The Missing Tourist and Wiesie┤s Tail

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Here┤s a story (one of my favorites) that I posted on Facebook last year. Since that time, FB has taken back virtually all of the features that allowed me to publish (e.g. Note Tabs, Links Widget) my work there. Since nobody can find my work on FB anymore, I decided to see if anyone would read it here on I suspect that Jonh and his henchmen will soon figure me out and start tightening up TRN Blogs, as well!

I had a young man from Seattle make an impromtu trip with me from Granada to Alamikamba. He sent word to his family in the US and Holland that he would be out of touch a couple of days because he wanted to go to the bush on the atlantic coast. But, he told them not to worry because Papatara had assured him that the atlantic coast was not as dangerous as everybody else he knew (all from the pacific) had warned him!

The fellow had such a good time at my place making friends, eating moskito dishes, wild game, freshly caught fish, and drinking Kuka┤s homemade chicha bruja that he remained for nearly two weeks with us.

Then, one of my employees invited him to spend the weekend with him at his village. They hiked through the jungles and crossed rivers and streams for three days to get to the village. When they returned they had been gone over a week.

Finally, he accompanied one of Kuka┤s granddaughters to Puerto Cabezas and stayed another week in her family┤s home before returning to Granada after spending nearly one month on the atlantic coast of Nicaragua. My young friend had the time of his life!

Meanwhile, the young man┤s family was going berserk. Eventually, I had received inquiries from the US Embassy, the Dutch Embassy, the municipal government, the Policia Nacional, the Ejercito, his girlfriend, and his mother about his whereabouts!


Wiesie's Tail

During final edits my followup post crashed and burned during final edit due to my flaky internet connection in Alamikamba. Thanks Claro!

Anyway, I┤ve completely rewritten it, and, as one of our late and great reporters once said, "And, now for the rest of the story:"

I was a bit perturbed that so many authorities kept sending word for the young man to get in touch with his family ASAP. I also didn┤t want to admit to the authorities that I had allowed the foreigner to go off into the jungle on this spur-of-the-moment trip. I was also becoming concerned that their three-day holiday had already passed the one-week mark. I did know that my employee was one of the most experienced jungle survival experts from the Civil War, and, that he was an incredible marksman. I took heart in the fact that there was no means of communicating from where they had gone with the outside world. I comforted myself with my reasoning that bad news always travels much faster than good news does from the bush.

Nevertheless, something else had worried me much more than the fate of the young visitor. My favorite dog Wiesie had mysteriously disappeared on the same day that the young men left on their adventure. Wiesie was my closest friend and confidant. And, Wiesie was one of the smartest and bravest canines that I had ever owned. As the days passed and Wiesie didn't return home, I could only hope that the boys had somehow decided to take my dog along with them for company.

Not to say that I wasn┤t concerned about the safety and security of my guest. But, I did feel that my priorities were well placed since the young fellow had obviously been so irresponsible and oblivious to his own security and safety.

After ten days had passed without any news, the fellows showed up at our doorstep one day on the noon bus from Rosita. Much to my relief, Wiesie stepped between the legs of my guest jumped from the door of the bus and walked sheepishly up to greet me. She looked like she had lost about two pounds. Considering her original weight was only four pounds, one can understand that she looked quite emaciated!

Eventually, Wiesie's tale (actually Wiesie didn┤t have a tail) was told. The boys had left Hotel Papatara (in reality the construction site for the half finished hotel) in the early morning. They hiked for several hours along logging roads which led in the general direction of my employee's village. Well along their way, they noticed that Wiesie had been following them. They decided to take the adventurous canine along with them rather than to lose time taking her back to Alamikamba.

Before mid-day they left the road and began making their way through the lowland jungle towards the community of Isnawas on the Rio Bambana. At that point it began to rain. They continued on expecting the rain to soon subside. It didn't. The jungle trail became a watery canal with the boys and dog having to slog their way slowly towards their destination. Night fell with the group deep inside the waterlogged jungle and unable to continue on to overnight in the village as planned. They were forced to find ground high enough to avoid sleeping in standing water.

Between them, they were carrying only one rain poncho, one hammack, and one mosquito net. They ultimately decided to spread the rain poncho on the ground, stretch the hammack over the poncho, and open the mosquito net to protect them. The young man, my employee, and Wiesie spent the night huddled together, cold, wet, and shivering in the middle of the jungle. My visitor shuddered as he described how they struggled all night not to touch the sides of the mosquito net because they could hear the squadrons of mosquitos outside waiting for a target to strike!

The following morning the group continued on to their intermediate destination of Isnawas. There the group remained for three days while the young visitor allowed his severly blistered feet to recover somewhat from the slogfest through the bush. The running shoes that the young man was wearing were not suitable for marching long distances in high water. From Isnawas the group rented a mule so that the visitor and Wiesie could rest their feet (but, certainly not ride in comfort). They spent several days visiting and recuperating in the community of Layasiksa Dos. Then, they hiked out nine hours to the highway to catch a bus to head back to Alamikamba.

Wiesie quickly returned to fighting weight. But, she has never again left the confines of Hotel Papatara with another guest!


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