Friday, November 09, 2007

Places I've woken up

Inspired by Mark at Stone Soup...

I've woken up on Radio Tower Hill on New Year's Morning, bundled in a sleeping bag damp from morning dew, head pointing toward the middle of the water tank we are lying on. "Look," says my friend who has woken me up. The sun is rising on the year over the lake- clouds tinged pink- sky blue. I drink in the sight and then close my eyes to sleep until the heat drives us in search of coffee and pancakes. "If I could just see that familiar sunrise through sleepy blue eyes, how happy I'd be."
I've woken up bundled in a hammock, rain tapping on the thatched roof over my head and mist seeping out from the jungle trees that surround the village. Breakfast is granola and instant coffee, and then I cuddle back into my hammock to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the faint light from the window.
I've woken up in a Buddhist temple on Buddha's birthday at the bottom of Cow Mountain in South Korea. After a traditional breakfast of rice and greens, we hike up to the hermitage at the top of the mountain. The gracious monk serves us pine tree liquor, and coffee, when he learns I have a headache from the lack of it.
I've woken up to the sounds of donkeys' braying, my hammock slung between two palm trees next to Parque Tayrona beach. The sun shines in my eyes and we head down the beach to buy fresh rolls cooked in an outdoor oven that burns half of each roll. It's the most delicious bread I've ever eaten. Our camping neighbors from Israel make us strong Turkish coffee over their campfire. A few days later, in the same hammock on another beach, I awaken to find two Guajira girls staring at me and my friends in our wall less hut. This beach is an extension of the desert, not the green, jungle-surrounded one of before. We haven't planned to stay in this far northern reach of Colombia, but have gotten stranded by the lack of public transportation.
I've woken up in the dark African morning and driven out to see wild game. After the sun rises, the driver stops to serve us strong tea and rusks, and when we get back to the lodge, we are served a delicious breakfast, eggs cooked before us, and strong coffee. Later on the same trip I wake to see the waves of the Indian Ocean breaking on our secluded beach. We sip coffee on the veranda and watch for whales. In the evenings we hike to the top of sand dunes to watch the sun set in the west.

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