A crocodile thrashes beneath me. The squawking and dripping of the rainforest where Mel Gibson filmed Apocalypto and Sean Connery filmed Medicine Man surround three sides of my cozy wood cabin that overhangs a lily-choked shore and overlooks a mist-shrouded isle broadcasting monkey chatter across the glassy lake. It’s Christmas in the jungle. The lush fertility extends to a curvaceous young form peacefully dozing under the blanket beside me and deeply inhaling from the cool oxygenated air. I recall a perfect day.
We arrived at Nanciyaga ecological reserve with small backpacks and big expectations on a lazy noontime boat from Catemaco. Earth, wind, water, and fire were our only plans. Volcanic ash mud was massaged onto every inch of our skin by a friendly staff member then dried into grey body masks by a warm afternoon breeze. We looked and felt like tribal warriors. Down a stone path draped with vines and shimmering with butterflies, a palm frond roof and bamboo pole walls enclosed a mineral-spring-fed turquoise pool, where we swam off all clay, all tension, and all inhibition.
Darkness fell and dinner called. A blazing hearth near the table warmed our chilly bones and baked our juicy pizza, under a starry sky amidst a cricket symphony. We retired to our porch hammock. I shared a fine cigar (gifted to me by local plantation owner Douglas Redmond) with the fine lady, who then shared even finer things with me. What a delicious memory. Were I not so hot blooded, I’d feel an affinity with the croc devouring and savoring flesh beneath the floorboards. Sleep comes easy.
Take a stroll at daybreak. Along the creaky dock littered with kayaks, across the bouncy bridge spanning a jade-hued stream, past an orange and lime tinted iguana with spiny dinosaur crests, then around the steam bath dome spewing vapor from a door shaped like the fanged jaws of the Mesoamerican feathered serpent deity. I sit down to reflect. Olmec and Maya rock sculptures dot the cloud forest encircling me and seem to await the results of my spiritual query.
How did this citified gringo rediscover his authentic primal self? How did he stumble upon an abundant life of sensual satisfaction and meaningful contribution so many seek but so few ever find? How can he share said epiphany with as many as possible? In the Mexican Garden of Eden, to the fallen American you’re readin’, the answer came.
My next book: Primeval Woods & Primordial Stones will chronicle a sacred badass road trip through the mystic Maya forests of Mesoamerica, straddling a fine well-built motorcycle and a fine well-built Latina. This will be both a travel book and a life guide, so read well … then journey well. Stay tuned for further updates about this forthcoming masterwork.