A poisonous meeting

18. September 2018

After saying goodbye to the lovely city of Flores we continued our trip to the rio dulce to a town with the same name. By boat we reached our hotel, the Tijax jungle lodge, and moved into a room right on the water. This was nice as we had the sound of the jungle and the water at night but also shook our room a bit whenever we were moving.

After cooling down in the pool we went on a jungle tour where we learned a lot from our local guide about all the plants they were harvesting on the lodge’s premises and their use in local medication and rituals. We learned about rubber production and the blood tree, enjoyed a marvelous view over the valley and the river and crossed hanging bridges through the breathtaking jungle forest. We saw colorful birds and butterflies and so many different shades of green that my knowledge of the English language would not be sufficient to name them all.

But almost at the end of our trip the suspense level rose dramatically. We are reading Douglas Preston’s outstanding book “The Lost City of the Monkey God” at the moment which is about the search of Ciudad Blanca in an unexplored area of the Honduran jungle. And the biggest fear of the participants of the expedition is to meet a Fer-de-lance. This snake is considered the ultimate bit viper and seen as one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. It is granted this title not only because of his poison that, if untreated, can kill you or make entire parts of your body die off, but because of her aggressive behavior. When she feels threatened she mostly chooses to attack instead of fleeing. She does so by raising the front part of her body in an S shaped manner to bite you above the knee. She is also able to spit her poison over a distance of around 2 meters.

And exactly this animal, which we expected never to see in our lives, was crossing our way. When she saw us, she stopped and moved up in her S-shaped attacking position. Our guide immediately jumped back, grabbed Daniela’s hand and pushed us further backwards. All of this in a split second. The Fer-de-lance starred at us for a quick moment, then turned her head and disappeared into the bushes.

It was probably the most adrenaline pumping event we had on our entire world trip so far and we had experienced an almost attack of a rhino in Africa. Luckily our meeting was short and well off!

The next day we took it easy and drove with a local minivan, called collective, to a hot waterfall with the matching name Cascadas Calientes. The waterfall is beautifully located in the jungle at a place where two rivers meet. One bringing cold water and the other, from a higher level, hot water. Sitting in the cave behind a curtain of hot water was the ultimate place to lose ourselfs in our thoughts and forget about the last days event.

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