Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shanon, Meanwhile

And where was Shanniepants (aka Dookie Hands and/or Squirrel Bladder) during all of these birthday hijinks? In Dominica, which I discovered is in fact, not the same place as the Dominican Republic. Live and learn. So she was not around to encourage my bad decisions with shots of Jameson, but she made up for it with this series of emails:

HA! Just got back from our 4th (and last) dive of the trip. It was so beautiful, I think I might go native! Seriously what would you do if I told you I was going to become a dive master and live on Dominica.

We're going whale watching this afternoon then tomorrow it's a 6 hour hike (3 up and 3 down) to the world's only natural boiling lake. Dominica is a volcanic island, you see.

Tonight "Dad" wants to "hit the town" whatever that means. He's already waxed poetic to me about his theories on why white girls love island boys so much but white men and caribbean girls not so much. The captain of our boat is kind of hot.

I responded that this might be the most epic email ever and clearly, I spoke too soon:

The seeker has caught the golden snitch!



And the piece de resistance:

Loved ones,

I have just completed a 14.5 mile hike up and down mountains, through rain forest and hell itself, all to get to Boiling Lake - a naturally boiling lake (195 degrees celsius AT THE EDGE) in the middle of a crater. The hike takes 6 hours there and back under normal circumstances. NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

Today has been a nonstop torrential downpour. And of course it's worse up in the mountains. I now know what the marines in Vietnam felt like.

But before I get into my tale, I'd like to say happy birthday party to my lady. I hope you're all shit faced. IN FACT, I hope you're all shit faced WHILE reading this email. There are certainly parts of the comical in it, and I'd like to hope they are truly appreciated.

But so! Going to Boiling Lake was my idea because I "read about it on the internet." I haven't been on an all-day hike in quite some time so relished the idea of doing so in the tropics. David did as well, and Gideon grumpily agreed to do this, however they both made it crystal clear upon departure that this was my day and my activity choice.

The trip started off fine. It was warm albeit it a bit foggy. We had our local guide with us, a nice man named Elvis, along with one other hiker, a hippie yoga teacher from Chicago that is moving out here to - you guessed it! - teach yoga to tourists. Her name was Charity (um, what?) and she was staying with friends, one of whom used to live in Brooklyn where he (wait for it) used to play guitar while riding a unicycle. FOR A LIVING.

But I digress. So then it started to rain a bit. No big deal, right? Then a bit more. Then we were suddenly in the middle of Mordor and it was dope. Tell Andrew I said that. No wait, I'm adding him to the email. After 2 1/2 hours we made it to Desolation Valley (no comment) which was full of sulfuric streams and boiling pockets of grey mud. Lord of the Rings, bitches! It was rad. There was steam coming out of different vents and it smelled like the Bog of Eternal Stench, but this was some Middle Earth type shit.

And boy was it miserable. Nicky, remember when we did that 8 hour hike in the Marin Headlands? All up and down? Well this was like that. I currently have the jimmy legs times 1,000. Seriously stairs are out of the question at this point.

Anyway we FINALLY got to boiling lake and it was very awe-inspiring, blah blah blah, crap crap crap. I could barely see anything, except that it was HOT and the thought of falling into it made me want to poop my pants. (By the way, ever try to pee in the Rain Forrest when you're sopping wet? Squirrel Bladder held her pee for 5 hours.)

Then we headed back.

Three things:
1. Elvis said that maybe we should've turned back earlier because the rivers had probably risen and the rocks we climbed to get there (seriously this was some major climbing) would be too difficult to get back up. GREAT.
2. Elvis then said that he wishes he could predict the weather because then he would NEVER do this hike in the rain, not for any amount of money. Thanks for telling me that! Also, it's called
3. Finally Elvis changed his tune and said that we'd actually probably see more hikers along the way back. We never saw a single one.

David insisted we stop at the boiling mud pits again on the way back because he wanted to cover his face in it and look like a wild mountain man coming out of the forest. He looked more like the Wicked Witch when she starts to melt (don't worry I have a photo).

Oh! And photos - I have 3. This was supposed to be one of the most beautiful hikes but the Nothing swallowed everything up so we couldn't even see the surrounding mountains. And have you ever gone hiking when you're completely soaked? It felt like I had peed myself.

I'm too fucking tired to find my new friends and smoke weed!

Chris, I saw a fucking parrot.

Miss you guys, I want to die.

I'm sure she will follow this up with pics-a-plenty, but I thought I would go ahead and save her some trubs. And to prove I was having a greater or equal good time in Brooklyn as Shanon was having on vaycay, here is a pic I sent her, simply titled, "You."

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