The island is small: 28 miles wide and 10 miles long, to be exact. The plan is to easily drive around the entirety of it, and the chances of us getting lost are slim; there is one main road, and if we keep going, we’ll eventually end up where we started.
Our rented car is an old, white Volkswagen, top down, manual. We calculate that it’s older than us both. My fiance asks if I want to learn finally how to drive a stick shift. I shake my head no, stretch my legs in my seat, and say I’m here just to relax. A few failed tries at starting it, he gets it, and we are on our way. The bluest water on our right, trees and an occasional home or restaurant on the left, the map I’m holding blows in the wind.
We park at one beach, and we are the only ones there. We marvel at and count the colors of the water: turquoise, sky blue, I don’t know, but it’s pretty.
We walk through the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio and eat lunch at a waterfront restaurant in downtown. We drive through an abandoned carnival, with dinosaurs and monsters and pirates and other weird rides and characters, spookily left to rust. We spend the rest of the day in the sun, until it spectacularly sets to sleep.
We wake up even before 5 am. We’ve become early birds on this trip. We put on sweaters and get into our car again, hoping to make it to the other side of the island to see the sunrise. A worker at the hotel desk waves to us, and another one is sleeping on the couch–no one else is around. It’s quiet, calm. We are the only car on the road. And then we hit a roadblock–can’t go any further now. We are only slightly disappointed as we have the stars above us. It’s been so long since we could see a sky full of stars.
So we sit in the car, top down, and point out the constellations, and I see one shooting star. We try to take pictures of the twinkling stars, but I can’t get my camera setting right, and I don’t want to spend any more time trying to. Instead, I take his hand, my darling adventurous man, and watch the stars until the sky gets light, and the sun rises in the east.