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Jungle Adventures behind the Machete

I was trailing along on a horse they call Salvador some fifty-five miles deep through the Belizean jungle bush country just east of Guatemala. Out there it is a no-mans land, so remote in fact, the Guatemalans say that area as well as all of the country Belize still belongs to them.

I had once again hooked up with my friend Roy Sanchez. Roy was now leading me and two pack horses on a four day trek to the ancient Mayan city of Caracol. A horseback journey I should add that has left me unable to walk in a normal way ever since.

Anyway, on the trail ahead of Roy and I that day were Roy's faithful companions, 'Tough', a Rottweiler, and 'Killer', a Rottweiler-mixed-breed that looks a lot like 'Tough'. Both dogs were running hard out in front of our procession in order to chase away this particular day the 'gootie-royal-rats' that were said to linger there along the trail.

As we made our way through the dense thicket of jungle, Roy suggested that I take the trail lead while he stopped to rework the rigging on one of the pack horses. As I moved my horse Salvador left to maneuver around Roy and into the lead, I was forced a bit off the trail and into the thicket of tall bushes. All of a sudden a large snake about as big around as two fists balled up together dropped right down out of a Bullet tree and landed there on the jungle floor, right in front of Salvador.

It was at this point that I discovered that Salvador in no way likes snakes anymore than this explorer does. As Salvador reared up, I found myself daydreaming about how good this life can be if you just remember to not let it get you down and to not take yourself too serious. Lessons I must admit this cowboy needs to work on full time.

Salvador, completely unaware of my conceptual philosophy on life much less my aptitude for daydreaming for long periods of time, reared up again on his hind legs, I am sure a reaction to that snake. It was a move that in the end placed me some six-feet deeper into the surrounding trail bush.

Of course I did not want to be caught there floundering around with the Santaoha shrubs, the killer bees, the tarantulas, and the chichang white poisonwood trees, that if a drop of the tree's sap splashes on you anywhere, they say your eyes will swell up for a solid month. And of course I was wondering where that two fisted snake had slithered off to, seeming to remember that it was in the same general direction where I just landed myself, thanks to my Salvador.

So as I gathered myself up, I jumped back to my feet, and grabbed the dangling reins to the horse, whereupon I pulled myself back into the saddle and remounted 'old Salvador' for the onward voyage.

That was when my old friend and guide Roy Sanchez, taking it all in while standing over behind the pack horses, glanced over my way and said,
"Yippie yai yay, brother, yippie yai yay."

Tales from on the Surface

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