Of all the assaults on my senses here in the jungle, none has made more of an impression than the birds. The birds are extraordinary and exquisite, and none is more exquisite than the Guacamaya parrot. These sexy show-offs mate for life apparently, (a feat in itself) and I often see Mr. and Mrs. Guac, who have made their home close to mine, going for an evening fly. They make a piercing sound to herald the occasion and flash their vivid green and blue plumage.
I find them strangely comforting. I love the fact that I am seeing the same happy couple celebrating their lives together, evening after evening. I love that they don’t mind me being there. I love their commitment to each other, but they mock my loneliness.
Then there is the cackle of the Chachalaca somewhat reminiscent of the laugh of the Kookooburra.
After the beautiful birdlife, I love the sounds of my beachside jungle paradise. Lapping waves have always lulled me into a happy place and whatever the incessant insect whistling is, it reminds me of the cicadas of my homeland. There are also many unknown screeches and unidentified animal sounds in the middle of the night, which fill me with a certain amount of anxiety, especially if I am on my own.
I have endured the annual assault of the Cangrejo crabs, now and forever known as “crabitos”. It happens in June and only lasts about a week (thank god) and involves some form of crazed mating or reproductive ritual. The invasion of the multitudes is like something out of a Hitchcock movie (think The Birds) and I have made a “note to self”, never to be here again while it is happening. (Happens in California too I’m told). I loathe killing animals but it is necessary to kill or be killed – they attack by hoard. The little fuckers are only about 3” big but if encountered they turn and raise their pincers and try to look as bug-eyed and menacing as possible. “Seriously shit-head,” I think to myself, “I’m bigger than you”, then a 1000 of their mates show up…….
The humidity is relentless. It is mitigated by morning and evening swims in a sea that is so clean and buoyant it reminds me of the Mediterranean. I go early and late in the day in order to have the beach to myself as little Playa Los Colomitos has been “discovered” thanks to some unwelcome press – something about “best kept secret” which of course immediately spills the beans. Swims are followed by a rinse with cool spring water – when it is available! The “rainy season” is a big disappointment for someone who loves tropical storms. All thunder and no rain; all hat, no cowboy, all British, no finish – coitus interruptus on a grand scale. Screw that!
Hmmm, what else can I tell you? I am enjoying the fact that, despite adversity, I am fundamentally happy and content. I am buoyed by life’s little moments and simple pleasures. When I feel sad or lonely it is somehow exquisite.