The walk had not taken very long; given the marathon the day before we had progressed further than expected. Mike was not due for another couple of hours at least, so we settled down on the grass and watched the world go by. For a while it was quiet, the odd dog sniffing around the strand line, a single fisherman out on his canoe. Then we heard a raucous behind us. A group of about 20 creoles were coming across the park. They were dressed eclectically, some in t shirts and track suit, some of the women in flowery skirts or overalls, some wore baseball caps, others headscarves. They acknowledged us but otherwise were watching the horizon, they had buckets of bait in their hands. It was a joy to watch the interaction between these people; cheerful, joking, telling stories, catching up on gossip. A few mongrels wandered in amongst the crowd, having their own social interactions of wagging tails, sniffing bottoms with the occasional low growl or heckle raised. Once or twice the two species intermingled with a pat, more sniffing and once or twice a raised hand or kick. We lay there and watched this spectacle – as if we were the audience at an opera watching the chorus set the scene before the main stars appeared.
As the helicopter passed closely overhead in the direction of the airport once more, we noticed that a couple of fishing boats had cut through the breaking waves into the lagoon and were heading to the posse in front of us. The conversations continued but now they also went about their business, which was to collect the catch from the boats and unpack the boat of its equipment.