Saturday, May 15, 2010

Postcards from New Zealand: Day Sixty-Two

This afternoon, we went to Karekare. I had a bad headache, so as we walked on the beach, I kept my eyes closed, with Aldo's arm around me (an exercise I'd done at summer camp as a kid, called a trust walk). When I eventually opened my eyes, he'd led me away from the beach to the wetlands where families of black swans live. We climbed a black sand dune and crossed a footbridge. Without realizing the time, we decided to walk back a different way, on the Hillary trail that follows the ridge behind the beach. Dusk fell. The climbing was hard and I was tired, but I knew that each minute I stopped to rest was a moment of daylight squandered, so I pushed on. Nevertheless, we spent over an hour hiking in the black night. There was no moon. Sometimes, I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, I saw only the same darkness. This became a real trust walk, both of us shuffling slowly forward, single file, feeling for the trail through our soles. When I fell off the trail, wailing, I had no idea how far down the drop was from which Aldo pulled me back up.

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