When an iguana drops by

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & IN­DUL­GENCE - JANE GILCHRIST BERMAGUI, NSW

Ah, sailing … to cast off the lines, be free from care, wan­der the world un­shack­led by earthly re­straints, no more timeta­bles or clocks. But the re­al­ity still means sched­ules. When is the best time to travel? Which day do you leave a port so you don’t get caught with no wind or too much wind?

And, there is al­ways the pull of “home”, that place we all come from, where our spe­cial peo­ple are wait­ing for us. They may be won­der­ing if we are sick, lonely, robbed by pi­rates, fallen over­board, rammed by whales.

Thank good­ness for tech­nol­ogy. Yes, we can travel the world by yacht and keep in touch with friends and fam­ily by satel­lite phone, email, in­ter­net, Skype or FaceTime. Tech­nol­ogy is ev­ery­where and places you would not dream of have in­ter­net cafes. We don’t speak the lan­guage but there are trans­la­tion pro­grams and even tiny islands can be “wired up”.

Take San Cris­to­bal, the east­ern­most is­land in the Gala­pa­gos group. The in­ter­net cafes num­ber about eight, of vary­ing size and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, open most of the day and late into even­ing. Even in the sa­cred siesta time they re­main open.

The com­puter mon­i­tors blink invit­ingly. We are armed with mem­ory sticks full of pho­tos and email text, ready to let all of ours know where we are, and also to read up about the next stage of the jour­ney. Where do we get the best pro­vi­sions? Where are the safest an­chor­ages? Where do we find the port cap­tain and how much will he charge? Should we find an agent to help us live this fuss­free life­style?

It’s im­por­tant to hear from friends and fam­ily — news of who is get­ting mar­ried, a lit­tle grand­son’s first steps, de­tails of an un­for­tu­nate med­i­cal mishap. We sit at the key­board in ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion and pick up the mouse. Whoops! There is a huge glob of iguana drop­ping un­der it. We know what it is by the smell, which is un­mis­take­able. Now the mess is all over the mouse pad, our hands and the key­board.

Trav­el­ling by yacht is all about in­ven­tive­ness — find­ing ways to turn a tooth­brush han­dle into a part for the shower door, for ex­am­ple. But the books never men­tioned iguana drop­pings. Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion with postal ad­dress to Fol­low the Reader: travel@theaus­tralian.com.au. Colum­nists will re­ceive a beau­ti­fully boxed set of a dozen 2ml vials of woody, flo­ral and spicy scents from in­ter­na­tional fra­grance house Amouage; $110. More: lib­ertinepar­fumerie.com.au.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.