We set sail for Dolphin Bay Preserve one rainy and stormy day. Choppy waters abound as we bounce from wave to wave upon Ponti’s boat taxi. Tyler and I have been looking forward to this adventure the whole trip and it is our last day here on the islands. Heather is excited to share this land with us as it is wildly untouched with ancient trees, luminous poison dart frogs, monkeys and beautiful nature spirits all around.
Ponti drops us off at a small boat landing. Tyler and I are curious about where to step off, as the roots of the trees stretch out to meet us. Heather calls out for us to jump off the boat. We hop off.
Tyler and I follow Heather, Warrio and Belo down the path where we will meet one of the caretakers of the land. Heather and Warrio are happily welcomed here as they bring out supplies and pay the caretakers twice a month as arranged by the landowner. We are invited to wander around the land as Heather takes care of business.
The rain starts up. We hear howling through the trees. It sounds a lot like Jurrassic Park with eerie sounds echoing throughout the dense jungle. I see Tyler walk off in the distance. I stay close by Warrio, as I have been told that there is a particularly poisonous snake in these parts of the land. Fortunate for us, snakes seem to respect and honor Warrio. Many tales shared over the time of our visit revealed to us his natural ability to relate with these extraordinary beings and how he sees and feels their presence moments before they appear as with other creatures of the jungle. Both Heather and I share a special kind of magic with snakes, too, mostly celebrated in the dreamtime. I keep an eye out for Tyler making sure he is close by and doesn’t get lured too far into the distant jungle.
Warrio, Heather, Tyler, Belo and I now merge onto one path together. We pass the ancient ones; trees of extraordinary beauty and grace greet us, much like the trees portrayed in the movie Avatar. Roots stretching and winding in a curvature nature, branches spiraling freely towards the sky, their majestic presence is felt. I take a moment to stand in front of one of the trees to capture some photos, while Tyler and Heather sink into the trees roots, examining its unique ecosystem.
We continue walking further into the jungle. The howling once heard in the distance, now feels and sounds closer. Warrio calls out to us. He points up far into the tops of the trees. We see movement. We catch a glimpse of the monkeys playing around up above. Heather and Warrio make monkey sounds. The monkeys climb slightly lower on the branches to greet us.
While enjoying the monkeys, Tyler notices something moving out of the corner of his eye, off to the right. I glance over to see what it is, too. We see something moving from the earth below a few feet away, but can’t make out what it is. We walk closer to get a better look at it. It slithers, showing only part of it’s body as it pops out of the ground, then burrows down. At first glance it appears to me to be a snake because of it’s shiny and luminous nature. We have a closer look.
Oh my! An armadillo pops out of the ground! Tyler calls over to Heather to share and confirm what it is. She’s blown away. Never has she seen an armadillo on the land. Just as we are visiting with this one armadillo, more appear in the distance. Now, there are about 5 or 6 armadillos. Heather hands Belo to me as she locates her camera. She then approaches one of the many armadillos and meets it eye to eye where she gets an up close photo. We are all delighted by the blessing and discovery of these wonderful creatures.
With the rain picking up again and starting to feel slightly cold, we continue on up the trail, meeting more ancient trees, while admiring the natural beauty of the land. We now come across a tree, one with many luminous green and black poison dart frogs of all sizes dancing upon the trees surface. Out jumps various fluorescent green and black frogs once hidden in the cracks of the bark, now leaping gracefully into the foreground. Tyler and I take a few moments to enjoy the dance and capture some nice photos of them.
Heather and Belo head over to the picnic bench ahead. Warrio is off gathering fruit in the distance. We refuel by enjoying some snacks together before making our way towards the boat. With food in our bellies, we walk on up the path to meet Ponti at the landing spot.
Ponti greets us with a smile. We ride back into the stormy choppy sea, bouncing from wave to wave. I burrow my body into Tyler’s lap, taking a break from the chilly air, while softening the blow of the boat smacking upon the waves sending sharp jabs up my spine. I make my body soft to roll with the waves as best I can.
Our island appears closer in the distance. I feel a sense of comfort and joy, as we make our way towards, Rancho Bull, our landing dock. The dock reaches out to us as we jump out of the boat between waves. I grab for the big branch of bananas that Warrio picked from the trees. I envision a hot shower, warm, dry clothes with a hot drink in hand. Life is good.