Think about your shoe collection? Are you a closet Imelda Marcos? I was assessing my footwear collection. This was prompted by the fact that my options are mostly deteriorating or deteriorated. Glue and soles do not do well in hot climates. I have become a part time cobbler. My flip flops have been renovated twice, my walking shoes stuck back together with 5200 and my sandals have had their velcro tarted up. Last time we were with 300 miles of a shop selling anything other than cheap flip flops was October. Cobbling becomes a necessity.
The upside of living in the tropics and on a boat is the preferred choice of footwear is none. I’m guessing, 80% of the time we live with bare feet. Always on the boat, always on other people’s boats and often if you’re going ashore to the beach, no shoes are necessary.
The order of usage is thus:-
- Bare feet
- Flip flops
- = Sandals / Walking shoes
- Crocs (good for walking on rough coral beaches)
- Proper shoes – NEVER
It’s likely to be another couple of months before we can become shoe fetishists when we get close to a full on shopping experience again. I’m hoping my repairs hold on till then.
In Gambier, my walking shoes often got priority billing and bumped temporarily up the list. As we approached from the north, my eyes lit up at green hills and if you listened very carefully there was a quiet whisper calling “climb me”.
Gambier has several well marked trails so I was very very happy to roam around the countryside, alone or with friends, collecting mangos and lemons and avocados and pamplemousse and raspberries on the way. The most populous ‘Helen Hike’ saw 17 (2 x Brits, 5 x Canadians, 7 x Kiwis, 3 x Austrians) head up a hill called Mokoto then traverse and descend the forest on a recently cleared path. Problem was the path clearing hadn’t been finished. The path abruptly ended in the middle of the woods meaning a thrashing and bashing back down to the road. Good job Tom had brought his machete along. People remember that walk! Sue and Bryan thought they’d signed up for a little gentler meandering. Apologies chums!
Kiting was the other main activity. We spent quite a bit of time out on the outer reef off a little moto called Tauna. This is where ‘kite school’ continued from Amanu. Dave was able to launch his kite off the back of either Slingshot or Due South, two expert kiting families, including kids. I was in the dinghy providing rescue services. I figured if I put the time in now, there’ll be stamps in the book that I can cash in one day.
We spent many happy days hanging out with these families, mucking around, having beach bbq’s and when the wind died, we both had a go at wakeboarding behind one of their larger dinghies. There are pictures of Dave in action but none of me. I did get up and do some runs, honest guv. No shoes required for wakeboarding.