For reasons unknown, all names shall be culled from this blogaruu. Except for mine. I’m going full on narcissistic. Tropical Hayes all the way!
So it’s the day after Halloween. Actually, the night. Limo pulls up outside my abode. It’s time. Put on my private jet pants. Grab my bag. Scuttle out. Hop in. High fives. Hello’s it going. And we’re on our way. Bob Hope airport. Here we dumb. Get lost en route. Find it again. Arrive. Punch in a code. Drive through a gate. Get out of the car. Look at our jet. Say hi to the pilot. And just walk on. The mightiest way to travel. No lines. No queues. No security. In. On. Out. Mighty!
Must say, this jet was the best I’ve been on. Leather here. Plush there. King size bed in the back. Pardon? What do you mean? A bed? In the back? Yes. A big old bed in the back. Mile-high-ty! We sit down. Hostess brings us a round of champagne. When in a Rome… Cheers! Wheels start rolling. You’re getting comfortable. And then suddenly you’re up, up and wahey! Way faster than a regular jet. Almost goes up like an elevator. Shwooop. Air born again. New beginning. On our way to an island in the Caribbean. Pants off. Caribb on!
Private jets are savage. You get proper meals. With real cutlery. As much as you can eat. Washed down with any drink you want. All the while your own tunes are playing over the Bose soundsystem. Tropical jams to get you in the mood. Jet’s rocking. You’re dancing. Full. Fed. Merry. This is how we should all travel!! First time doing a night time jet flight. Technically a ridiculously fancy red eye. Fly through the night. Arrive with a full day ahead of you. Plus. It’s a luxurious private jet with big plush cream leather seats that are more comfortable than your couch back home. If you want to kip, you’ll sleep like a baby. Unfortunately the bed was taken by our mighty host. Bad form by him really. Tut. I did bags it too. But still. Leather couch seats all the way. Kip. On!
Or so one would think. Unwittingly. Dumbly. I ended up on the worse sleeping chair on the plane. The dining table legs meant you couldn’t fully comfortably stretch yours out. Awful, I know. Also. The seat was kind of too deep. So you were a bit too far back into them to get comfortable. Needed your legs slightly higher. And. As well. The arm rests were too high and couldn’t move, so you couldn’t lie across the one next to you. It really was a terrible predicament I got myself into. Everyone else was on their bed or fully reclined nook or full on couch while I was sitting uncomfortably reclined staring at two air vents, one blowing too hot and the other blowing too cold. Really was a bit of a disgrace. Didn’t sleep a wink. Still waiting for my letter of apology. As you can see, I was slumming it big time…
Before I had time to finish my letter of complaint to whoever it was in charge, we landed. Seven hours fly by. Actually landed with no clue we were even on the way down. Felt a bump. Looked out the window. Oh. We’re here. I’ll finish this letter another time. Hop off the plane. Sunny. Hot. Humid. Caribbean all the way mon! Get in one of the two jeeps waiting for us. Kind of assume our luggage is following along. Ah, it’ll be grand. Drive along the rocky bumpy non roads. Listening to the local reggae station. Sing along to whatever Shaggy’s newest song is “Let me tell you woah-man, we are living in modern day, so there is nothing left for you to say.” No doubt wreck our driver’s head with my newly formed Caribbean accent, mon. And then I saw our abode for the week.
Being honest, I thought it was just going to be like a cool holiday villa. Didn’t expect it to be a beach front mansion. Private beach, might I add. So we walk in. Kind of a court yard situation going on. Plants and trees just inside the front door. One huge bedroom here. Another over there. And again. And another. HUGE King sized bed in each. You could roll over at least seven times and still not fall out. On we go to the living room area. Dining room. Other living room. Open plan. Nice and breezy. Master bedroom over there. Kitchen over there. See a little bird eating some fruit by the fridge. Ah isn’t that lovely… Suddenly you’re not fully listening to the tour guide. Because all you can see is your ridiculous view out the big swinging french doors. Jacuzzi. Pool. Palms trees. Private beach. Open ocean. This. Is. UN. REAL. Seriously. One of the best views I’ve ever seen. In the distance you have some lush green hilly islands. Beautiful view of the ocean out to the horizon. Sailboats way in the distance. Tropical birds flying around. Paradise! Untouched. Untamed. Unbelievable!
This would be our base for the next week. All we were required to do was relax and enjoy ourselves. I think I can pull that off, says I as my pants come down. And off. Time to get tropical, mon. Shorts on. Time for a dip. Run out to the jacuzzi. Quick jump. Then dive into the pool. Hurdle the sun chairs. Roll onto the beach (private sand is glorious on your skin). Weave around the palm trees. Sprint to the ocean. And dive in. Warm. Wet. Wonderful. Until a bird plummets from the sky about three feet away. Oh Jesus. Did I just kill that bird?! Nay. It rises again out of the ocean. Fish in its beak. Sweet Lord, I just witnessed nature! First hand. Front row. Ringside!! That was amazing. Life changing! A fish just died in front of my eyes!! THIS PLACE IS UNREAL!!
This kind of magical Disney land like events would be the theme of the week. During the day, at least. Evenings I would go for a run around the island with our mighty host. Well, he’d run and I’d try to keep up with. The humidity and fruity cocktails might have slowed me down a tad. Some sweat though. Gibber off. Get back to the abode. Jump in the pool. Cool down. Island living all the way!
Another day we headed out on yacht around the island. Not sure if it was a yacht or really big speed boat? Speed yacht? Either way, some day. (Or, sail around the island Sunday, as I liked to call it.) Local restaurant delivered some fine food. Found a few of these treasure chests along the way. Filled up the boat with fun. Sailed on! Some hoot. Sun. Dancing. Divulging. Sail around to various coves. Dive in. Eat food. Drink up. On to the next cove. Savage. Sailor Boy Hayes. Champagne in hand. Up the top of the boat. Dancing on. Living the life! And then…
SMACK! BANG! WALLOP! Oh Jesus. Dodgy captain takes his eye off the ball. Boat hits a reef. Everyone’s funked forward. Thrown back. Horsed around. Heads butt. Knees cut. Drinks spilt. My poor Merkatini cocktail! Dose. Captain looks sheepish. Ship sounds dodgish. Not moving. Middle of the ocean. Kind of. Still see land. Just a bit out. Engine whirring. Nothing working. Are we stranded? Are we goosed? What was that?! WAS THAT A SHARK?! OH DEAR JESUS WE’RE ALL GOING TO- And we’re back moving again. Phew. Let’s get back on it. And on we went. Some day. Minor blip. Tale to tell. Sun burnt as hell. But that’s the island life, mon. Live and burn!! Nice treasure chest too…
By now I had a full on island beard in full bloom. I also had some of the best fish I’ve ever tasted. Seeing as it was out of season, most of the restaurants were actually closed on the island. However. (Forever a however). However. Seeing as our host was the man, these same restaurants opened up specifically just for us for the night. Nay. Too. Shabby. If you’re in the Caribbean, go for the fish. Always the fish of the day. Probably caught on the day. Potentially by a bird. Always unreal. Covered in cajun. Beyond tasty. Mahi-Mahi. Kahi-Kahi. Tahi-Tahi. Might have made some of them up. But whatever I got it was always ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, this fish is divinity’ kind of tasty. You know the kind.
Restaurants were all over the island. Dotted around. Top of a mountain. Bottom of a bay. Edge of a peak. Over in the cove. Along the ocean. Down by the beach. Deep in the jungle. Through the rain forest. Your run of the mill kind of places really. Most of these were only accessible by things which the locals classified as roads but what I would technically call a stone track running through a field. In some parts there was new cement put down for stretches of about twenty yards on one side of the road only. Odd enough. Especially when you’re going through apitch black rain forest. Nauseous enough going in and out of these ten foot deep pot holes. It was very tough at times, this island life living. Ahem. I joke. Come on. It was mighty!
A few of the restaurants were on the other side of the island so the drive might be a bit longer. These drives would be filled up with fun chats. First CD you ever bought? That kind of thing. For some it was a vinyl. I won’t name any names. I think my first purchase was actually a tape. Now 23. Classic. Check it out. Some gems. Have to thank my Dad for picking that one out. Bought it same time as my first ghetto blaster. Tropical Hayes from a young age. Pretty sure my first CD was one by Carl Cox. F.A.C.T, maybe? Think someone older than told me he was cool. So I bought it. No clue what it sounded like. Went home. Put it in. Pressed play. Scared the life out of me. Almost made me cry. What kind of devil music is this?! Tech-trance-tribal-progressive-rave I think it’s called. Whatever, I did not like. But if anyone asked, I nodded along Yeah man, big fan of Carl Cox, been playing him since I was young. And then we’d be at the restaurant. Everyone delighted my boring rambles would be over. Fine food on!
On our last day there we all headed off to a beach on the other side of the island called Half Moon Bay. Apparently there are 365 beaches on the island… One for every day of the year! This was meant to be the best. Packed up a picnic. Drove on. Saw the rest of the island on the way. Witnessed the locals going around their daily ways. A lot of them seem to enjoy just chilling. Liming, as they call it. Hanging out in front of their houses. Most are one room shacks. No TV. No books. Just watch life go by outside instead. See some birds eat fruit out of their hands. Stop off for some pineapple. All the kids are happy as Larry. Cartwheeling their way down beaches. Having a hoot. Not a care in the world. Not a bad way of life. Happy days!
Get to the beach. It is savage. Shaped like half a moon. Name should’ve given it away. Surrounded by cliffs. Big waves crashing on sure. Like all good clowns, all the males in the group go to the water. Have some fun with the waves. By fun, I mean the waves absolutely batter us. Pick us up. Throw us out of the ocean. Leaving us dazed and confused. And then we run back in again. Get battered once more. Waves whipping into us. Like punches in the faces. Still though, some laugh. Some work out. Starving after a dumb hour or two of that. Head back to where the girls are swanning around, sunbathing. For some reason the beach reminded me of something out of the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton. I think they were the books anyway. Kept looking around to see if there were any suspicious German shepherds nearby. Is that boat smuggling in drugs over there? Who’s coming investigating with me, Famous Five style?! No? OK. Picnic on.
For some reason my light hearted beach book for the trip was a book on Freud. Actually a good read. Just a bit dense at times. However. One mighty line jumped out at me:
The purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness.
Freud. Nail. Hit. Head. Not sure if it was the surroundings. Or the people. Or the workout from the waves. But the tuna roll and bottle of Corona I had on the beach that day was the best meal I’ve had all year. Unreal. Never a huge fan of the taste of beer either unless it’s Guinness. That first bottle of Corona was like a golden beaker of taste though. Wash. On. Some day. Sun way. Some trip!
So that’s my tropical haze island gibber. Mucho gracias again to the host. Seeing as I can now tell this wonderful joke… What do you call an Irish guy with a glowing tan? Meeeee! Ahem. Thank you. And now. I’m on another flight. This time. To England. Matings. Stand-up. Business. Fun. London dum dum… Here I dumb!!!
(Introduced to this gem while I was away. Mighty background music. Carl Cox style… http://simply-electronica.de/)