We get a much earlier start today and find the path to the search site is surprisingly close to the Santiago river. Yesterday’s meanderings disoriented us, but the fact that this place is so easily accessible to the river is very encouraging. It also allows us to save our energy for systematically crisscrossing the site, hacking down obstacles and probing the soil for hidden foundations.
We encounter one poisonous snake, more spiders and a few domesticated pigs as we move along, their pink bodies resembling last night’s appetizers. The locals brought us enormous, white, living, wiggling, crawling grubs. These guys were as big as sausages and undulated like my digestive tract after a bad meal. I did not have the courage to bite their little heads off and chew on their wiggling bodies, but Ashton and Meg did. Yes, Ashton. The kid who won’t eat his vegetables was perfectly comfortable eating a live, giant maggot. He amazes me.
The next night, another soccer game breaks out and Paco does well enough to be asked to create a few more future San Marjin soccer players with some of the village women. He politely declines.
This evening also teaches me that I really don’t like crapping in the jungle in the dark, but bathing naked in a cool jungle stream as sun filters down through steaming trees is wonderful.
But here up on the search site, as the sun reaches its zenith, we end our search with no convincing discoveries. If there was an ancient church here with a stone floor, under which were two vaults for storing riches, we can’t find it., but if we were scared Spanish settles, surrounded by hostile Aguarunas 500 years ago, this is where we would have built. It will take ground penetrating radar or blind luck to go any farther here. GPS readings are recorded, pictures taken and we head back to San Marjin.