I opened my eyes as the first beam of light peered in through the curtains. It was around five in the morning; the stillness of the day was only broken by the breaking dawn and a the sound of a lazy rooster.
Talei was still sleeping. I noiselessly crept out from my mosquito net and grabbed my camera. My ninja skills were surprising, and I actually didn’t make too much noise until I opened the cabana door. With a giant creak of the hinges, Talei rolled over. Mentally apologizing, I slipped out and flip-flopped down the shell-strewn path.
I made my way to Andrea’s cabana. She was already awake and just finishing her packing. Waving a hello to Jen, I waited for Andrea to finish. We headed down to the garden gate and out to the beach.
In just a few hours, Andrea, Jen and myself would be sharing a cab back to Managua. Andrea and I had decided the night before to get up with the sun and drink in the last morning in our wonderland.
It was still twilight and the waves had a glass-like texture, reflecting the moon and stars. The waves were still singing their lullaby, not having yet been awakened by the new day.
Rocco followed us out, always the companion of the beach travelers and adventure goers. I remember thinking that he would have happily gone sliding down the volcano with us if we would have let him. I was going to miss our four-legged friend.
We wandered out to the nearby rocks. Neither of us had much to say, just the occasional, “I’m going to miss this.”
As we walked back a thousand thoughts ran through my head. I hadn’t missed the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I didn’t care which celebrity was in rehab or who was fired from their reality television show. I didn’t need to watch t.v. or take a hot shower. I had even gotten used to the sandy toes.
The truth was I didn’t want to go back.
I splashed around in the water, thinking that I would rather play in the foam in the ocean than ever pay for another cappuccino. I wondered if I could ever explain this sweet feeling of satisfaction to others.
Our last sunrise was upon us, and we didn’t have much time left in Nicaragua. With the day breaking and Rocco leading the way, we headed back to El Coco Loco for our last meal with the group.
I turned back one last time to take in the beach and imprint the image in my mind. I liked who I was when I had my toes in the sand. I didn’t want to forget.