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rio platano

the platano is more jungly than the rio patuca, it runs through the heart of the fifteen year old united nations world heritage biosphere site here.

hence, it's ecotour central; particularly las marias.

i wanted to know the river, so july 16 i travelled up from raista to las marias by boat
the only other way is walking

it was supposed to be a six hour trip
tinglis, the most well reputed hospedaje owner and boat runner between the coast and las marias

his boat was full of hollanders.

carlos worked for me, found captain morgan davies

emphasis on the "captain morgan"

some 8thirty in the morning drunk staggering a bit in the boat eyes lidded thick and jovially vaguely responsive but quickly clearly not fully in charge of his functions

we go to pick up some shovels, paint, paint thinner from carlos
he smells morgan,
apologizes under his breath to me

i laugh, tell morgan for the witnesses

"my life is in your hands"
we all laugh.

hah hah

only me in a bigger boat now than the patuca one -
i had a seat proper and my belongings there with me

he headed for inland artificial channels,
the boat just narrow enough for between two trees

mangroves, jungle overhang,
yeah, now this is romantic

why are we going so close to shore full speed?
he sees that tree, righ
whoa! branch in the face!

disculpa me! disculpa me,
i was lighting a cigarette
disculpa me.


the river widens,
3 stories tall forest jungle crawls out over the water three or four stories of forest on either side
(i measure forest by buildings)
but humanity is here and there; fincas, cows - and erosion.
disculpa me - another near crash averted by my yell. I can't sleep.

hey hombre, usted quiere a dormir?
no no, disculpa me. no va a occurir ademas.
usted quiere a dormir? no tengo una problema si usted quiere a dormir.
no no, disculpa me. vamanos.

the other folks, miskitos, on the river
conduct themselves on the river in shallow flat bottom square ended pipantes? one in front with a pole, poling, one in back w/ an oar, paddling and rudding. the pole averages about 8 feet or so one end often two forked for poling. the other sharp for anchoring through hole in boat prow.

sound of propeller bonking
we're out of motor oil,

he announces, 1.5 hours away from marias,

he has a shitty swiss army knife and a screw driver worn down to more of an awl shape -
neither can open the oil screw on his yamaha 15? horsepower
it threatens to bend my leatherman

beltran's pina so we stop at Beltran's place,
on the waterside
morgan shares some Belmont brand cigarettes,
beltran retrieves one of his fresh pineapples
holy shit was that good
tender two-fisted chunks of fresh pina.

so we go real slow,
real slow
i go to sleep,
i wake up sunburnt
in las marias.

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