Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm on a boat, Part 7: The jungle.

Our driver and guide, Roberto, drove us south along the coast, and then inland along a dry, winding dirt road into the hills.  Our goal: jungle.  After five days sharing a boat with 4,000 humans, a walk in the jungle would serve as antidote, provided we didn't encounter jaguar, cascabel, or giant tarantulas.
Near the end of the drive, we passed a flowering Primavera tree, a blaring harbinger of spring in these parts.  And then we arrived at the jungle.

Roberto excused himself.  He was hungry, on Jalisco time.  We were still on Cabo time, so our 11AM was his high noon.  He pointed us to a jungle trail, and went to a nearby cantina to buy lunch.  I fearlessly led my family into the jungle.

Here are several examples of jungle:

We heard birds calling, but saw no wildlife, and only briefly became lost.

It appeared that we were not this first to have passed this tree.

A kindly gentleman in surprisingly drab traditional garb directed us back to the road, where Roberto was waiting.

We decided to head back toward town.  We would spend a little time in the flea market buying gifts for coworkers, etc., and then drive back to the boat.

On the way, Roberto asked me if  I like drinking.

"What?  Like beer?"

"Beer, tequila..."

I said, "I like beer."

"Would you like a beer?"

"Quiero una cervesa," I said, reflexively.  (Recall, I have been in Mexico before.)

He slammed on the brakes and we came to a dust-cloud stop at a little roadside store that is to the left of the distant profusion of little flags in this picture:

"You can buy beer in there," he said.

"And drink in the car?"

"Sure.  If you're not driving."

Well okay.

In I went, and I selected a bottle of Pacifica and a couple of Snapples from the cooler.  I walked to the counter.

"Hola," said the young woman.

"Hola," I said.  "Do you accept American money?"

"Si," she said.

I put the bottles down, and she rang them up.

"Trienta pesos," she said.

"Three dollars?" I asked.

"Si," she said.

[Aside:  Imagine buying a bottle of beer and two Snapples for three dollars.  On the boat, a single beer costs SIX dollars.  Why I prefer Mexico to boats.]

I gave her a US five, and she gave me back a blue bank note and four two-tone coins that look like Canadian toonies.

I asked her, "Is there an opener?" I mimed using an opener.

She said, "Fuera de la puerta."

"Thank you," I said.  I walked outside the door and spied one of those old-fashioned bracket-openers screwed to doorframe at the front of the store.  There was a problem though.  A wheeled popcorn cart was leaning against it.  Propped against the popcorn cart was a filthy string-mop, string end up. One handed, holding cervesa y Snapples, I tried to shift the cart, which caused the mop to fall against me.  It was sodden, and instantly soaked through my shirt, and I jerked away in alarm, causing the cart to start to topple over.  Everything so good had turned so bad in the blink of an eye.

But less than an instant later, Roberto was there, steadying the cart, snatching away the mop, and gathering up the Snapples, which were about to fall.  He waited patiently while I took eight or nine swipes at the bottle opener before finally achieving success.

As we walked back to the car, he said, "I thought maybe you were having problems, so I came to help."



Neil said...

Eso es muy lejos, mi hombre

Tim said...

You're not the only Canadian who has acted like a klutz in Mexico. A number of years ago, I sat on what looked like a bench on a 2nd floor of some store in Ensenada. The bench toppled, smashed onto a glass countertop by the cashier, and fortunately nothing else was broken. I swear, they set up shops like booby traps, awaiting the clumsy and apologetic tourists.

Seagull Steve said...

I am confused why Predator is apparently hanging out on top of a helicopter, but thats pretty awesome.