What’s an adventure without a little adversity?
Hello all, and welcome to my new series all about how bad things always manage to happen to me. I have learned that travel isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. It’s often stressful, and for some reason I’m convinced that I’m the unluckiest traveler there has ever been. The funny part about this is that these stories give my trips so much character and they’re hilarious to look back on. Well, I guess now the pain has subsided enough to give everyone else a good laugh at my expense.
I’ll begin by saying that I’m not the world’s best planner. Like, I will plan for most of an adventure and forget one massive part of planning. In this example, I managed to get us to the parking spot for our hike to this surreal cliff diving spot, but didn’t really look into the trail we would take to get there. I was under the assumption that there would be a clearly marked trail to get to the hidden beach. I learned that it’s called a hidden beach for a reason, and the reason is (SURPRISE!) it’s not in plain sight!
We started off at the base of a small mountain and assumed if we hiked to the top of it, then we would be able to see the beach from there. After all, Google Maps said it was a 15 minute walk to the spot that we plugged the coordinates into. None of us were dressed appropriately for a hike. We were all wearing our finest flip flops, smallest bikinis, thinnest tank tops, and floppiest sun hats. What we didn’t realize then, was that we were going to have to go all Oregon-Trail up in this bitch and tromp through short thickets that seemed to be made completely of thorns. We sprinted through gratuitous amounts of sticky spider webs and swatted thousands of hungry bugs that came to drink the sweet nectar that is our blood.
Forty five minutes and numerous cuts later, we were still lost. We had managed to make it to the top of the mountain but could not see any beaches down by the water. Luckily we knew the general direction we had to go and managed to make it that way… by slipping and sliding down the rocky terrain. I slipped so hard that I ripped by favorite trusty pair of Rainbow flip flops that I had religiously worn, rain or snow (seriously), since 6th grade. I still have no idea how no one broke an ankle hiking this jagged pathway in inappropriate footwear, but I personally think Jesus was looking out for us since we had been on our best behavior up until that point in Ibiza. For those of you unfamiliar with Ibiza, it’s an island full of sin for heathens and the devil!
A few minutes later we ran into another pair of people, I was convinced that they were murderers who preyed on lost hikers. It just made sense for us to star in our own horror movie with the luck we had demonstrated thus far. Luckily, they were just as lost as us and didn’t try and brutally slaughter anyone this time. They asked for directions and we kinda mumbled and pointed toward the mountain we had just embarked. They went the exact opposite direction and we never saw them again.
I felt so bad for one of the fellow travelers, Mariah, because she was very unhappy on the journey. It was hot, we were sweaty, and she was not accustomed to flip-flop mountain climbing and she has a severe case of arachnophobia. She was being a great sport, but I knew how much she hates being subjected to creepy crawleys. BUT FINALLY… THE END WAS NEAR! We found a small creek bed that seemed to lead to the ocean.
Once we made it to the beach, it was time to scout out some prime real estate for cliff jumping into the perfectly turquoise-colored inviting waters, being more inviting than normal because we were drenched in sweat and it was 95 Degrees outside. Most of the areas weren’t suitable for cliff diving, but it sure was gorgeous. Luckily my boyfriend Trevor ventured to the opposite side of the kelp-covered beach to find the perfect cove. It was our ideal spot for cliff jumping. He made his way down the cliff to snorkel around to make sure there were no hidden dangers surrounding the cliffs we were about to dive off of because, you know, we’re super responsible adults who really care about safety! Really, I just didn’t want to die and Mariah is scared of sharks so Trevor eliminated the threats for us.
Upon inspection, Trevor noticed a small number of jellyfish toward the beach side of the cliffs. None close by where we would be jumping, but enough to keep us from swimming that way and have one of us assume lookout for Mariah when she wanted to jump into the water sans-jellyfish. The cliff jumping went swimmingly. We leapt and jumped and screamed and had the time of our lives. The worst thing that happened while jumping was some high winds knocking over Barry’s beer, but I’ll say we poured it on the ground for his lost homies. I fell in love with this elusive beach, every bit of it. We never encountered any other beachgoers and it seemed to be so far from reality that it was unreal.
Finally it was time to swim over to the kelp-filled beach so we could chill for just a little bit. We weren’t done for the day, but we were growing tired from using the limestone cliffs as our own personal jungle gym/diving board We lept into the water with our floaties and inter tubes and headed over to the kelp beach. Lucky for us, I had my GoPro and it was time for some amateur photography.
So I’m having the time of my life, snapping away beyond ready to show off my adventures for the rest of the world to see. I’m taking photos of Barry and Mariah being the most adorable couple in the world (as always) and I’m taking photos of Trevor to show our families back home all the cool stuff we get ourselves into. Well, how can you prove that you were ever under water without an underwater selfie? You can’t! Naturally, we submerged our bodies and set up for the perfect kodak moment, guaranteed to win over the hearts of even the coldest-hearted strangers on the internet. Click goes the camera shutter and I scream bloody murder under the water. I feel as if I have been electrocuted, and the pain is so incredibly intense, that I think I’ve probably pooped! Right there in the water! I assume I was attacked by the horrifying sharks that Mariah was so certain were swimming around. I accepted that this is the end and this is my fate. I have come to peace with the fact that I am about to die, of an obviously tragic shark attack.
Somehow all those thoughts happened within half a second. The following second I look back expecting to see my own mangled, half-eaten flesh floating around and realize it was just a massive jellyfish that stung me. Phew, I’m not going to die, but I better get to the surface ASAP because that underwater shriek depleted all the oxygen in my lungs. I have officially scared the shit out of Trevor by the massive scream and he is frantically trying to figure out what hurt me so terribly that could make me make sounds like that. Finally, I made it to the surface and explained that I was struck by the deadliest, evilist, meanest jellyfish to have ever existed. I made a vow to not get back into the water the whole way back (in order to prevent more attacks) so I rode on top of the floaty as Trevor pushed me to the kelp beach.
I somehow managed to make it out of the water alive to chill out and stop shaking so much. I don’t think I had ever had that close of an encounter where I thought I was facing certain death than I did at that moment in my life. It was seriously terrifying but it left this EPIC scar. It’s probably my most gnarly one I’ve gotten so far in life, plus… how many people can say they’ve been attacked by a jellyfish after cliff jumping into a hidden cove in Spain after hiking over a treacherous mountain to get there? It’ll forever be one of my fondest memories with my closest friends. We still laugh about the story to this day, and although my sting has healed for the most part, I still smile when I see the scar it left behind.
Bad things are destined happen on adventures, but they will likely turn into the funniest and greatest memories. Funny enough: when it was time to go home, someone looked right past the cove and whaddya know, there’s a clearly marked path right back to where we parked our cars. We wouldn’t have to scale the side of a mountain again! It was a super easy 15 minute hike back to the dirt road we started at. There were no blood-thirsty critters, thorn thickets, or murderer encounters either! We all came to the conclusion, however, that we wouldn’t have rather had the day go any other way. Sometimes things going badly means they’re going the best that they could have gone.