So many names for the same undiscovered place.
Ok! A quick recap.
- Lost all of my travel photos in the mail
- Right before the adventure of a lifetime, I lost my camera and remaining film.
At that point all I could tell myself was that my mind would have to act as a movie camera, and record all of the events so that I could play them back at a later date. Oh boy, was I lying to myself! But it was the only way I wouldn’t get depressed and jump off the now moving dugout?
Nonetheless, we were finally off. We had hired three short but muscular Miskito Indians from Mocoron who were now, slowly poling up river while Nevada, Rainy and I sat uncomfortably perched on the large sacks of food. Whenever we hit a cascade, which was often, we all had to get out and drag the canoe either up the rocky falls, or push and pull it around on the muddy banks. No small feat for this 25-foot water sodden tree truck of a canoe. At first, Rainy and I tried to help, but it quickly became apparent that we were doing more harm than good, so we backed off and just watched them struggle.
We did this for about a week. Each night we would pull over to the muddy bank, find a dry spot and the guys, using their machetes, would build us a lean-to with branches and leaves. Then one of the guys would ask for a few bullets and off into the jungle they would go. Bang! It usually only took one shot, and they came back with a bird or some other tropical animal. They would then clean and smoke it over the fire for our evening feast.
We all sat around that fire at night talking mostly in our common language—Spanish. Because it was both our second language, we were speaking like 5-year old’s, but that didn’t stop us. We had learned a little of their language, and many of their words were in fact English.
I would usually start with something like, “Como se dice ‘flashlight’ in Miskito?” (How do you say….)
They would all gleefully shout back, “Flashlight!”
“Como se dice ‘shoes’ in Miskito?”
They never seemed to get bored of the game before we did. We continued on this way, like I said, for about a week, until we pulled over to the bank and hauled the boat out. They then picked up all of our belongings, hoisted them onto their shoulders and set out across the jungle. Once again, they wouldn’t let us carry anything as we just slowed the pace way down.
By about 3 mountains, and 6 rain-soaked days later we started to realize that our guides decidedly had no idea where the White City was. Rainy and I talked it over in the dead of night listening to the jungle wildlife make loud tropical sounds. We both said that if we wanted to salvage this wilderness trek, we needed a new PLAN! We were in a fabulous spot with a roaring river next to a large waterfall that was so loud it made it difficult to hear, but it was oh, so spectacular! I mean we spent all this time and energy and money to get here. Why not just relax and enjoy it?
The next morning, we told our 3 friends to go back to the last campsite we had made. Each day they were to come back at dawn, get more bullets and food, and see if we were ready to go. And so it was that we spent another very happy week taking short walks, reading and lounging in the makeshift lounges that we had fashioned with local material. We found out that we really had a penchant for relaxing in places that would make other people cry. Hey, that “Boring Adventurer” thing was really starting to pay off!
All too soon, as the food began to run out, it was time to go back. The only high note was that while it had taken the guys days and days to pole up river it only took us two days to return. That was because so much rain had fallen since we started, that the river had now risen to a fast-moving torrent. We literally surfed our way back to Mocoron.