Mon | Aug 20, 2018

It was a perfect plan… in my head

Published:Tuesday | January 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM

I'm in love with one-day getaways. I like the idea of jumping into my van and setting off to some little-known destination, armed with nothing but a full tank of gas and a spirit of adventure. Days like these can land me anywhere, and always result in great memories and, most often, a great meal.

Having had a hard workweek,

I was hell-bent on a river adventure. In my mind, it was perfect; cold river water beating against my back as I propped myself up on a boulder enjoying the sights and sounds of seclusion. I had to have it.

I set off at 11 a.m.; destination: Castleton Gardens, St Mary. It was close enough to get me back in time for work and far enough to feel worthy of the "getaway" title. Most importantly, a river ran through it ... and after all the rains we'd been having, it was bound to be bliss.

Not quite so.

My first unfortunate discovery was that Bridget Sandals have no grip. Upon arrival at the bank of the beautiful river, I slid on a river rock and most nearly popped my royal arse. Amen I'm well-padded back there so the blow was little, but a forceful plop ... but my right arm now hurts from breaking the fall. Almost unscathed, I had a good laugh, undressed and proceeded into nature's refresher.

It was picture-perfect. I was perched atop a medium-size boulder armed with the book of the month The Purpose Driven Life and my feet waded in the water. Trevor Rhone couldn't have scripted it better. And just when I was about to let the moment carry me away, I saw them. I have no idea what they are, but they were EVERYWHERE. All attached to every single rock in the hundreds and thousands. They were just feeding. In sheer fright, me and my purpose-driven life upped and bolted out of the river back to the safety of the banks. The thought of being touched by the river critters made my blood run colder than the water from which I had just escaped.

Ok, so maybe I should enjoy nature from the sidelines ... the way I do sports.

I spread my blanket and lay down beneath a shady tree. The gurgle and crash of the mighty river splashing against the parasite-covered rocks was just delightful. The sound of water always mellowed me out.

I was no sooner joined by a happy family of mosquitoes and sand flies who feasted upon my flesh. In frustration (and fear of chikungunya) I departed with a sore arm, a tenderised tush, traumatised heart and insect welts. Not quite how I had pictured it.

No fault of your own, Castleton. I wanted to be one with nature ... but surely I didn't take into consideration those parts of nature that crawl and eat and breathe. It was an adventure, nevertheless. I drove back with a smile on my face and stopped to enjoy a jelly. I look forward to my next escapade; and true to Patria, I'll do little planning and leave the details up to fate.

I encourage us all to take time for adventure. Work and home can't be it.

Love life and live!

n Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to and, or tweet @findpatria.