An awful lot of people pass through our lives, disappearing as quickly as they entered it. This is particularly so when you are travelling the world with a rucksack on your back, flitting whimsically from one town to the next. They leave a few memories, and hopefully you’ll learn a little something from each encounter. But by and large, the only permanent reminder of their presence in my life is a face in a photograph I’ve taken.
This photograph was taken on a day trip up a river near San Blas in August 2003. I don’t remember a single name from that group I’m sorry to say. But I remember something of most of them. They guy in red, an American, had been in town for a week and remained there after I had left. He’d found his happy spot in Mexico, and a marijuana supplier. Perhaps the two points were linked. The guy in white? He never said much and disappeared quickly, never to be seen again.
The ladies were, like me, from Blighty. We went our separate ways after our stay in San Blas, but bumped into each other a week or two later in Creel. It was well gone midnight, and I was trying to get to sleep in a twelve bed dorm. The lights were off, everyone else had long since nodded off and the only light came from the moon through the window. I heard the door open every so quietly, and the two girls came in. They whispered quietly to each other. Was everyone else out for the count? Yes, they decided. Should they just get changed there? Yes, they decided. You have probably figured out by now why this post is titled what it is.
Like almost everyone else I’ve ever met on my travels, I never kept in touch with them. I just have this photo, and a couple of others. What became of them I wonder? Did they go on to great things? Has there been a tragedy*. Did any of them love Mexico so much they ended up living there, as I did? I know not. I will almost certainly not bump into any of them again. And they will almost certainly never read this post. And the blonde girl will be forever unaware that I saw her bum.
*Tragedy nearly struck an hour or so after this photo was taken, when I jumped into a pool at the end of a tributary – unaware that a large crocodile was there already. Lurking. Waiting for dinner. Clearly, it judged me to have insufficient meat on my bones to be worth the effort.