The skipper brave and sure

Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
There are crazies out there. They walk among us…largely undetected. And then there are others that are quite easily identified…they just need to open their mouths. I first saw her at the Zumba class. I call it “the” cause it’s the only one I’ve gone to. She was there. And although I’ve seen her up close I’m still having a hard time determining if she’s a well preserved 90 year old, or a “ridden hard and put away wet” 60 year old. Maybe one day I’ll ask her. Well, not in so many words, but you know, get an idea by striking up a conversation. Something like “So… what was life like during the Roosevelt administration?” Or perhaps “That WW1 must have been rough” and based on how hard she swings her handbag and the pain of the impact will help me establish her era. But from what I’ve learned of her…you don’t want to look her straight in the eye, and you definitely don’t want to engage with her. If you were to ask her the time, she’d tell you how to build a watch.
As I mentioned, she first came into my line of vision at Zumba class. She wasn’t a “natural fit” to the class. Although not feeble, per se, she didn’t appear overly exercise conscious. Now most people who feel the need to depart mid-class generally “slip out” quietly. I should know…I used the ole “break in the music, make a run for it while everyone is getting water” technique. Now HER, she swanned out mid way through the first song…and not quietly. She made a huge production of sashaying right up to the front of the group and then broadcasting that she had shopping to do.
I’ve seen her since…but never made eye contact…remember what I said…never engage. And I saw her this morning at breakfast. The poor people sitting at the table behind me…didn’t get the memo…didn’t know the protocol. It took them awhile before she decided she had better things to do. That’s time they’ll never get back.
Now speaking of crazy…some would say that booking a 12 mile cycling excursion in Bonaire when the forecast is 88 degrees and sunny would certainly qualify. And let me tell you this…they’d be RIGHT. I booked this excursion awhile back and really expected the weather on this cruise to be warm, but comfortable, and not the absolutely stinkin’ hot that it has been. You know that niggly little voice you sometimes get in the back of your head…the one that you should always listen to? Yeah, well, sort of wish I’d listened to mine the day before yesterday when there was still time to cancel the excursion. But the overpowering, loud and cocky voice in my head, the one full of confidence and bravado convinced me it was do-able. “How bad could it be?” crazy head voice said. Let me just tell you. It was THE MOST difficult excursion I have EVER taken…bar none. In fact, Kier asked me today why we were paying someone to torture us in this way.
We arrived in Bonaire at noon today and had a meeting time of 1:20 pm for our excursion. There were 15 of us on the tour. The guide herded us onto our coach for the drive to the start point. He gave us an overview. A 12 kilometre trip, he said. It was clearly 12 miles on the description. Sweet! This won’t be so bad after all! WRONG! It was easily 12 miles for sure, and took us around 2.5 hours to do it…and did I mention the 88 degree heat? It…was…painful. It was torture…it was very un-holiday-like. But the good news…zip lining will be a piece of cake after this.
Today’s Fuss Budget…a whopping 80%...and no one to blame, but myself…for a) booking this damn excursion and b) getting barked at by a local in Rincon after the trip. What’s this, you ask? Yup…told off, put in my place. After our tour we stopped at a local restaurant/bar/inn for a wee little taste of cactus liqueur, after which I felt it timely to try to replace some of the hydration and electrolytes I had lost. There was what I could best describe as a “canteen” in one corner of the courtyard and some of our group had purchased drinks. It was run by a woman of about my age. It was more of a lean-to than a structure of any sort, but there was a drink cooler and I spotted my favourite Arizona Raspberry Ice Tea inside. I strolled over to the cooler and took out a couple of cans when the proprietor spun on her heel and proceeded to say something to me in some foreign language…like she didn’t know our group were tourists…but anyway…I said “Excuse me?”, to which she replied “This is a BAR…NOT a supermarket. You’re supposed to stay on that side” pointing to a row of stools off to one side. Well knock me down and call me Susan…I was floored…I was shocked, dehydrated, darn near dead, and now I’ve offended some Bonaire-ian. I apologized profusely, and she replied “no need to be sorry…just don’t do it again”. No worries…don’t plan on passing her way again…not in this lifetime, anyway.
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OMG That looks like torture. I hope you recovered