We approached the resort in a long, two motored lancha, gliding around the bends of the murky waterway the same color as the tan crocodilio sunning itself on the bank, a trio of simple yellow butterflies playing about its sharp, narrow head, its tail twice as thick with muscle. The captain cut the motors to point out animals hidden in the canopy, we crane our necks and scan the treetops with narrowed eyes. The jungle closes in on either side of the waterway--vines and roots and epiphytes and bromeliads, like the scene from some Indiana Jones movie (Jon and I debate which, but I think we're thinking of different movies...both of which seem to feature an escape via biplane).
We're greeted at the resort by papaya umbrella'd drinks. Borrowed some gum boots and tramped through the jungle behind our guide, a surprisingly quiet group of 20, splashing or picking (depending on one's disposition) through the sucking mud. Saw the tent maker bat who bites the leaves broken so they hang all around in the shape of a teepee while it sleeps inside. Crab, black hawk, howler monkey, walking palm, etc.
Obscured in dark clothes, we formed two ranks at the hind flippers of a massive momma green turtle, over a meter in length. The guide shined an infrared light over its hind quarters. I never saw her face. I was part of the front five who knelt in reverence, close enough that if we were to reach out, we could catch each bright white, ping-pong sized egg as it tumbled into the nest. Close enough to see the slime pulling into strands. Distant lightening brightens the sky in intervals, during which we scan the beach for approaching mommas. We stand, sit, lie in the sand as the turtle covers its nest, swimming a turtle shaped depression into the sand, all mothering instincts distilled into this one need to cover her eggs. Powerful front flippers pummeling us with sand while the back ones pat it closed. She crawls back to the darkened sea along the same ladder rungs from which she came.
The river washes us downstream. Our cabin is right by a pretty energetic stream. It's rush drumming me to sleep. We are the only ones to float within the gorge, butterflies playing among the water sparkles, kingfishers looking up from their reflections as we pass. The occasional indigenous rope bridge overhead.