Camping with Banjo
I wanted to title this: Tarp Camping with Stray Cats and Fire Ants in Puerto Rico, but that seemed a bit verbose. Props to my university history teacher for teaching me the word verbose… and for teaching me to not be that.
Last night we slept under the stars on a tropical island… specifically, the tiny island of Culebra, in Puerto Rico, which sounds pleasant. I mean look at this beach. <— It’s rated one of the best beaches in the WORLD. The sand is white and soft; the weather is warm and wonderful.
I’m pretty sure I slept 1.5 hours or less last night because there were approximately ten things that went wrong / made us uncomfortable last night.
10. We were going to rent a tent, but the tent-renting lady wasn’t going to be open the next day, so she wouldn’t rent us one for only one night.
9. The weather forecast was calling for rain.
8. It’s illegal to sleep on the actual white sand part of the beach because of sea turtles. And since we actually like sea turtles, we decided to follow the rules.
7. All this to say, we found a crusty old tarp and made our own, very makeshift, tent within the designated campsite area.
6. In order to get the tarp to do its thing in the event of rain, we had to set up very close to a tree. Tree roots do not make for comfy camping.
5. People kept walking by our “camp site” at all hours of the night, and since we didn’t actually pay for a campsite because A. The office was closed (when it shouldn’t have been); and B. We didn’t actually have a tent, we kept thinking it was going to be someone kicking us out.
4. We used an under-inflated floatation device we found on the beach for a pillow. All of us. One yellow floaty. Which meant, any time one person shifted their head, the rest of the heads shifted involuntarily.
3. Bugs: Things were crawling on me. I was swatting at my feet. We were going to set up farther back to be more inconspicuous, but it was covered in these red bugs. And I don’t know what they actually are, but nature tells me red bugs probably bite.
2. We could not stop laughing at the absurdity of the situation long enough to dose off.
Banjo is a cat. A freakin’ stray cat that we could not get to stop snuggling us. Since we had no tent, there was nothing to stop him. No matter how many times we shooed him away, he always came back and he never once respected our personal space. Eventually, we named him and welcomed him in to our little dysfunctional family.
This morning, after a long walk on the beach, we walked by our “site” and someone had completely dismantled our masterpiece.