Adventure du Jour

This was day 14 of our trip to Bali, that ended up including time on Flores Island, another beautiful Indonesian island.

Wait til you hear about today’s adventure du jour! It began at breakfast, when we exchanged waves with a cute three-year-old girl and her parents. We’d decided that we needed a day simply to chill and planned nothing for the day, other than swimming and snorkeling at our hotel. 

At about four o’clock, we walked past the room next door, where the parents of that cute three-year-old were staying with her. We exchanged greetings, then the man told us they were going to a nearby cave to swim, inviting us to join him. Long ago, I had been swimming in caves in Thailand and in Mexico. Each time it had been an adventure, so I immediately said yes. Paul said he was’t interested, but I could go, if I wanted. They were ready to leave, so I asked how much money I should take. The man said, ‘none,’ he’d take care of it, so I grabbed a bottle of water and left with them in their car.

He spoke decent English and I learned they were from Bali, here on vacation. The drive was to be about thirty minutes. After about fifteen minutes had passed, I had second thoughts. I had no idea who these people were or exactly where we were headed. I couldn’t imagine what harm they might do to me, though I briefly considered that they might sell my body for parts, except my parts are old and not in great shape.

They mentioned that we’d need to take a boat to the cave, asking if I was ok with that. I said yes, wondering what if I had said no. Anyways, we finally reached the place with the boat, where my new friend negotiated the cost of ferrying us to the cave. The boat he negotiated for didn’t look great, but I got in. 

Then, another couple on the bank joined us, Angie and Abby. They were speaking English, which immediately made me feel both better and guilty. I like to think I’m open-minded, but the reality is that I’m most comfortable in familiar circumstances, like with English speakers. They were from Ireland and we immediately bonded. 

When we were in the middle of the crossing, the rickety boat stopped. My mind quickly remembered the many times I’ve read about tourists on a ferry somewhere that sunk, drowning everyone. I thought of Paul, who would not know for a while what had happened. I also reaffirmed how good my life has been, so, whatever happens, ok. Well, obviously I’m writing this, so there was no catastrophe. The ‘captain’ crawled under some floor boards and got the engine running again.

Angie and I each took a deep breath and smiled. She gathered up my bag with my bottled water to carry it for me. Everyone with us (all decades younger than me) offered a hand whenever I was moving on the boat, climbing out of it, or using the rickety ladder to get off.

We arrived at the cave’s entrance after climbing a rickety dock from our boat. The guy who invited me (I still didn’t know his name) talked to the attendant and paid our fees at the simple entrance to this national park. Later, he told me that, because the park charges more for foreigners than for natives, he said I was his mother!

Then, we walked a short distance over rough terrain to reach the cave. That’s when it got a little scary! The cave descended with big rocks down to the water. We used our sandals at first, then needed to remove them because of moisture. Again, everyone offered me their hands for support as I climbed down. I was having second thoughts about actually swimming here, wondering how I would ever get out.

Little by little, everyone else jumped in, encouraging me. I moved down the last rocks approaching the water on my bottom, then slid into the water. What a feeling of triumph! I yelled out, “I did it!” Everyone shouted their congratulations, saying they wanted to be as brave when they reach my age.

Several of the others climbed the rocks again, jumping in from a scary height. I was happy simply to swim.

When it was time to leave, I simply moved slowly and carefully up the rocks, with lots of helping hands. Then, over the rickety dock, climbing down to the rickety boat. Again, Angie and I breathed a sigh of relief at our success in maneuvering the territory.

Next, I said goodby, with hugs, to my new ‘friends,’ Angie and Abby, before I got into the car of strangers, my hotel neighbor couple, still not knowing their names. During the ride back to our hotel, the Hotel Sylvia (not to be confused with Leonard Cohen’s Sylvia), the sun was setting against an incredible bright orange sky.

We reached our hotel. I said warm, sincere thanks, sharing hugs with these kind, generous Indonesian strangers, with whom I’d taken a risk, all because of seeing them with their beautiful three-year-old daughter!

That orange sunset!

Copyright ©️ 2023

Published by cyrein

Quaker, adventurer, wife, mom, sister, friend, special ed teacher, learner

10 thoughts on “Adventure du Jour

  1. You never cease too amaze me, you are so adventurous and gutsy! I don’t know how you do it! How do you think you got that way? Were you brave before you had your serious health problems? Maybe you have answered that in earlier writings. Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love hearing about your adventure! Good to know that the Carole we all know and love is alive and well in Bali living the same remarkable life you take with you everywhere you go!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Fabulous!! Can hardly wait to hear all about it! Let’s get together when you get home and settled in. I nearly bid on a lovely condo in Beverly but there was a bidding war which scared me off. Still looking there. Thought it would be fun to live in the same town as you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Carole, what a perfect way to embrace abundance and trust, without even thinking about it. This is a lesson also in following your gut, and knowing that your head will poke its way into your thinking “I didn’t know them….” and telling it to back off, your gut is a better barometer! Also, accepting the help offered is absolute maturity. And you got another son in the bargain.
    We all feel the way you did when the English speakers entered the boat. It’s just that it is a lot of work communicating with folks who have thick accents and a rudimentary vocabulary in your home language, a small embarrassment that you don’t speak their language in their nation, and an exhalation at the opportunity to relax from this quandary for a few minutes. xoxoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: