The Serpent and the RainBow-The Jaguar - 2
The first days were among the worst, for we had to traverse the vast swamps east of Rio Atrato, and with the river in flood this meant walking for kilometers at a time in water to our chests . Once across the Atrato, however, conditions improved, and without much difficulty we moved from one Choco or Kuna Indian village to the next, soliciting new guides and obtaining provisions as we went along. Our serious problems began when we reached the small town of Yavisa, a miserable hovel that masqueraded as the capital of Darien Province, but is in fact nothing more than a catch basin for all the misfits exiled from each of the flanking nations.
In those days the Guardia Civil of Pan ama had explict instructions to harass foreigners, and we were the only gringos the Yavisa post was likely to see for some time. We came expected. Already at a border post two days west of the frontier an unctuous guard had stolen our only compass; now at the head quarters we were accused of smuggling marijuana, an accusation which, however absurd, gave them the excuse to confiscate our gear.
We had been walking for two weeks and had hoped to rest in Yavisa for a few days, but our plan changed with a warning we received that afternoon. After leaving the guardhouse I paddled upriver to an Australian mission post we had heard of, hoping to borrow a compass and perhaps some charts, for the next section of forest was uninhabited. One of the missionaries met me at the dock and acted as if he knew me well. The, soberly, he explained that according to some of the Kuna at the mission, agents of the commandant in tended to intercept our party in the forest and kill us for our money.
The missionary, who had lived in the region for some years, took the rumor seriously and urged us to leave as soon as possible. I returned immediately to the jail, discreetly retrieved a few critical items, and then, abondoning the rest of our gear, told the commandant that we had decided to spend a few days at the mission before continuing upriver. Instead, equipped with two rifles borrowed from the mission, and accompanied by three Kuna guides, we left Yavisa the next day before dawn, downriver.
Our problems began immediately. On the chance that we were being followed, the Kuna led us first up a stone creek bed and then, entering the forest, they deliberately described the most circuitous route possible. Sebastian stumbled, badly twisting an ankle. That first night out we discovered what it meant to sleep on the forest floor at the height of the rainy season. In a vain attempt to keep warm, the three Kuna and I huddled together, taking turns in the middle, Nobody slept. By the end of the second day I had begun to suspect that our riverine Kuna were less familiar with the forest hinterland, and after three days I realized that they were completely disoriented.
- Sebastian's injury had not improved, and though he walked courageously he nevertheless slowed our progress. The heat and incessant life seemed to close in, exquisitely beautiful creatures became a plague, and even the shadows of the vegetation, the infinite forms, shapes and textures, became threatening. In the damp evenings, sitting awake for long hours while the torrential rains turned the earth to mud, I began to feel like a crystal of sugar on the tongue of a beast, impatiently awaiting dissolution.
- The worst moment came on the morning of the seventh day. An hour from our previous night's camp, we stumbled upon the first person we had seen since leaving Yavisa, a solitary and slightly mad woodsman who had carved a clearing from the forest and began to plant a garden. When we asked the direction of Santa Fe, he looked surprised and, unable to supress his laughter, he pointed to a barley discernable trail. At a fast pace, he told us, there was a chance that we would arrive in another two weeks. His news was so devastating that it was simply impossible to acknowledge.
- We had no food left, were physically and mentally exhausted, and had only enough ammunition left to hunt for two or three days. Yet we had no choice but to continue, and without a word passing between us we began to walk, myself in front with one of the rifles, then Sebastian, followed by the three Kuna.
Articles - Most Read
- LIVER DIS-EASE AND GALL BLADDER DIS-EASE
- African Wholistics - Medicines, Machines and Ignorance
- African Holistics - Seduced by Ignorance and Research
- African Wholistics -The Overlooked Revolution
- PART ONE: DIS-EASE TREATMENT AND HEALTH-3
- PART ONE: DIS-EASE TREATMENT AND HEALTH-2
- 'Tortured' and shackled pupils freed from Nigerian Islamic school
- The Children of the Sun-3
- Kidney Stones-African Holistic Health
- PART ONE: DIS-EASE TREATMENT AND HEALTH-5
- PART ONE: DIS-EASE TREATMENT AND HEALTH-4
- The Serpent and the RainBow-The Jaguar - 2
- African Wholistics - Medicine
- King Leopold's Ghost - Introduction
- PART ONE: DIS-EASE TREATMENT AND HEALTH-6
- The Mystery System
- The Black Pharaohs Nubian Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
- Great Kings and Queens of Africa
- The Children of the Sun - 4
- Enslavement to Emancipation
- Africa - A Brief History - 2
- Medicines Machines and Ignorance-2
Who's On Line?
We have 75 guests and no members online
Articles - Latest
- Tuberculosis deaths rise for first time in over a decade due to impact of Covid pandemic, says WHO
- Woman denied liver transplant because she refuses Covid vaccine
- Everything you need to know about urinary tract infections in old age
- New treatment destroys head and neck cancer tumours in trial
- Vitamin D deficiency: The surprising supplement that could stave off the condition
- Tolerance of cannabis is growing just as scientists show that it can cause insanity
- What is a panic attack? How to spot the signs and be able to tackle it
- E.coli contamination alert over tap water in thousands of homes
- What is PTSD? Symptoms, causes and how you can get help for it
- The Serpent And The Rainbow- The Frontier of Death - 3
- ‘This illness alone is a pandemic’: Sickle cell patients hit by distressing delay in treatment during Covid-19
- SIX out of every 1 million develop heart inflammation after a 2nd dose
- Doctors in Lithuania remove nails and screws from man's stomach
- New Covid-19 pill in Germany exceeds all expectations
- How MDMA and magic mushrooms could be used to treat mental illness
- Reduce paracetamol use, experts tell pregnant women
- A doctor is raising awareness for ovarian cancer symptoms after hers were mistaken for a UTI
- Normal blood testing to resume after NHS supplies bolstered by US stocks
- What's the rarest blood type?
- Oxygen therapy may slow Alzheimer’s, study finds
- The Traders are Kidnapping Our People-4-King Leopold's Ghost
- What are the signs of dyspraxia and do you have it?