Are you aware what a “UTV” is?  They are basically off road vehicles designed to take you up and down any terrain.

While on vacation, my friend and I decided to pull from our redneck roots and go on a private UTV tour of the island.  I’m not sure what my expectations were—maybe toodling down a dirt road, sliding tires and enjoying the day.  Pulling from the inner tomboy, always lurking inside of me.

Our guide arrived perky and excited to start the tour.  We climbed into a mini van skinned with advertisement for the tour business.  The seats covered in plastic, like my grandmothers sofa, to avoid dirt, grime and moisture.

We made our way through the residential area of the island.  Winding and turning from dirt road to paved.   It was a mini tour in itself, showing us the native’s neighborhoods.   Finally, pulling in to our destination—the UTV hangout.  This was no typical UTV tour business.  Instead, it was a haven for displaced animals.  The tour business was the income base for the refuge.  Immediately, I made friends with “Tiny”, a 160 pound South African Boerboel, also known as a South African Mastiff.  Tiny very much liked his puppy massage.  His paws nearly the size of my hands.

Soon we were off on our island adventure.  We were given a face mask to protect us from the dust so we could “breathe”.  Hmmm—

We took off bouncing out of the lot, our first road paved, then quickly darting off onto the dirt washboard.   Soon we were climbing up the hills, bouncing over rocks.  Views of the aqua colored ocean water brushing against the lava rock, quickly appeared.  It was amazing!

The dust was flying—rocks were bouncing beneath—along the path we hopped.

The UTV had a roof, however, no sides.  I could feel the sun beating down on my legs.  Would I get sunburned?  Didn’t matter—  the views were worth every ounce of burn, dust or sweat.

Several of the paths took us up deep rocked hills, causing us to slow down a bit to maneuver the rocks.  Bouncing back and forth as we ascended.  We passed numerous large guided groups.  Covered in dirt and grime—face masks hiding their identities.  It was funny to see how filthy they were, yet enjoying themselves.

We ended our adventure back at the animal refuge.  Covered in dust and sweat, smiling with enjoyment for we had seen parts of the island we never would have without a guide.

Sometimes in life, you have to get a little dirty to get to the adventure.  It’s worth every dust particle to enjoy the view!   Who knows—you could even meet a friendly face named “Tiny”!