In which two sunny happy-go-lucky trusting American women who are old enough to know better take foolish risks but all turns out .... well, you shall see.
I wish I could remember which guide book it was that sent us to the village of Pie de la Cuesta to watch the sunset. Was it "Lonely Planet"? Or "Rough Guide"? It was one of those somewhat hip, let's-get-off-the-beaten-track guidebooks that Joey and I were way too naive to be using.
The book told us to take a cab from Acapulco, and it advised that Volkswagen Beetle cabs charged less than bigger cars. So, feeling extremely savvy, we hailed a VW Beetle. And this is how we met Juan.
Juan was a big guy, with popeyes and a round belly. He spoke fairly good English. He agreed to take us to Pie de la Cuesta to see the sunset, and he said he would wait and bring us back to Acapulco again.
The village is everything the guidebook had said. Quiet. Sleepy. Beautiful. We passed women washing clothes in the river. Palm trees swayed over an aquamarine lagoon; white egrets flew past and perched in trees.
Juan left us at a small, sleepy open-air bar. We were not sorry to see him go; he wasn't scary, but he made us uncomfortable. He was overly familiar, especially with Joey, and we were feeling a little uneasy. We agreed we'd find a different way back to Acapulco.
The bar had a grass roof and hammocks. The owner was an ex-patriate American, and very nice. He told us that scenes from "Rambo" had been filmed there, because the lush tropical terrain looked like Viet Nam.
He suggested we might want to take a boat tour of the beautiful lagoon, famous for its egrets, while we were waiting for sunset, and he showed us where to pick up a tour.
The flat, open boats were tied up not far away. We asked the boatman when the next tour was. "Soon," he said. He did not speak English well.
And then Juan appeared. Well, speak of the devil. He and the driver spoke for a few minutes in Spanish, and then he said he would join us on our lagoon tour. Because he speaks English, he said, he would be the tour operator. For us, he would charge a very cheap rate.
We climbed into the boat and waited for the other passengers.
There were no other passengers.
The boatman untied the boat and shoved off into the lagoon. "Rambo was filmed here," Juan said.
He pointed out some trees. "There are many palm trees here," he said.
He pointed out some egrets. "We are known for our birds." Then he fell silent. That appeared to be the extent of his tour guide knowledge.
A silver metal cooler rested in the middle of the boat, under one of the wooden seats. He opened it up and handed Joey and me each a beer. Then he asked Joey to come and sit nearer to him. "I want to tell you something," he said.
Joey looked uncertainly at me, and then carefully made her way to the middle of the boat. I sat in the back, alone, drinking my Corona. I did not like the way things were going.
At the far end of the boat, the driver steered us slowly through the green water.
Joey made her way back to me. She had a peculiar look on her face. "Juan wanted me to ask you if you'd do it with the driver," she said.
TO BE CONTINUED
sugar sugar sugar CRASH!
1 hour ago