January had eked out a sweet, addictive dose of adventure for me and Dennis. For five of its days, we embarked on a trip that gave more than it took. We rented a scooter and on it, we traced Catanduanes Island’s periphery, veering into its folds here and there. But this right here is neither an ode to nor an idyll of the island’s landscapes and scenes – these will come later. If anything, this is an “In Memoriam”.
Our journey was not without problems. In fact, in retrospect, our journey was nothing but. On the morning of our second day, back from Bote Cove in Bato, we crashed. I was driving. I blame it partly on the scooter. Its brakes were faulty with just the front ones working at the time. Fortunately, a good Samaritan took us to the nearest health center, sticking with us until he was sure that we were alright. And while we were still essentially in one piece, grisly wounds and dappled bruises had been sustained, encumbering us with bloody gauzes and the sterile scent of iodopovidone the rest of our trip.
|After our accident|
That same day, halfway through San Andres, our ride sputtered to a stop. Its engine refused to work. Under a high noon sun, Dennis and I took turns dragging the scooter to a machine shop a couple of kilometers back. It took almost an hour of tinkering before the mechanic finally figured out what was wrong. It was the air filter, drenched in grease and impeding the ignition. With a function as debatable as that of the human appendix, it was deemed better removed. A good choice, for immediately the engine hummed a steady note again. The brakes were also fixed.