sunburned and definitely muddy. I had managed to only take one tumble on the way down so I’ve got a little bruise at cut on my already sore bottom from the motorbike journey, but that’s not too bad a price to pay for the adventure I had today! Hopefully the feeling in my bum will come back sometime soon hey!
Keep posted for the next one! It’s going to be good!
As always, ✌🏼💚