all my heroes are weirdos

We're All Mad Here

A Beach Odyssey

Holidate number four and the more this continues, the more I fancy my chances at being the next best character on The Undateables.

Despite yesterday’s mentally insane moonwalking visuals, countless idiotic statements and a thousand mini calamities… he’s somehow still here.

It’s our last day on Mljet so we headed to the one thing we’d not yet explored; Odysseus Cave.

For twenty minutes, we blazed along the narrow trail and hopped down the chunky cliff edge steps along until we saw the opening of the cave from above, guarded by a swirling flock of swallows. We passed through Kalypso bar, which serves cold drinks to warm souls and followed the spray-painted “SWIM” signs to the water’s edge.

According to legend, this is how the island of Mljet was first discovered… ancient Greek poet Homer wrote that after returning home from the Trojan Wars on turbulent seas, Odysseus was shipwrecked here on the southern shore and held captive for seven years by Poseidon’s daughter, a nymph named Calypso.

I’ll never let go Jack

Everybody around us was jumping off the cliffs and into the watery wonderland below, but I was petrified.

I miss my childhood fearlessness – the kind that lets you jump from dizzy heights, paying no attention to the hypothetical dangers you come to fret about as an adult. But with the promise of holding my hand the whole way, he coerced me into taking an adrenaline-pumping leap of faith.

We stood at the very brink, our fingers firmly woven and our toes curled tight. After three he said….

1…..2…..3…..

It was just like that scene from Titanic where she says “I’ll never let go Jack”, then immediately let’s go and floats off dead to the bottom of the ocean. No sooner had our feet left the earth, he let go of my hand, and I splattered, alone, into the blue abyss. 

I surfaced with my usual gormless, happy face – I was ecstatic, and we swam on together slowly into Odysseus cave.

All that glitters aint gold

We’d managed to get there just in time for the spectacle of light at midday.

The sunlight was hitting the water at an angle that made it look like it was lit up from the seabed, like an outdoor swimming pool. An iridescent, sapphire blue glow glittered upwards and the rippling reflections sparkled on our mesmerised faces.

We floated slowly under the limestone ceiling and crawled out over the pale lilac rocks.

I have never seen anything like it, it was jaw-droppingly beautyfull, and so was he. 

I stood out of the water, with sunlight shining down on me and took an imaginary photograph. All of it; the blue waters, the lilac rocks, the strobes of sunlight, the blue skies above, the swooping swallows, his bronzed, flawlessly sculpted and dripping wet body, sea salted hair falling onto his bearded face and his uncontrollable smile when he looked back at me to do the same.

I hate Goodbyes

The clock was ticking and we had a ferry to catch, so we headed back to Villa Radulj for what I knew would be an emotional goodbye.

This place had been my little sanctuary for almost two weeks and I was sad to say goodbye to my Kozarican paradise and the people who live in it. I gave Marin and Martina some thank you presents and a big hug before getting back on the scooter for Dumb & Dumber, the sequel.

He was again leaning forward, this time pulled down by the weight of his backpack strapped against his chest. I was leaning back at a forty-five degrees angle, with my neck at the full ninety – it was like time being paused in the middle of whiplash accident. The back helmet box of the bike was digging into my lower spine and for the whole journey to Sobra I had to balance my 20kg backpack on my chest.

I was doing my best to keep the weight of it off his shoulders, which felt like the most intense and prolonged bicep curl exercise of my life. I couldn’t see a thing, so for most of the journey, especially turning corners, I kept my eyes closed and just let my body naturally sway with the movements of the bike, praying we wouldn’t capsize.  I could just about hear him laughing every time he’d look in his rear view mirror and see a big black giggling bag with legs. 

Farewell Lemon Heaven

After spotting a man with dramatically concave, jet black furry eyebrows, we decided to play Guess Who? with the ferry passengers – who were conveniently sat on red or blue chairs, just like the game.

A ferry full of bantz and a mouth full of water are not a good combination.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I have one seriously strict rule – do not make me laugh when I have something in my mouth.

I’ve had many seriously unfortunate incidents with red wine and other people’s white tops, but this time, fortunately, it was only water. He made me laugh so much that my human mouth fountain came alive like the Fonta Magica and I soaked the poor baldy old man in front of me. I think it was this and our unceasing hysterical laughter that made the young, beige-behaving couple behind us actually stand up and move seats…..oops..

To give the other passengers some peace, we headed out on deck. It was my one last and overwhelmingly emotional goodbye to Mljet.

The sun was setting in a misty lemon sky, the horizon was blurred from the sea spray and the raucous churning waves below contrasted against the serene silhouette of the island. I watched it getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller, until Mljet was out of sight.

THE RIGHT TURN

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