We don’t learn…

I don’t know what it is. I always thought my wife and I were rather smart people, but somehow we always find ourselves starting things where we regularly end up thinking, what kind of dumb adventure did we start this time? It’s been like this since forever. Like starting a via ferrata up a mountain peak in the Dolomites at 11am, and on the peak realizing there’s no way on earth we could descend the 700m or so ahead of us anywhere close to before darkness. Or trying to reach the highest point on Koh Tao through the back roads, only to realize on the top that we didn’t bring enough water. Or cycling from Sofia to Athens in bloody August. Or thinking that having a pollo a la brasa in some local joint in Ollantaytambo was a good idea. The list goes on (and on and on).

Lately, we have been doing a bit better. Maybe. Having kids grounds you in responsibility. Or maybe not.

Yesterday, we walked from our campsite to Le Lavandou, to grab a coffee. On the way back I convinced Heike that there would be another way along the coast, because I had seen it on the map. We had almost made it back along this way, but then some dipshit planner decided to put a tunnel in there, and not to allow pedestrians. Bummer. Because we didn’t want to walk back the other way with a stroller and a baby sling, we checked the rocky cliffs, just to be sure. Yes! There was a path. Sure you could walk there with a stroller. Ish. But maybe not really. There was no sign indicating you couldn’t. It sure as hell wasn’t a wheelchair-friendly path. Narrow, slippery, rocky in other places, steep, many improvised stairs. It was a fucking awesome path! It was only maybe 500m long, but at the end of it we agreed it was not for strollers, so we wouldn’t do that again. It turned out that the ‘adventurous walk, sturdy boots needed’ sign was on the other side.

This morning, Heike found out there was another path…

This other path was only three or four times as long. At the other end there was a prized beach, with a place that sells coffee. Okay, fuck it. You had me at coffee. No stroller this time. A baby backpack was a better alternative. Still, sturdy boots? Nah. I can do this on the sloppy flippy floppies I bought in a supermarket in Tulum. (These amazing flops are degrading, but are the best ones I have ever owned!) It immediately started with the first 25m of the trail being somewhere below water level. Glad I didn’t have boots. I decided I could do it barefoot. These rocks were pretty sharp though, so I quickly put the flipflops back on. With every bend the steps were rockier, higher, tinier, or more non-existent. Chains were bolted to many rocks so you could hold on to something. It was also very quiet. In a southern French tourist area, that’s not what you’d expect… After a while, Heike mentioned that this trail was typical us. I asked her if she meant the “what the hell are we doing?” part. Yes, that was what she meant. A minute later, we bump into a sign indicating that we still have three quarters of the way to go. It could only get better from here.

It did not get better.

What a great walk. It’s probably been the best walk in a very long time. The views were magnificent. And there would be coffee at the end!

And then I tipped over the entire cup of cappuccino onto the beach, which quickly drained into the dry sand. Then my son took a dump on the beach. That’s my boy.

What a great day. We really don’t learn. Ever. That’s what keeps it fun. We did take the easy sidewalk back, so maybe there is still hope for us. One day we will grow up and take smart decisions.

This was the path. For about 2km
Look at the views!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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