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an early arrival.

grommits going out in competition

I arrived back in Batukaras very early this morning, around 5.45 am. We drove through the night from Bandung, stopping for Dunkin Donuts, Noodles and then at the Mosque in Pangandaran for the boys early morning prayer.

As we rounded the corner and got full view of the beach, the sun was a bright orange orb floating just above the ocean as if it was suspended from the blues in the skies and holding on to its wire, to protect it from falling in to the water and extinguishing.

I was wired, tired and stiff from being in the cramped car, and technically in transit for 48 hours since leaving Ho Chi Minh city on tuesday morning.

The day was spent on the beach and in the water, drinking juice and napping at home under the fan. Trying to restore my mind and my sense of self back into the relaxed norm that had become so familiar to me prior to my escapade to the terrifying, inspiring and confusing country of Vietnam.

I spent a lot of time with my beautiful little dog, who has managed to explode in size in the two weeks since I’ve been gone. He can now run next to the bike all the way to Legok Pari, as long as I drive slowly.

The little kids of Batukaras and surrounding villages had a surf competition on our beach today – in the surf world they are called grommits, the youngest agegroup was around 3 and the eldest were 13. They cut and dived and shaped through the chrystal waters as the swell came in big and small breaking into a thousand pieces of whitewash around their tiny brown feet. On stake was a new surf board. And they worked for it.

This evening I took a drive out to the reef, my faithful dog racing to keep up with me. Where I sat, plugged into some of my favourite sounds, I felt the cool dark sand under my feet and watched Sammy chase the crabs that came scuttlling out of the water. The light was sucked from the air in some sort of slow motion, and bit by bit it was replaced by darkness, stars and lightening that came across the water in strokes and pulses that made the corners of my eyes flex and contract.

I am home. From sunrise to sunset, I watched you Batukaras, and I’m as much in love with you as I was before.

Barefoot, exhausted and home.

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