All’s well that ends well

Cheeky last beer on the beach. 

New room on the other side of the city. 

Who is this mysterious man with heart and giving the black power salute who keeps following me?

Dining alfresco on the well known Spanish meal- eggs, chips and chicken. Best thing I’ve eaten today!

Super, super proud of myself today… 

Just in case there is any doubt of why I am so proud, I’ll tell you. I went on a boat trip today.

On my own. As in without a friend or even another English speaker.

Yes. You read correctly.

I went on a boat trip today, on my own, in Spain and it was lovely and I am very proud of myself.

I have only put one picture of myself up so far but think you need to see how pleased I am on that boat.

Some of you may know I’m pretty scared of water and cannot swim yet. Last year in Brazil I had a pretty big crisis when I realised that the jaguar tour was going to be on a boat. A small boat on a big river. I’d travelled across the world to travel a country i had been dreaming of for 6 year’s only to be undone by one of my biggest fears. 

I was so scared I woke up at 5am and had to go through some coaching exercises to calm myself down. Even then I was too scared to go.

My alarm went off at 7am. I was too scared to get out of bed. Part of me said to the other part of me ‘you said you would try’. I don’t know how I did it but I somehow got up, got dressed, impatiently had breakfast, desperate to get on that boat before my resolve failed me. I am pretty terrified of water and I was on my own, half way across the world and I managed to get on that boat. I remember trying not to panic as we moved along the water, repeating a mantra in my head about protection. And then I saw how beautiful the scenery was. The beauty and the many beautiful animals I saw was the distraction I needed from my fear. And I saw a jaguar for a few minutes which was worth it.

I would need even greater resolve when I went to the Amazon and we went in a traditional Indian rowing boat to meander and journey in the surreal floating forest. No life jacket, no radios and a slightly leaky bottom. Just trust and faith. And again when we went out at the dead of night to spot caiman by moon and starlight. The world has never been as beautiful, eerie and terrifying to me as that night. 

So back to today. I saw the boat we were to visit the Albufera nature reserve in and I knew that I could travel on that boat. I paid my €4 and got on board. And thoroughly enjoyed myself. A year ago, today’s trip would have been unthinkable. 

And funnily enough I’d been a bit down on myself earlier that morning because I didn’t feel confident enough to cycle to the nature reserve. I was scared to go the reserve on my own using public transport. I decided to take one step at a time. I had planned on going to the beach there to see the dunes, but once on the bus I decided to stay on past the beach and on a whim decided to follow some fellow tourists as they got off the bus. The rest you know. On the way back I missed the stop for the beach. But it didn’t matter.