I am sprinting downhill in a disgruntled, indignant fluster.
Ahhhhhhhh these guys are leaving me behind!!!
There is a thorny tree branch hanging out in the way. I pay attention to the pace at which I’m sprinting down the cobblestoned path. As I approach the thorny branch, I slow down and duck.
It is late evening. The sun has almost completely set, and visibility is impaired.
There is a truck revving at the bottom of the hill. I think it has begun to move.
Yes. Yes it has begun to move.
The two guys who are most likely seated in the leaving truck right now, agreed to give me a ride back to the city centre. They said they would call out to me once they intended to move.
I did not hear anyone call out. I just heard the revving of a painfully familiar truck.
I was at the top of the hill, trying to make sense of a Portuguese Creole signboard installed there.
My proficiency in the Creole language has most of its practice in everyday conversation. Making sense of custom signboards at arbitrary locations- in little light, takes a considerable amount of time.
I am at the base of the hill.
The truck is gone. The truck is very gone.
It’s just me.
Me, this very large and sturdy looking boabab tree with its amusingly smooth and stubby trunk, and then there’s this garden whose lushness is pleasantly unexpected given how relatively dry the island generally is.
Hitchhiking is definitely a lost cause now. I don’t know who else intends to head towards the city this night with a motor vehicle.
I spent the afternoon at the Trindade water processing plant. I wasn’t granted entry into the plant- apparently it’s not exactly a tourist attraction, but I got to speak with one of the workers there.
He provided me with some information about the factory. Told me the water being purified was extracted via a pipeline, from a river in a nearby town on the island. A place called Joao Varela. He seemed like a nice guy. I believe he worked security at the plant.
He actually invited me along for a ride back to the city in a vehicle he and a number of colleagues were being conveyed. Initially agreeing, I later changed my mind because I felt like there was still more to that general area which I had not yet seen.
Now I’m heading back on foot in the dark.
Hahaha. Truck guys abandoned me.
It’s not a completely dark night, and so I can navigate my way back via the one major road which winds through the rainfall-paucity engendered savanna of Santiago.
So far I haven’t encountered any animals in the wild. I also didn’t see any information on such online. It feels like the only thing to actually be worried about when walking through these open woodlands at night, is human beings and their capacity for malevolence. Other things being equal, inanimate objects aren’t interested in doing you harm.
Trees don’t really have the time to bother about you. Rocks are completely occupied by whatever it is that occupies rocks. If you trip on a jutting piece of rock, it was inadvertent. The rock probably did not mean to cause you disconcertion. The moon and the stars are doing their thing and minding their business. Human beings are the ones who can consciously decide to do you harm.
I keep heading towards Praia, laughing and thinking and talking and skipping along the winding road.
Image: A different island, Sal.