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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
"Yippie yai yay, brother, yippie yai yay."