Storytime Mondays: A Caribbean Adventure

The following is a true story. While the story took place in 2000, this story was written in Spring of 2012 for a creative writing class at Rowan University.

A Carribean Adventure

              In 2000, my family took a cruise to Bermuda.  On the first day there, I set off to explore the island with my sister Dana, and my young niece Ariana.  The island is small enough that you could easily walk from one end to the other.  Buses run across the island, ferrying tourists from one destination to another, but they are small, sweaty, and bounce a great deal on the rough island roads.  Since the island is both quite small and extremely beautiful, we decided to simply walk to our destinations, enjoying the lovely weather and scenery.  It was our first time in such a gorgeous place, and we were excited and eager for adventure.

We first set out to explore an old fortress leftover from when the British navy held a presence in the Carribean.  The fortress hadn’t been used for centuries, and was now a tourist attraction.  We got a free map of the island from the cruise ship, plotted out a route that would take us to the fortress in a short, twenty minute walk, and set off on our adventure.

The journey started out beautiful but uneventful.  We didn’t see many travelers along the way, since most people had taken the buses, or gone to a different part of the island.  We hiked up a short, uphill road, and found ourselves at the base of the cliffs where the fortress stood.  The road curved around to our right, following a meandering path that would eventually wind its way up towards the fortress.  Ahead of us, off the road, we saw what seemed like a more direct path across the land, which seemed like it could save us some time.  Even with a map, we didn’t realize this was more complicated than it seemed.

When we cut across and reached the side of the cliffs, instead of a path, we found a broad tropical lagoon.  We were left with two choices: either admit defeat and turn back the way we came, or attempt to cross the lagoon and take the riskier path.

We decided on the proverbial ‘path less traveled’.

The lagoon didn’t seem very deep, the coral making a rough and treacherous, yet navigable path.  I scouted ahead, walking across the chest-deep waters, searching for a path that remained shallow enough for us to walk across the coral.  It would be impossible to swim across while holding our cameras and wallets above the water.  Dana soon followed, carrying Ariana piggy-back because of the deep water.

Unlike the smooth, soft sand one might be used to finding beneath one’s feet in the ocean, the coral under the lagoon was hard, rough, and jagged.  This proved no problem for me, as I was wearing sneakers for the walking and hiking we had planned for the day.  Dana, however, wore sandals, and one of them slipped off under the water.  The sharp edge of the coral cut her bare foot.  Amidst perhaps irrational fears about sharks in the waters, we continued onwards until we reached the base of the cliffs at the far side of the lagoon.

There was no apparent path up the cliff.

After resting a few moments, using some napkins to tend to Dana’s wounded foot, we searched for a way up.  We eventually found a steep but navigable section of the cliff, where we could climb up some vines to the top.  The climb was especially difficult for my wounded sister, but we managed nonetheless.  At the top of the cliff, we finally emerged, wet, filthy, bedraggled, my sister bleeding from the foot… on a golf course.

A pair of golfers, putting at the ninth hole, stared at us incredulously as we slinked across the golf course, uncertain whether we were trespassing on private property at some sort of country club.  I walked with my limping sister off the golf course, until we found ourselves once again on the original road leading up to the fortress.  Our detour, between wading, injury, and climbing, had saved us no time on the journey.

We made it to the fortress, an old, weathered stone structure, complete with cannons and historical artifacts from colonial times.  It was a fascinating place to see after all the hard work getting there.  Though since we had no bandages, the wound on Dana’s foot kept bleeding sporadically during the tour.  We decided it was safer to take the bus on the way back.

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