Climbing ever upward over tangled roots, the endless green forest obscuring the trials before us. Two of us heave and sweat, the thrill of adventure tempered with a little drop of dread, a twist of hunger. Should we have taken a guide? The air is heavy and scented from yesterdays storm. The passage is slippy and treacherous, threatening with every dip and bulge. Are we even half-way there? Have we even, really, started? To climb is to know.
There is something prehistoric about this land, something raw and savage, life itself come screaming out of the big blue. The iridescent sheen of small lizards sets dead tree trunks ablaze with flashing colour. Little creatures that always escape before you can really focus on them, making you doubt their reality, your reality in this lonesome place. We see no other animals, but we know they are there, as they know we are. A cry of a single seabird overhead is choked by the dense forest canopy. Other sounds all around; indescribable, unknowable on this tiny dot of rock. I look at her as we continue upwards, this part steeper and more arduous than any before. She is smiling through the exertion.
There. A break in the trees. A tiny window of blue. Blue so vibrant it makes your eyes ache in the subtropical gloom. We have traveled half the world over, yet never has the blue sky looked so new before. As we frantically clamber out of the forest and onto the volcanic summit, our world transforms before our eyes. We can see where we have come from, and where we cannot go - Three hundred-and-sixty degrees of shimmering shades of blue - sea and sky merging together as one across this whole portion of the planet, besieging this small island. By some mercy we are allowed to reside in this unpredictable place, or by some defiance this island exerts its strength of will to survive alone. Yet we feel peace looking at this world laid before our feet. We both sit, exhausted, at the base of the spear of rock that juts proudly out of the carpet of forest. We sit, we breathe, we see. Time stands still, as it always has.
It is time to move on. After-all, we are only truly half-way there.