bird island at rangiroa
My sister in Minnesota sent an email yesterday to say that she was expecting to receive a ton of snow shortly and temperatures were slated to break a 90-year record low. Then, this morning, she said the newscaster misread her prompter. Apparently, the record low temperatures were only going to be beat those from the ’90s, not from 90 years ago. Of course, to that weather girl it probably seems like 90 years ago because she was most likely learning how to read and write in the 1990s.
It’s all in your perspective, I guess. When I was in school, a hundred years ago seemed like an eternity and today it’s like yesterday. Well, today it is almost is like yesterday. The older we get, the more time is put into perspective. Just like the more experiences we have, the greater our perspective because we have more information to draw upon.
I was thinking about a person’s perception of paradise. Tropical paradise, in particular. There are some people in this world who don’t give a hoot about a tropical paradise, people like my husband. People like this typically can take or leave paradise. Some of them actually hate it. My mother intensely despised the tropics and was very attached to freezers. The kind of freezer that I was supposed to strike with a table knife after placing inside steaming ice-cube trays filled with hot water to melt the accumulated ice. But I love a good tropical paradise. I prefer to think of myself as a more normal and balanced person.
In fact, I would like it if I was given a long assignment to search out the best tropical paradises in the world and to write about them. But no, I am simply a Sacramento real estate agent; an agent who sells a lot of short sales and hence can afford to go on vacation in French Polynesia this winter and leave her cats in the hands of housesitters.
Yesterday, we took a super long boat ride across the inside waters of the atoll, Rangiroa, from the town of Avatoru to a place called the Blue Lagoon, or Lagon Bleu. It’s a lagoon within a lagoon. How cool is that? We also visited Bird Island at Rangiroa.
It made me wonder how many shades of blue are there in the world? That’s what you think when you first step foot on the island and lay eyes on the most beautiful blue waters in the world. Azure. Soft blue pastel. Turquoise. Jade. Hypnotic and brilliant blues and greens. This is after dragging your bony and sunburned knees through the water to get past the reef and onto land itself. There is no sandy beach on which to land. The water is almost waist deep, and you’ve got to wear some type of foot covering for protection. Lemon sharks are circling you as well, but they didn’t seem hungry yesterday.
The guys from the boat loaded a huge cooler onto top of a surfboard anchored in the bay and dragged it to shore. It was filled with chicken, fish, salad fixings and stuff to drink. The crew set up a barbecue stand while the rest of us mostly swam around in the lagoon. A few brave souls ventured across the long reef to Bird Island. My husband and I were two of those. The water was littered with what looked from a distance to be gigantic dog turds, but they were actually black sea slugs. We were not about to step on them. We were also careful not to step on the coral and clams and other sea life, so it took us about 30 minutes to cross from the Blue Lagoon island to Bird Island. Like with most things, it’s not always about the destination, and it’s more about the journey. I just wished my journey would speed itself up a bit because I could feel the heat of the sun baking my back. Why did I not think to put sunscreen there?
I walked around the entire island, shuffling though shore waters when navigation on land became too difficult. My husband got lost halfway around. At one point I thought about going back to look for him but then I realized if he was hurt or having some kind of emergency, I could not possibly drag him back to the island by myself, so I should get help instead. He saw it as I left him there to die on a tropical paradise island.
What is wrong with that, I ask. There are worse places in the world to die than the Blue Lagoon or Bird Island at Rangiroa.