Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Walks on Sanibel

If you are going to walk around Sanibel at night, maybe it's best you carry a flashlight. We learned this lesson the hard way.

When we first bought our vacation rental condo on Sanibel Island, we would arrive late in the day very stiff and sore from travel to the Island.

Before unpacking, eating, or anything else, we would venture forth on the beach path and go for a long walk to work out the kinks.

We are accustomed to long walks, taking 5 to 6 mile jaunts almost every day at our home in New Jersey.

And walking on Sanibel is certainly less arduous given how flat the terrain is.

But walking in the pitch black is a different story altogether.

On one particular day of arrival, we began our walk on the beach at dusk, always a beautiful time and experience with the brilliance of the orange sky and setting sun. The breeze off the Gulf was perfect, reviving our spirits and reminding us again how fortunate we were to have found the island, and the perfect place to purchase a vacation home.

But after a mile or two on the sandy surface, we decided to head inland and that was the flaw in our strategy, having no idea where we were.

Because the Island does not allow street lights due to not wanting to confuse turtle hatchlings with diversionary light sources (hey guys, the sea is here not there!), the velvet blackness of the island at night is only interrupeted by the moon and the stars. None quite bright enough to be a guiding light.

So we walked and we walked, often in circles, past bayous and bays and with me holding my breath the whole way, convinced that we would encounter a sleeping alligator who would no doubt see me as a very convenient midnight snack.

Of course, there were no alligators around, probably all sound asleep dreaming of fresh fish for breakfast.

But the walk lasted 8 long miles and my fear of an alligator encounter was so severe that we arrived back at Blind Pass Condominiums with my body as rigid as it was at the start.

A hot bath and hot cup of tea and I was cured, but I did learn my lesson.

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