Macaws, coarse and strident, screaming overhead. Glorious blue, red, yellow. A pair of quizzical toucans. Steamy swamps.
Endless music blaring distorted from over-sized speakers. The last dancers still swaying in the morning light.
The road before me. Hot blacktop and traffic. Dust rising under the wheels of trucks. Buses speeding past, inches away, boys hanging out the door urgently shouting destinations, leaping to the ground as the vehicle grinds to a halt to assist passengers on and off.
Roads to the unknown. Torpid sun-soaked villages at midday. Smiling curious boys. Questions. A broken chain. The bike is limping. Sweat. A sudden breeze. Sometimes it seems that I am standing still, pushing the weight of the world around beneath me.
Stars overhead in a night vibrating with insects.
Cattle grazing in marshy fields, belly deep in water and bright green grass, attended by flocks of white egrets. Herons. Long toed jacana, delicately pacing lily pads, startled into a flash of yellow winged flight. Egrets overhead with serpentine neck neatly folded, trailing legs behind.
The search for somewhere to sleep as the sun descends. Fields. Sheds. Yards. A vacant lot overlooking the ocean. This is farmland, fincas and haciendas, cattle country. Locked gates and fences.
Wash off dust and sweat in the sea or with water scooped from a tank of carefully collected water. Learning the art of public bathing. A well or a drum filled with water. A dipper. An audience. Clothes stay on. Somehow it’s possible to work around them – you can try to clean them, too.
More birds. Yellow oriole flash. The high screaming whistle of a bird of prey. Falcons on power lines. A hawk standing watch on the bare branch of a tree. A kite hunting over the marsh. Fork tailed flycatchers chasing each other, their trailing tail feathers swirling in stylish graceful curves.