The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow

Journey Into the Heart of Darkness
June 19, 2008, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Do You Feel Panamá?


Hola amigos, que tal?  Pretty dramatic email title, no?  I sure thought so. 

I made my final voyage to do my social interviews with the field workers for my company, this time I heading out to Darién.  Darién is the only place where the Pan-American Highway has a break in its 29,800 miles from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.  The road passes straight through the middle of the Panamanian jungle then suddenly disappears – where it is either swallowed up by tropical rainforest, snorted up by narcotraffickers, or kidnapped by Colombian paramilitaries.  This place has been called “the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere” by the guy who writes “The World’s Most Dangerous Places.”  He’s kind of an authority on this kind of thing as he got kidnapped there by Colombian paramilitaries.

 Luckily for me, I was nowhere near this part of Darién.  But, it did make for quite an interesting trip.  At 5AM we woke up, hiked through shin-high mud and arrived at the plantations.  On a related side note, I recently have developed a strange obsession: seeing a monkey.  I’ve done two jungle hikes recently to achieve this goal and all I saw was a crappy sloth (although it was a previously undiscovered four toed sloth which was heretofore discovered by me – I thus named this marvelous new species “The Terrifying, Mouthwatering, Spine-Tingling, Tree Bunny”…I was going to name the species “Jeff Wheeland” but I will save that name for when I am the first human to discover aliens on Earth – then my dream will finally be realized, and the phrase “Bow down before the all powerful Jeff Wheeland” will be commonplace).

 Uh…where was I?  Oh yeah, monkeys.  So all I’ve seen so far are a crappy sloth, a stupid toucan, and a bunch of idiot turtles, but no monkeys.  Alas, my luck was about to change, as up in the trees on the plantation, sitting just above my head were four howler monkeys!  I yelled to them “Where the hell you been, ya stupid monkeys!  Where you been hiding?”  To this they replied by flinging a fistful of feces in my face, then fleeing.  Fuckers.

 Darién is pretty amazing.  Some of the workers caught a six foot long Boa constrictor on the plantation the day before, and were showing it off to me.  As soon as I saw it, I shrieked “Ohmygaaaw Snaaaaake!!!!!” and roundhouse kicked it back to where it came from.  Actually, I just stood there, took a picture, smiled, and kindly said “please take it away before it kills us all.”  I realize now I blew the perfect opportunity to emulate my childhood hero, Ice Cube, and should have said “Ders snakes out der dis big!?”  Damn it.  Sorry, Mr. Cube.  I let you down.  I let myself down.  Sigh.

 Anywho, today is my final day of work, or should I say “work.”  Tomorrow three of my friends, Colin, Wack Bammer, and Wrinkle (that sounds like a bad 80’s boy band, no?) are coming and we are watching the Cal game at a casino.  Luckily for us, across the street there is a cigar shop that’s full of Colombian prostitutes.  Halftime should be interesting… 

Alas, friends, I have done all I can here.  I have finally seen a monkey, I saw a bar named “Beer Town”, and heard the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song in Spanish (Llegue a la casa a las siete o ocho, y dije a la taxista, senor, huele mal!  I pulled up to the house about seven or eight and said to the taxi, yo holmes, smell ya later!).   

The circle is complete.  I can return home.  

I just have a quick vacation to Colombia to deal with first.  Please begin to pool together some money for the kidnappers…


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