Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What if you thought you were going to die? Part II

In my last post I recounted my impending doom. I left my wife, family and the USA thinking that I would NEVER return!  If you want the detail look back at the 9 Nov. post.

I left off having arrived at the way-point on my way to the MORE remote jungle.  Here I learned the bad news.  Of the 4 boats available, none were running well enough to take us the 1.5 hours down river to our ultimate destination.  The leader made the executive decision to take the "new road" to our outpost in La Curena.

The next morning, after a few errands, we headed out.  The first hour or two were pretty uneventful.  Beautiful rural landscapes, lush with vegetation and flowers lined the road.  Finally, we came to a fork in the road, and Unlike Robert Frost, we took the road more traveled... and we wound up in 6-inch deep mud in the middle of a HUGE pineapple plantation.  Fortunately we discovered our error after only a couple of miles, so we were able to make it out with much spinning of 4-wheel-dirve tires.

We wandered about for 30-40 minutes before figuring out how to get back on our way.  Once on our way, I had regrets.  Shortly on our way we encountered a culvert across a creek that was about a foot wider than our vehicle.  Unfortunately, just on the other side of the culvert was a huge steep red-mud hill that our 4-wd could not surmount.  I almost croaked when we backed up almost to the creek to take another run.  On our fourth attempt, we made it up that hill and then several more until we came to the mud hole of doom.

Just as we started down the hill towards the mud hole of doom, a huge farm tractor pulling a trailer appeared on the far side of the mud hole.  Our trusty 4-wd had met its match, and we bogged down totally in that knee-deep mud.  The tractor pulled up to us, the driver got out, found his chain and hooked to the front of our truck. Without saying a single word, he pulled us over to the other side, unhooked us, then pulled over so we could pass. Wow, that's hospitality!

We asked the tractor whether the road improved, and he assured us that it did.  It took a bit more deep mud, but we made it to pavement without further difficulties.  From here, there was just one more challenge...

We arrived as close to our destination as we could get in the trusty 4-wd.  From here we hiked through knee-high grass, walked a foot log and climbed through two barbed-wire fences.

At last we made it alive, and with only 40 or so chigger bites.  But more about that later...

See the last of this story at Part III.

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