ALIENS IN PUERTO RICO

by Sharon Spence Leib

So you know me: always the first landlubber to hop off the ship, soon as it docks. But there I am, your Lazy Highness, hangin’ off the balcony, watching three hundred Holland America passengers trudge into Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Me? I’m headin’ straight to the cool blue pool for a mojito and a nap. 

photo via flickr by FloodkOffThree mojitos later, Jennifer pinches my ankle. Even my best friend can be annoying sometimes.

 “Hey sloth,” she whines, plopping onto the chaise lounge next to me, “Wanna kayak with me tonight?”

“Kayak in the dark?” I mumble. “Why?

 “To see green glowy creatures. At Laguana Grande Bay, off the island’s east coast.”

“Do aliens drink mojitos?” I reply. “Ok, sign us up.”

At sunset, we take a bus with the other passengers, and then scramble into those cheapo orange sit-on-top kayaks. “Follow me,” calls Carlos. He’s one of those too good-looking guides you think about seducing, but not in a kayak, I guess.

Anyway, Carlos thinks we know what we’re doing, so he takes off and next thing we’re inside this claustrophobic tunnel of mangroves, bouncing our kayaks off monstrous tree roots. I’m thinking “If a snake falls off a tree onto my neck, I will kill myself and then Carlos, or vice versa.”

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Nature Nurtures In The Amazon

by Dale V Atkins

I just returned to Manaus from the Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge in the Amazon (actually on the River Negro which is indeed a black river not due to dirt but due to tanens from leaves and organic matter and has NO mosquitoes at all on the water...unlike the "muddy river" which has apparently has PLENTY.) Did I really need those malaria pills?

It is unbelievably wet there....it is not called a rain forest for nothing..You cannot go out for 10 minutes without a rain jacket unless you don't mind consistently walking around looking as if you just lost the jungle wet tee shirt contest. I opted for the rain jacket (which doubled as my icebreaker a week ago when I was marching around in crampons on the Moreno glacier in Argentina but let's stick to one rain jacket adventure at a time.).

Just so you know, before I go any further, I am as happy as I can be. I look just like a hairdresser's nightmare (or dream depending on your point of view) as my roots are huge and my curls are wilder than in the '60s. It is good that HAIR has returned to Broadway because I may go directly from the plane to a casting call. Truth is, as soon as I land, I am going to the grandkids to give and get some great hugs and smooches followed immediately by an appointment with the hairdresser.

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