by Amber, aka Defi Diva (one more time, in your best faux French accent…. d’FEE dee-VAH!)
It was morning and the bright sunshine was making its way into #43 Bungalow. I had gotten up early to finished packing and clean up the hut. (The camp ground has strict rules on cleaning up the hut prior to check out, among all the other rules…and no they still don’t take Master Card!) I finished up my last big bowl of French Corn Flakes. I can’t believe I ate all those corn flakes. I attribute that minor victory to the fact that the milk was pure heaven. I then wandered over to say goodbye to my neighbors. I first stopped with Sebastian and his wife, who lived in #41 Bungalow next door. They were on their way back to Paris. Sebastian had clearly mastered the Defi and had done quite well. Then over to my dear friends Monica and Gunter, an elderly German couple who had come to Gruissan simply to enjoy their weather and town. I said goodbye to Hassan the gardener, who would greet me heartily every day during his maintenance rounds. Even the rather plump man at the desk offered me a smile and wave.
After my inspection, I made one last check for any odds and ends I might have left behind and jumped into the Thingy. Not really having much of an agenda (as my flight didn’t leave until the next day) and not eager to leave, I made one last trip over to the Defi venue. It was markedly quieter from the previous days. A few windsurfing campers and trailers remained as people were packing up or rigging a sail for that one last ride. Big graders were already at work cleaning and leveling the sand on the beach. And a few contractors were there dismantling the stage and tents.
I really didn’t want to leave. I walked over to a local patisserie and bought a Pain du Chocolate and a “to die for” chocolate ganache to eat later that day. I then sat down on the rocks over looking the beach, and thought about the races and my little adventure. Geert had asked me before he left to go back to Belgium, “What is next on your Bucket list?” I stopped, I hadn’t really thought about that. I mean what does one do after the Defi?? I had been driven and consumed by it for so long, that I hadn’t really thought about what I would do AFTER it. I suppose there is always the moon… but the astronaut program has much stricter requirements for admission than the Defi and I wasn’t likely to pass those anytime soon.
I finished my Pain du Chocolate, and reluctantly got up from my perch on the rocks. I stood staring at the sea. What an amazing ride it had been. What a fantastic adventure. Even though I had come by myself, I was never alone. My friends and family far away cheered me on, and my new friends here were just as encouraging. It had been everything I had hoped for and even more. I thought to myself, I’m lucky. So many things can get in the way of pursuing a passion. But I had done it, and so … here I was. And after it is all said and done, I can definitely say “been there”, “done that”, and “Got the T-Shirt!”
Here’s the 2nd official video from Defi 2013