#086: Escape from the Rainforest [Puerto Rico]Tak's dispatch released on 18 October 2017

El Yunque Puerto Rico Sunrise

You climb out of the hammock, stepping onto the weathered wood decking amidst a cool night breeze. “The sun should be up in twenty minutes,” you think to yourself as you slip on your shoes. The unmistakable scents of the musty cabin lurk upon entry. One hand grabs the camera in your haze and a couple steps allow you to exit the opposing door to the outside, leaving the guest machete tilted up against the wall.

The rainforest is alive; an auditory symphony blasting a well rehearsed number. A sky full of stars and the half of a moon light your pathway, crunching on dead foliage and undergrowth. You carefully tread down the naturally-created eroded dirt path, taking extra care against slipping into a treacherous fall.

Finding yourself at that specific photogenic spot you had noted yesterday—a circular port hole looking out to the sea—you begin your wait. Minutes stack upon each other in succession until they give life to that beast called the half hour. There is no sign of a sunrise, and more than one sign of a half-awake observer swatting the occasional mosquito in between yawns. Your legs are growing tired, standing in this one spot here in the middle of a forest.

“An hour must have passed, or maybe it just feels so.”

“Should you give up?”

“Is the sunrise 20 minutes away or did the sun burn out last night?”

The crunching of dead leaves resumes.

“Did you mutter to yourself or just thought about muttering to yourself?”

You are tired.

You are back in bed, sleeping soundly and the sun has still not shown. Hours pass from your failed gambit, a tactical folly stemming from a very poor sunrise approximation. You awake again only to notice such, and put your shoes back on to try again, noticing this time the sky is evaporating stars—a good sign to be sure.

Having gotten your photograph, you head back up to the cabin with the new idea; it is now time to evade your host and leave this crazy property. You grab the guest machete and scurry down towards the banana trees, hacking off a bunch of bananas. You head to the grapefruit trees and pull one from the branches before returning to the cabin. You eat in haste, unsure when your host arises, and pack your belongings.

You notice a light turn on in his house as you leave the outdoor shower behind, a dirty morass of old plastic pipes and trickles of water. You lightly pull the car door shut, turn the ignition, take a right out of the driveway, pull past thirteen curves, over the bridge and into the next day of life.

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Internationally-published photographer with a passion for creative food, fine products, unique cultures and underground music. Twitter / Instagram / Email

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