17.6.15

Palmar Tent Lodge

I haven't slept in a tent since I was 17 years old. Don't misunderstand me: this does not mean I have been slumbering in luxury. Far from it. I've slept in almost any place you can imagine: wooden boats, rotten wrecks, luxury yachts, big and small, racers or cruisers; I've slept in ex- (and sometimes actual) girlfriend's couches, in hotels between nil and five stars, luxury lodges in South and dismal "hotels" (brackets more than justified) in Central Africa; I slept in railways, airports (I particularly suggest you avoid Miami Internaional, should you spend a night between flights and paychecks), jails (only twice, for very short periods and noble reasons), boardinghouses, crewhouses, whorehouses (without the whores, I quickly precise). For the last forty years I have slept in practically any place you can think of, bar tents.

So spending two nights in Palmar was kind of mixed novelty for me: I knew the place like if I had lived there (in fact I did, but don't tell anyone: the moments I spent at Palmar count amongst some of the best in my life) but I did not remember what sleeping in a tent was like.

"The sea has many voices" TS Eliot wrote. They change with the place you hear them from. One of the advantages of Palmar is that you hear the sea, nearby and, even nearer but harmoniously, balanced, somehow in tune you hear also the many sounds of the rain forest.

In the morning (I wake up very early) the light enters your "room" not from a window, but from the "walls". The entire room is illuminated at the same time, the same rythm.

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Palmar Tent Lodge has a strange filter at each entrance: people can pass, but problems are barred. If per chance one of the problems manages to sneak in - because it is too big, or too ingrained into you - it immediately turns into a solution.

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In case you do not like swimming or strolling on a desert beach early in the morning, when the sun rises and colours change quickly, if you do not appreciate a splendid breakfast immediately afterwards, if you do not like to hear the sea and the rain forest interact in some kind of misterious dialogue - don't go to Palmar.

If you do, don't wait too long.