The rainy season had started in Ecuador, just as they said it would.

We emerged from our tents to a sopping wet beach.

I was glad I didn’t sleep in the hammock.

After drinking our breakfast of ‘leche caliente’, we trekked off in jean shorts, raincoats and boots, sliding along the muddy trail to our base a mile away.

The sun peeked out at us now, but the damage was done.

Tree limbs slashed across our path as if to say “Just turn around already.”

My boots became caked with mud. I stopped expelling the effort to lift my feet.

I could use a pair of ski poles. But instead I carried a machete.

One that threatened to slice my shins in one bad step.

Such was the nature of things here; clearing the brush that bristled back at us.

We were trying to make room for baby trees.

But Mother Nature was pro-choice.

 

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