This is not a quiet place. Although we are in a rural setting, sounds reverberate throughout jungle.
This morning I woke up to what I thought were barking dogs. They were incessant and raucous, and I could not imagine what the uproar was all about. But they were not dogs.
They were monkeys. It is common for the head-honcho monkey to call his cohorts together each morning. They congregate in one area. Lucky me, this morning they got together behind the cabin.
Birds make various vocal noises all day long. There are a lot of them.
It is cicada season, a yearly phenomenon here. The creatures vocalize all day, the trilling a constant background cadence. Thankfully they are quiet once darkness descends.
Road racket pierces the jungle cacophony. Not constantly, but often. Trucks pass, cars drive by, occasionally a honking horn or loud motor blasts.
Plumbing and other household noises abound. The sinks and shower squeak, the toilet moans, the humidifier whirrs, the fan hums. Jungle debris falls on the tin roof with a thud and rain pings loudly on the roof.
On the other hand our cabin lacks TV or radio. We do not miss them.
The forest beckons, and today we peeked inside via a kayaking tour of the mangrove forests. We met in the town of Domenical and our guide Rachel asked if we wanted to follow her and drive to the launch site. We declined.
Smart move. Following a ten minute drive to the park, we drove another twenty minutes on a narrow, rutted dirt road to our destination. At one point we went over a rickety wood bridge maybe an inch wider than the car.
The first part of the trip we barely paddled, cruising with the current on serene waters. Rachel pointed out birds, lizards and other critters hidden in the dense vegetation. After a while we could no longer be lazy, the waterways requiring paddling as we glided along narrow estuaries.
A group of at least two dozen monkeys leaped from tree to tree above us, eventually crossing the water and continuing their journey to a hidden destination.
When the main road in this area was paved years ago, overhead lines covered with vegetation were created so the monkeys could travel around the forest unhindered. Tunnels constructed under the road serve a similar purpose for earth-bound creatures.
Returning to our starting point, a table full of fresh fruit awaited us - pineapples, bananas, papayas, mangoes, oranges. All fresh, sliced, and ready to eat. I am eating well and healthy without any effort or feelings of deprivation or denial.
Another day steeped in wonderful, tasty food, local lore, flora and fauna.
I am losing track of the days, and the time of day.