There is not much to say, really. This is paradise and I haven’t felt so relaxed in a long long time.
Starting the day with a yoga session, followed by the Glory morning muffin from the organic coffee bar downtown, and a short hike up on the hill above home. Active morning, lazy afternoon. Picking the beach is actually the hardest decision of the day. Not that it really matters – they all are beautiful. We have done Three tables and Pipeline yesterday, so today I give a try to that one, after the little yellow bridge. I am alone, with 2 lifeguards for myself. Safe the take a dip and play in the crushing waves, to refresh from the *long*naps in the sun. I am baking like a little cookie. I wake up around 4, and ride to the town’s bakery, which I know from experience serve the best smoothie bowls of all time.
You can order a smoothie from the menu, but feel free to customize. Top it up with granola, honey, peanut butter, banana… whatever you like. I go for granola and peanut butter. It is to die for. Fresh, fruity, crunchy, salty: it has it all. I am addicted. And today, while cycling back from what I can fairly call the most beautiful hike I have ever done, I could not get my mind on anything else that smoothie bowls. Naturally, I got one as soon as I arrived at home, from the small shop next door. I am going back tomorrow morning. On top of my holidays budget I now have a smoothie bowl budget. I am actually planning activities around smoothie bowls. Have to think about the orders frequency, the timing, the toppings, the recipe of the smoothie itself. It is exhausting. There, I deserve another one for being a good girl.
It is so relaxing, to think that my only duty is to pick the juice which will be the base of my bowl. My expectation level has never been so low, and together with it my happiness one so high. There is no such thing as worrying about what tomorrow will be like, for I have no power on anything that is not happening »in the now ». The best I can do is to be mindful of the present moment; not to make it count – that’s crap, not every moment has to count – but to remain in this state of awareness where I am able to see and pick the right option. Life is just as much about actual action than options. It is easy from here to give up to such a life: I have almost no responsibility, but to take care of myself – which I have not always excelled at. It is such a luxury to be able to experience this long break, to totally empty my mind. I believe this is something everyone should do; not necessarily the travel but at least the exercise to find and keep touch with yourself. Only not to let yourself drown in the unbearable rhythm of a city life.
The way I used to function was good to me, for as long as I could not really think about it. An overly-solicited brain cannot fully function, so it gives priority to what is reaching to him at first: disturbances. We almost never experience real darkness, peace and quiet. Lights are everywhere, from the streets to our screens, and the noise is being so constant that we do not even notice it anymore. Here, now, I have no such thing. For example, my phone does not work outside of the lodge. (I did not really tried to make it work) I am not reachable, and I have never felt so available to the world. I am in harmony with the elements I can feel, touch, smell; in other world with what is in my present. I lost focus – not interest – on what is out of reach, and I am fully enjoying what’s in my hands.
What a feeling to be seating on enormous gnarled tree roots, toes in the sand, looking up the stars I had never seen before. Not a voice, not a buzzing phone, not a plane; nothing but my own breathing, flowing. Take root and rise. To be right in the middle, just in balance, aware and mindful. I hope I can make this last. I think it is possible, for it is more about my attitude and perception than about the time and place.
I am going places. And the one of today definitely is in the short list of the most beautiful places I visited. Everything about it was perfect. To get there I cycled east for about 20 miles, keeping the 50 shades of blue on my left, and admiring the emerging mountains walls on my right. The start of the Crouching Lion hike is hidden in the bushes. Intense start: grabbing branches and holding on rocks, I climb up the first peak. From this side, there are 3 submits I can access. The twisting path narrows, I feel like a tightrope walker – but I easily suffer from vertigo.
The way up to the first peak is challenging: swinging from branches to vines, I am basically Jane. Leaning under trees and dense bushes, I appreciate the shadow and the contact with the large and fresh leaves caressing me as I pass through them. Climbing the last part, fully exposed, hands in the red dirt, I am rewarded with a stunning view. I stand between the immensity of the ocean and the majestic green walls of the valley.
The second peak calls my name. Slowly going up, one foot after the other, careful on the slippery path. Failing flag, I peed once on top. I could not go any further than half way to the third submit; my legs were not supportive of my conqueror mood. Sliding back down, I was happy to find strong branches to hold on to.
I soaked up sun all day, and sweated almost 3 liters of the water I carried. The very much needed smoothie I took to re hydrate was made of acai, apple, mango, strawberries, raspberries; topped with granola and honey. Yes. And no, there was no time for pictures.
Before the sun goes down, I head up to the beach. I only have to cross the street, with nothing but my bikini and a towel. The salty waves refresh my tired legs, wash off the dirt, clean up the scratches. Between two series of waves, I enjoy a moment or rest to lay down and float. The sun goes down, I go home. Content sigh.