Friday, April 24, 2009

The end of the honeymoon.

Travelling together with your partner is a real way to test your relationship. Luckily Adrian and I have been married for more than 10 years so we have a pretty good idea of our best and worst. Even still, 24 hours a day with one person is a lot. Today was the day we would test this togetherness by going kayaking in search of some nearby waterfalls.

Understand first of all, that Adrian has never kayaked and I hadn’t canoed since I was in high school and I wasn’t very good at it then. But it started out well, thanks to Douglas who helped us get the kayak in the water and Aska who made sure we had a packed lunch, plenty of water and a map of where we were going that she drew for us. But once we got into the water, the day became very long. We couldn’t figure out how to keep the kayak going in a straight line and instead went from one side of the river to the other, running into some low hanging trees more than a couple of times and managing to fill up the kayak with water. But thankfully never sinking it. 

As the sun got hotter and higher in the sky, our tempers got equally heated until we passed a field full of dozens of cows. I don’t know whether it was our arguing or diagonal paddling, but the cows all stopped chewing their cud to just watch us until we passed. It was like an episode of the Twilight Zone. No scratch that. It was like that episode of South Park. And it would have been spooky until I remembered that Douglas had mentioned passing them on his way to the waterfalls. So seeing them ,we were relieved – at least we knew we were heading in the right direction but it was taking us a lot longer than the hour everyone said it would. Perhaps because we were traveling twice as far as we continued to go from one bank to the other although less than we had at the beginning.

Eventually, we got to the end of the river. We pulled the kayak up on the bank and ate our lunch and guzzled some water before beginning our hike along the path to the water falls. Armed with the map Aska had drawn for us, we followed the path certain we’d reach our destination which would make up for the horrible kayaking. Unfortunately, and I’m not blaming here just observing, I wasn’t with Adrian when Aska drew up and explained the map so I wasn’t sure what certain things meant and Adrian couldn’t remember. He did remember that if we took the wrong turn we would be walking for 3 hours and never get anywhere. Well, after an hour and a half of walking we got to little bridge. Not seeing this mentioned anywhere on the map or remembering it from any descriptions, I told Adrian we should give up. He decided to walk ahead for a bit “just to see”. And in 10 minutes he was back. I could hear him before I could see him. Adrian was speaking very loud emphatic English trying to communicate with someone who obviously only spoke Spanish. “Water. Fall.” “Shhhhhh.Water.” This was followed by a rapid response in Spanish and some laughter. As Adrian came around the bend I saw that he was accompanied by a young guy who was trying to explain something to Adrian. I decided to step in with my limited Spanish and learned that we couldn’t get to the waterfalls the way we were going. In fact we couldn’t get anywhere the way we were going. The kid had met Adrian on his way back to school after looking after some cows.

“Where are the cows?” I asked.

The lad motioned violently with his walking stick and I realized he had been slaughtering them on his lunch break. I was in shock by his non-chalance but he didn't notice. He was relieved that I understood him. Especially since Adrian continued to try to jump into the conversation with repeted “Water. Fall. Shhhh” while waterfall gestures with his hands.

“Su esposo no entiende nada.”
“Nada” I repeated for emphasis.

The lad walked us back to our river bank and then asked if he could get a lift. But when I pointed to the kayak he realized that wasn’t going to work. And he wouldn’t have asked if he’d seen us paddling in.

Now time for the trip back and it seems any skills Adrian and I had acquired on our way out to the waterfalls we’d lost during the hike. Our arguing was worse than before and only resolved when I stopped paddling and let know-it-all Adrian do all the work. It worked in that we no longer fought but didn’t work because his shoulders were exhausted by the time we got back to Hotelito Perdido. Douglas was there to welcome us back and help put the kayak back on the rack. He was getting ready to go out and search for us since we’d been gone about twice as long as we should have been. When he saw our scowls, he tried to lighten our moods by changing the subject.

“So how were the falls?” he asked.

It was then that we had to admit despite all our effort, we hadn’t found them. When I mentioned that we turned back when we got to the bridge. He, Chris and Aska, were all confused – none of them knew what bridge we were talking about. Oops, we’d obviously taken a very wrong turn. Over another delicious dinner, Aska told us that she and Chris call kayaks, honeymoon boats, because using them ends many honeymoons. How true. But no need to worry we were laughing about it by the time the dishes were cleared.


Ayngelina said...

“Shhhhhh.Water.” I laughed out loud at this one.

liz and adrian said...

Adrian can be pretty amusing at times - especially when he has no clue.