Barú Island

1st October 2019

I’ve just come back from Barú Island, where I was staying on a beach called Playa Blanca. It’s a white-sanded stretch lapped by the Caribbean sea; bustling with restaurants and bars only metres away from the water, where locals walk up and down selling goods of jewellery and chopped exotic fruit.

The beach seemed to be either a romantic getaway for couples, or a place for big groups of friends to drink cocktails out of fish bowls. It’s possible that I was the only person there on my own. Despite this, I never felt envious of the company of others, but instead relished in being there by myself, contented with my own friendship.

During my stay there, I snorkelled in the shallows, dined in a restaurant while watching the sunset, took a boat ride to a beach that hosted only palm trees and swam with magical, glowing phytoplankton.

To be less social-media pristine and idyllic, I will also tell you of the pain and discomfort I have endured these last two days.

I spent the majority of my time on Barú Island with some sort of virus. I was in bed by 7pm, drifting in and out of sleep, throwing up almost every hour throughout the night. Meanwhile, a storm was thrashing outside, whipping the rain against the window and trundling thunder over the cabin roof. There was something about the epic force of nature that made me smile — I enjoyed the ambience of the storm even through my sickness.

On the boat ride the next day, drowsiness took over and I fell asleep for the 40 minute journey back to Playa Blanca. The result of this is deep, sore sunburn all over my chest and shoulders.

Hand in hand with sun and sea are: mosquitoes. I have bites spanning my whole body, from my earlobes to my toes.

The heat here is severe and draining. It’s 9am and all I’m doing is sitting inside writing and my forehead is beading with sweat.

To conclude my moaning, I have decided to take a day off from travelling. I am going to do my laundry, indulge in some fresh air-con, lather my burnt skin in moisturiser and attempt as hard as I can to keep the flies away.

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