From the jungle: I wish I’d read Heart of Darkness because I always assume I know what it’s about. Something about the jungle and journeying to the darkest, most shameful part of yourself.
I felt physically strong-enough today, but mentally weak. Slept in and went to pay for a tour. The sun was away. Ate breakfast outdoors at the table next to residents/staff, and a man who drove me to the store yesterday. The police came and stood around while one policeman went through a man’s backpack, and then must have told him to leave.
Joined tour and we drove, to the M— cascade first. I wasn’t expecting anything so was interested and pleased in it. Took one photo with my camera and about four as requested by a family. I love watching people pose for photographs in front of natural wonders.
I was quite punctual for the bus but nobody else was. We drove. Past roadside stands of yellow and white embroidered clothing, and flat, green soccer fields in between palm fields, and school children hanging off the back of collectivos. People were selling bananas, dried and fresh, which made the mouth dry.
I walked upstream at A— cascade, and took one photograph of a fork past the cascade. At one point the river slid smoothly under itself around a rock, like a tectonic plate subduction zone, and then broke around another rock, which looked dangerous. A girl walked easily over a log bridge over this water holding a plastic bag with a bottle of cola.
At the last swimming spot I sat down and a couple from the tour bus came to swim with their baby. The river was calm and blue, shallow and then deep in one go on the far side. I started to think about when my brother was a baby and how my sister and I decorated for his first birthday party, and felt calm and absorbed for once that day.
Bus back. The twilight soccer games, children sitting in doorways.
Went to the restaurant to use the internet, which didn’t work well. Had beans and rice soup.
Yesterday much hotter. I got a lift to the store in a VW Beetle converted into a flat back. Slept on my bed. Took collectivo to P—, walked and rested and then walked back along the road. Ate a burrito of cabbage and then had a beer and watched a band. The bartender came and talked to me and gave me another beer when I tried to go. Apparently it was his birthday and he wanted to chat, or something about my cabaña. I wasn’t really into anything.
I’ve been thinking about A— who wrote to say thousands of sorries, but he’s in.. jail. My friend writes to Know him for his actions rather than his words. Supposing anything much about what happens means making some kind of narrative. And if he’s lying about anything, I just don’t know why he’d bother.
I’m getting disenchanted with the jungle. It’s like a resort for backpackers, but unfortunately it’s not all-inclusive, there’s disco music until 2am every night, and there’s sand all over my cabaña floor.
It’s raining on the tin roof, which is always a comfort.