I woke up at four in the morning and stumbled my way through breakfast and getting dressed and brushing my teeth and filling up three different bottles with water in order to be out the door by five. We met up at five thirty, and shook hands and sorted out gloves and hiking spikes and there was no noise except for the jungle, ablaze with birdsong. Dawn already. We started hiking and it wasn’t as difficult as I had feared – strenous and awe-inducing and windy enough to make you loose your step, yes, but not so much physically punishing. We rode mountain ridges for hours, dipping into the middle of the clouds and out of them, watched the mountains spread jagged and immense and harsh below us, covered in green. Made it to the Haïku Steps; a Stairway to Heaven disappearing in the mist. Sweaty, muddy – so much mud – gritty, happy. By two we were back down, and I was wild-haired and jelly-legged, and they offered to drop me off, and by three I was twisting open the celebratory bottle of lemonade I had bought and kept in the fridge for this specific moment. After that I faffed about for a long while in the internet, because I am unfortunately not perfect and also, really bad at internet and social media, and then I showered the mud away and put on both a swimsuit and sunscreen. I plopped my butt down in the sand, pasty skin and last-of-the-day sunshine, and watched the surfers glittering away in the turquoise water and read from a truly terrible crime book that had been in the “for free” box in the lounge. I showered again, after that, washed my almost-dreadlocked-it’s-so-dirty hair and rubbed argan oil into it. I moisturized properly, and did my brows, and rubbed a bit of my bergamot-scented solid cream behind my ears. I slipped on my Vegas dress, wrinkled from my carry-on, and picked up the terrible book, and took myself out to dinner to celebrate doing the hardest hike of my life yet, and ordered a tofu poke bowl. I bought myself some Chips Ahoy on the way back, and drank a lot of water, and I am planning on going to bed by 9PM. And that is how I loved myself and made today a very good day.


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