The weekend started with a bumpy SPCA van ride down the Coral Coast to meet Jess for her birthday. We swam in the pool while it rained and lightning made silhouettes of the palm trees in the night sky. There was far too much drinking and vomiting in the poolside garden, and a topless Norwegian girl asked us if we’d seen her bra.
In search of a waterfall we walked barefoot for hours, through a forest behind a nearby village. We brushed our toes across ‘touch weeds’ and their little fern leaves curled up as soon as our skin made contact. Our feet were sinking in the mud and our legs were smeared with black and red.
At Sigatoka sand dunes we found a dead beach. A dreamscape. Black sand with old driftwood and seed pods, littered with plastic bottles and broken flip flops. Waves lapped at a giant tree branch submerged in the sand. Hermit crabs were the only sign of life around.
Walking back through the forest we discovered the first offerings of a public art project. Women made of tree roots sculpted around tree trunks. Tree-huggers with their heads bent forward and their arms wrapped tight. Not much further on we found the ‘tree of lost souls’ a beautifully shaped tree with strings of flip flops hanging from every branch. All odd flip flops. Washed up on the dead beach.
We were pulled over by the police on the way home. With none of us wearing seat belts and Lars sitting in the dog cage with the spare tyre at the back. Policeman looked over the van, saw us all inside, and asked for a lift. He’d hailed us down thinking we were a public mini-van.