On the following day, I really understood why I needed a guide. First question in the morning:
– Do you have boots?
– Boots?? No. Only my walking shoes.
– Can they get wet?
They were the only ones I had. But I didn’t want to miss anything on account of wet feet.
After a few plunges into the river next to the hotel, we went to the other riverbank and, in company of Chester the dog, started a trip into the jungle. My guide was holding a machete.
– Just in case.
– In case of what?
– In case there would be snakes.
*Gasp*. On the previous day, we had crossed his uncle, who had been killing more than 15 of them.
– Oh no. Don’t worry. He was in a less transited area. There are not that many over here.
What did he mean, a less transited area? There was no one but the two of us, here. But, hey. You don’t go on a South American trip if you’re not in for a little adventure, do you? Despite everything, he seemed to be someone with a sense of responsability. So I decided to trust him.
For the next two hours, I climbed roots, sank in mud and splashed in water – sometimes the only path to go through was the river itself. And with the machete, I got some kind of an “Indiana Jones” feeling. With, as treasures, beautiful waterfalls. They were worth the effort. Especially since there was no one but me to jump into them. Once again, I felt as if I was in paradise.
Once back in San Cipriano, there was still time for a little bit of fun. We rented big rubber rings and walked about 2 km upstream, to get to the place where two rivers meet to form just one. There, we put the rings into the water. Us into the rings. My backpack with my camera in a plastic bag. And the plastic bag on my lap. Risky business. But it made it to our destination entirely dry. The journey on the river took about 2 hours and was more fun than anything artificial of the kind I had done in amusement parks. Chester was part of that trip too. Sometimes swimming. Sometimes preferring the riverbank. And sometimes on his master’s lap.
“I’m the best guide in San Cipriano” was the claim of my 20 years old companion. And I tend to believe he was right. I had two beautiful and entertaining days thanks to him, which I wouldn’t forget soon.