David has been a guide for twenty years and lives deep in the jungle with his wife and youngest daughter. His land sits on an unexcavated Mayan ruin and was passed down to him from his great grandfather to his is grandfather who was a Mayan Shaman down the line to David who is a grandfather himself. He looks like the original medicine man. We hired him (truly, how could we not) for our paddle trip down the Mopan River. The plan was – he would drive us to his home about an hour away from our hotel in San Ignacio where we would launch the canoe and double kayak into the river, then Jim, Sheila, Max and I would proceed to paddle downstream back to San Ignacio on our own and meet him there. What we didn’t know was that it would be quite the adventure that it was.
At 8:30 we climbed into his SUV, slammed the door shut and a small part fell off. I don’t know what the part was but he picked it up, muttered that he would have to fix that, and we were on our way. En route he pointed out the estate of “the toilet paper king”. Clearly a flourishing business! When we finally arrived, we avoided the head sized poison ivy leaves that he pointed out, dragged the canoe down to the river (the kayak was already there), paddled across, then walked up the almost vertical steps to his place.
Shaded by giant palms, his thatched outdoor kitchen had a row of Mayan tools and artifacts on a sideboard beside a large eating table. A large clump of fresh apple bananas hung from a string and he passed us some to eat. They were sweet and delicious. A bench overlooked the Mayan mountains. They built everything themselves. It was a small secluded paradise.
We walked back down to the river with David. He wished us a good day, waded across the river and disappeared. Our first order of business was to deal with the spider in our Kayak that crossed paths with Max’s baby toe. It looked exactly like the brown recluse. (We have since looked it up and can’t for the life of us decide. It may be too big). In any case – THERE WERE TWO. Jim’s fear of spider’s isn’t a phobia, but close, so trying to kill what we assumed were potentially lethal fast moving arachnids in our kayak was nail-biting to say the least. But he did it.
Oops, time to go, more later.