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I felt a bit bad, I’d nagged him off his hammock, whinged until he struggled out of it … and now I wished I’d kept my mouth shut. We’d meandered to the very tip of the island on springy beach bikes, that we’d rented for peanuts.  We’d zipped past bourgainvillea-laden properties hiding inns and cafes.  We passed path, after sandy path, dead-ending in absurdly picturesque views of the ocean.  And here we were … hot, thirsty and stuck. Well, Tom was.  His springy beach cruiser had an equally springy chain that just wouldn’t stay put. As he wrangled the bike topsy turvy, fiddling with the chain, I’d wandered off to the water’s edge and sunk my toes into silky sand.  “Amazing” I’d muttered, shielding my eyes, and gazing out at emerald water ringing the shallow horizon. 

We knew this spot and had hunted here before,  scoring conch shells harvested by local fishermen.  The islands’ northern flowing current brings in shells, little jewels dropped off like gifts – the oceans version of a ‘turndown’ service at a fancy hotel.   Holbox, an island made of sand and shells is practically rock-free. an incentive (as if any were ever needed) to never wear shoes… If I’d wanted, I could’ve walked out for ages – even at three miles out the sea is only twelve miles deep.  But we were both thirsty and sea hammocks were calling our names. 

So back to the part where I wished I’d kept my mouth shut. The chain on Tom’s springy beach cruiser snapped apart, plopping onto the sand the moment we’d started biking back. Unfortunate considering we were miles out of town…  It took awhile to find my balance sitting on the handlebars, and it wasn’t exactly ladylike, but we eventually made it back. Me with a bruised rear end and Tom with wobbly legs.  Luckily those sea-hammocks and a cold beer were waiting for us, and we weren’t going anywhere.

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