El cascabel

If you don't know what a cascabel is, you will soon discover it. Today, the 10th of March, we decided to go early exploring a new trail on the map. We left at 8h30 and went back through between the post and the gate at the end of Calle Manglar, Caseta 8. Easily this time, becoming pros of squeezing through somewhere to get where we want. We started on the BSTrail, elevation gain about 155 m. I don't know who gave the name of these trails, maybe it referes to the numerous somewhat fresh cow patties where I put my left foot in. Beurk! At least it is grass. BS for Bull Shit? I remember my sister-in-law, Carol, who once wrote "FYI" above the door of the family camp in the woods that was too often broken in. I was sure she meant "Fuck You Idiots" but it was "For Your Information". We had a good laugh. That BS Trail is as steep at the other ones and slippery because of lose ground, lose stones and lose round nuts. We just hoped not going down the same way. After about 1.6 km we had a choice between 2 trails, the Easy Trail and the Mountain Trail. We chose the Easy Trail which was not at all easy after the first 20 meters. It went up again and soon became very narrow and very slippery with lose fine dust until we ended up at a tight barb wire fence we had to squeeze through and under this time. Not easy. At this time we were quite dusty ourselves, like some kind of camouflage. In one point the narrow path became wider. It is an old road going to the meadows and the pineapple fields. We saw 3 men with machetes walking in front of us. We more or less followed them not looking too much around for the red ribbons marking the trail. Soon enough we were stopped at a barb wire fence we opened and closed behind us, then an other one we could not open. Then the men told us to come their way and showed us the way to El Montéon and the way for the playa. We chose the playa and after walking in a narrowing trail going away from the ocean we could not see nor hear, we had to accept that we were lost. We went back, looked around and tried a few mini paths. Chris even climbed a fence and looked around until a young excited bull ran toward him. He had to climb the fence back fast... We did not see other choices than coming back the same way. Almost half way on the not Easy Trail, I saw at the corner of my left eye, a big yellow rattle snake, far less than 2 meters from my bare legs in my short shorts and my little shoes. This is the cascabel, the Mexican name for rattle snake. I pushed Chris back down saying "snake, snake!"
Then we could hear the rattle, exactly the same sound than the dry palm leaves on the ground when you walk on them. It makes me think did we met rattle snakes before but did not see them but were lucky? I hope not. Chris threw rocks at it but it did not want to leave. We stayed there for a while listening to the rattle. I felt lucky that I got rid off my snake phobia with my energy work. I had a big rush of adrenaline, I was scared because we would die if bitten, being too far away from civilisation (I imagined Chris having to tell my mum and my son in France that I had died in Mexico of a snake bite...) but I was not completely frightened nor paralyzed by fear, my brave man neither. After what seemed to be a long time, we heard nothing anymore and carefully went up toward where the snake was. We stomped our feet all the way back up and down the mountains for a good 3 kms. Gerardo laughed again seeing me dusty all around after a 4 hour walk but stopped when we told him our adventure, hoping it is not where we had planned to bring them Monday. Last Wednesday he had a viper in his house and needed a friend to come and kill it. This end of the village is in the wilderness, close to the jungle. We felt lucky to have encountered a rattle snake and not a viper we would not have seen nor heard, not a boa that probably would have fallen on us from a tree above, not a hungry crocodile and no place to run in zigzag and not a grizzly. For sure, we won't take that trail again and we won't recommend it to anyone either.


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