Especially after a nice Cuba Libre for breakfast....
I asked the lady running the hotel breakfast room if it would be nuts to have rum for breakfast and she laughed and cheered me (with her own bit she was nippin on)! My kind of peeps. Life is too short to not have a damn drink when you exit the hell of the Belizian jungle. The pina colada I had the night we got out tore my stomach up. I was so used to just beans and rice and water. Good to know you can't just go back!
Anyhow - we roll out different people. At least I was. You begin to realize what you should (and shouldn't) leave home for. I used to be the gal who would tear out for a job with barely a minutes notice, but things are on the change...I missed Minka something terrible - but then met 2 dogs on the island we had to stop at on the way to Snake Island. They made my day with their funny dreads and their excited way they greeted every boat that roared by.
What a simple life the ranger led. Visitors come. Tell them about the islands. Day done. Holla.
The boat ride over to Snake Island was perfect - I made rum and cokes with fresh ginger and limes. Coconut rum, mind you. We swam with sharks. We saw loads of crazy colorful fish while snorkeling. We had a ball our last day. And, then it was over. Just like that.
Kylie went on to film this new show on Discovery Channel - Naked and Afraid. Her episode premieres July 28 so mega root for her (it's the season finale)! Dave the DP had just wrapped the new Robert Redford sailing movie he shot in Baja (ALL IS LOST - cannot wait til that comes out this summer)! And, we will wait and see what becomes of Mark and his footage of the shoot. Forgot to tell you - in all that freaking jungle...WE FOUND IT. It was an impossible discovery, but we did it.
Thing is - the jungle is a NIGHTMARE.
It's muggy (my hair never looked better); it's claustrophobic (like being buried alive); it's rife with danger (giant blades on almost every tree we'd scurry past); and it's giving up no tasty food like the ocean does (snake, anyone?). All that said, it's still pretty mesmerizing. All that green.
We'd be out shooting and I'd walk :30 seconds away from camp and feel like I was literally lost for good. No way back. No chance of picking someone out through the leaves of the trees. I think we were all ready to bolt by day 2. After hiking 7 miles in carrying these freakishly heavy backpacks and all our own food and gear, I'm stunned there wasn't a revolt. Like - WHERE THE F ARE THE PORTERS! None to be found, just a few guides wielding machetes, a park ranger and us alone with our sweat and thoughts. And beans and rice.
I had visions of campfires with delicious cauldrons of soups being simmered all day. Perhaps some late night moonshine. Not to happen. Once we got out of the truck and realized what was before us, we ditched all alcohol and non-essentials. Beans and rice it was.
Ky is a survival expert but even she wasn't prepped for the sheer and utter fatigue of it all. 5 river crossings, soft rocky ledges, everywhere you looked cloaked by millions of tons of green, ticks so tiny you were awash in 100 of them before you noticed even one of them.
The miz was intense. But, at least we laughed. We filmed. We saw the fabled peccary (wild jungle pigs) and got it on tape. But, still - we couldn't get out of there fast enough. Even the hot sauce couldn't make beans and rice edible for 3 meals a day. The peanut butter had long ran out. My bod craved a pina colada (anything cold really) something fierce. We were beyond dehydrated. And, you just wanted to crawl into your tent the minute sundown was on the horizon. Let the day end. Me and Ky laughed like animals til we fell asleep in shades of heat stroke.
All that said, I'm delighted I did it. But, oh yah - remind me NEVER AGAIN :)))
What do you mean you don't want a cuba libre for breakfast?
What kind of film crew is this!
When my bud, Ky, first reached out, I was in my truck at my fave gas station in Manhattan Beach loading up with things to take across the border to Baja (on the run from the FLO remodel, I'm sure) - a border which I was departing for within moments. So, lets just say, I was already in an adventurous mood.
She wove a great tale: We're going to head down to tropical Belize, hack our way through a mega jungle (river baths, campfires, snake avoids) and attempt to locate a hidden stelae. Which is like the Rosetta Stone for the Mayans. We will film it all - she as co-host to Mark, an archeologist on the hunt for this treasure. Hmmm....sounds ripe enough for the likes of me. I was in. Tiny crew of 4, including the 2 hosts. Perfecto!
So - a month later - there we were - in all that messy green looking for a rock. I mean come on - it's 100,000 acres for the love! Next to impossible.
The Bladen Nature Reserve is a jungle that no tourist can enter - you have to be a legit entity looking for something important - with the skills (and permits) to back it up. Which we were amazingly enough.
But how we got to that green - well, that's another story. We had already been through lost car reservations, missing permits, our sweet guides family house burning down the night before we launched (Easter weekend, mind you), love affairs with Marie Sharp's hot sauce, no hot water or plumbing in hotels, restaurant deficits (and for me personally, about a jillion rum and cokes).
Oh, and don't forget about the Guatemalan bandits wielding machine guns who enter the Bladen to hijack these big rocks. Yay, we had that to look forward to as well...more on that in the next Tooth...
I've read about you. Dreamed about you. Plotted toward you.
And, then I got offered a free ticket to you.
Coming up on the tooth - what really happened in Belize...