I don't think I've mentioned it here on the blog but I'm traveling for a while & at the moment I'm hanging out in Bali. After five years on an isolated farm in Kentucky, I need to stretch my legs a bit--see new things, soak up new sensations, challenge myself a bit.
So I might have more fun stories to tell. Like this one: I'd arranged with a couple of the people I've met here to go on a hike through the "hidden canyon". The hidden canyon can be found on google maps, there is a road leading right to it, a sign by the road, and a ticket booth selling tickets before you go in. But... hidden canyon.
Someone who'd made the trip earlier said it was a short hike, about an hour, and that we'd be fine with our flip flops. Cool, I thought. A nice easy, low stress hike to a beautiful location! I'm in!
But when we get to the hidden canyon and our guide asked us to take off our shoes, I realized I'd made a mistake. We weren't supposed to wear flip flops because the hike was easy. We were supposed to wear flip flops because instead of a trail, we'd be wading through a stream, and we were expected to do it barefoot.
If you can see the picture above you can tell that this place was beautiful and it was a fun hike, as well. A bit like an obstacle course. The stream was pretty narrow but deep--eight or ten feet deep in places--so the guide helped us weave our way along a navigable footpath and avoid sudden dunkings.
Last week I tried that beauty treatment where you stick your feet into a tank full of fish who eat dead skin but not living skin. Again, trying new things. So I'd recently stripped all the calluses off my feet & stepping on the sharp pebbles that lined the stream bed got more and more painful--until I was having a hard time appreciating the beauty or the contrast of the cool running water against the hot sun or the adventure of skipping from rock to rock. It hurt every time I stepped on a bed of sharp pebbles and before long, the pain was excruciating.
And then I realized: the guide had my shoes. He had them in a backpack. Just because he'd suggested we hike the canyon barefoot didn't mean I was required to go barefoot. I could ask for them back. So I did. And the guide gave me my shoes. Just like that! I could have asked for them at any time. I didn't have to wait until I was worried about deadly freshwater parasites climbing through open cuts in the soles of my feet to kill me.
So. A nice hike and a lesson, too.