Gayne in the Yucatan Jungle

My Yucatan hunt started at the beautiful Hotel Castlemar. The hotel’s beautiful courtyard and colonial styled rooms WERE NOT a hint of things to come.
I ate three meals at this restaurant across the street from my hotel and they all involved chips, pico de gallo, and about eight cold beers. “Cerveza for breakfast senor?” “Si senor. Si”
Feral dogs seemed to be a problem in Campeche and by problem I mean I saw packs of them hunting and taking down pigeons, song birds, and yes – children. Ok, I never saw them take down a kid but I did see them catch and eat pigeons.
An hour into the jungle, the Jeep I was riding in caught fire when the battery exploded. After the fire was put out the driver and several guides stood around and stared at the engine. They did this for about the time it took me to drink two beers. Maybe three. Normally this wasting of time would bother me. But then again, I had beer.
It took us almost four hours of actual driving time to get to camp because of downed trees, swollen rivers, slick roads, and bathroom breaks. What? I had all that beer on the way.
My guide Mencho had no top teeth, spoke absolutely no English, and generally stared at me as though he was going to kill me at any moment. The latter could be due to the fact that I speak very little Spanish and had to “act out” all my questions and comments. Yeah. Mencho doesn’t like charades.
My home away from home came complete with a full size bed, clean sheets, and bugs, bugs, bugs.
As long as you remember that everything in the jungle wants to kill you, eat you, or poison you hunting in it is just a warm and fuzzy experience.
Hunting in the Yucatan Jungle rule #1 – spider monkeys like to throw feces at hunters.
Hunting in the Yucatan Jungle rule #2 – black howler monkeys like to throw feces at hunters. And because they are twice the size of spider monkeys their poop is a whole lot bigger.
Hunting in the Yucatan Jungle rule #3 – the sting of these little joys hurts real bad.
Hunting in the Yucatan Jungle rule #4 – having one of these thorns pierce your skin really, really hurts.
What does Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai have to do with hunting in the Yucatan Jungle? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Ocellated turkeys are considered to be the ultimate prize in jungle fowl hunting. They seem to know this too as they whip through the jungle faster than poop shoots through a spider monkey.
My guide Mencho and driver Dany hanging a bait goat. This was done in hope of attracting a cougar. It did not.
I sat down on this a little too fast, crashed through the rotted boards, and went straight to the bottom. After I climbed out I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking beer in the river. I mean seriously, what else is there to do when you fall in a jungle latrine?
Although science dictates that coatimundis are in the same family as raccoons I think we can all agree that they’re really just big jungle rats.
Big jungle rats that make a nice trophy.
Or a handbag for Mencho.
While I never got my cougar I did complete the trifecta of jungle fowl – ocellated turkey, curassow, crested guan
Yes, the jungle took a toll on Gayne.