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Graceful, I Am Not

Graceful, I Am Not

on Apr 25, 2014 in Travel Log

My middle name definitely is not Grace. I often wonder how I ever managed all those years skating on a quarter of an inch of steel and avoided any serious injury, outside of the compulsory stitches in my chin. These days, basic activities like riding a bike, walking a bike and simply walking have all left me with a few unexpected aches, pains, and bruises! I don’t ever remember so clumsy!

Walking My Bike

Yesterday, we arrived on the third largest island of the Seychelles, La Digue. The island only has a handful of cars and thus the best mode of transportation for both locals and tourists is bicycle. Nearly everyone traverses the island on a bike. It is almost like a mini Copenhagen.

After spending the day at the beach, we stopped at the store for a few basic necessities before returning to our accommodation. We secured our purchases into the grocery-like baskets on the back of our bikes. It was a short ride back and Kevin informed me that I was carrying the most precious cargo: the Seybrews for happy hour on the patio.

About 100 yards from our accommodation, the road was closed due to construction. I choose to apply my breaks and dismount my bike to walk around the construction zone. I quickly realized that I had now become an additional road block for the locals who saw no difficulty in “off-roading” on the shoulder though the road block. I apologized to one local as he applied his breaks and swerved to miss me. I scurried through the construction zone, looked back to assess the situation and in doing so, lost control of my bike!

It is all a blur now, but I found myself holding on for dear life to the bike handles and supporting part of the weight of my bike with the inside of my right calf. I called out to Kevin to help. If I would have let go, then our precious cargo would have tumbled onto the pavement. All I could think of as I held on for dear life was shattering beer bottles in the middle of the road…and it would have all be my fault. As Kevin got off his bike and started back towards me, a local saw my distress and pedaled his bike directly at me. He stopped, balanced his bike between his legs, reached out an arm and hoisted my bike up. About that time Kevin reached me, confused at what had happened, laughed and helped me re-situate myself for the short walk. Tragedy was averted, however, I now have a minor scrape and a nice bruise on the inside of my right calf from the incident.

Walking

Today we decided to pedal our way over the hill to the east side of the island to Grand Anse. From this beach, there are several footpaths that lead to other beaches. After spending a couple of hours lounging on the beach, enjoying the views and listing to the waves crash, we decided to take a short walk to the beach to the north, Petite Anse. On our way, we talked to a couple who informed us that the beach was definitely worth the walk. They told us it was only 10 minutes to the first beach and an additional 15 minutes to the next beach. They added that it was definitely worth going to the furthest beach, Anse Coco.

So we continued along the path to the first beach. After admiring and taking a few photos of Petit Anse, we decided to heed the advice of the couple and continue towards Anse Coco. The path was narrow and passed through some lush vegetation that nearly covered the path in some places. As usual, Kevin stopped to take some photos and I elected to hike ahead. I started to high step through the vegetation and about 20 yards down the path, I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle. I didn’t notice the hole since it was partially covered by vegetation.¬†¬†Needless to say, I lost my balance and tumbled to the ground letting out a short scream. Kevin was quick to respond, running towards me and inquiring if everything was okay.

I felt a little pain in my ankle, but think I was mostly stunned at the unexpected tumble. Kevin helped me up, picked up my belongings that scattered in the fall and continued to ask if I was alright. At that moment, I wasn’t quite sure. I attempted to walk it off and after a few minutes decided that I would survive and would be okay. It was relatively minor, but I still had an ache in my right ankle. After a short debate, we decided to forego more hiking and we turned back to spend a little time enjoying Petit Anse.

A Few Aches & Pains

With a few days of “beach time” and a couple of hours riding around the island, I woke up this morning with a few aches and pains. My low back aches for seemingly no reason but it has to be a combination of lying on lumpy sand, riding bikes up hills and sleeping on a slightly uncomfortable foam mattress. Is this what it’s like to get old?

Kevin, too, has a few of the same aches, so it would seem that we’re starting to show our age. However, I can’t blame all of my current ailments on age. The worst ones are due to my own clumsiness. No matter where my soreness comes from, it’s all been worth it¬†to see the unspoiled beauty of the Seychelles.

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