The Travel Geek

Los Bichos (the Tiny Beasts)

Sharlene: “What’s wrong with this place?”

Chris: “What do you mean?”

Sharlene: “We’ve been here almost 4 days and everything is missing. There’s no roaches, no bats, no rats, no spiders, no lizards, no bedbugs, no mice, no bugs, no snakes, no dogs, no goats, no cows, no rabid diseased animals, no crazy people; it’s unnatural and I’m a little disappointed.”

It’s true. I was disappointed because encountering any of the above generally amounts to a great story or two and their absence seemed a little unnatural to me. In response to my question, I started wandering around looking for crawly critters and initially had little success beyond a centipede or two. Eventually I found the lizards… they were on the palm trees and were really really tiny. Having lizards around means there’s bugs somewhere… but where?

I discovered a spider rather accidentally, while waiting to try on a dress in a store. A tarantula sprinted across the floor of the store with a cloud of babies following — only to disappear under a bin full of balls. The German lady next to me managed to get out a loud “ewww” before moving on. That was a little freaky and quite unexpected, but it bestowed a bit of confidence that yes there were creatures other than tourists on the island.

La Niña found the roaches. She came running out of the bathroom on one of our last nights in the resort saying there was a bug in the bathroom; a REALLY REALLY big bug. Upon investigation we found the little monster below and a second ‘friend.’ There must have been more because the staff quickly mobilized and descended upon the rooms in fumigation mode with their cans of toxic gas and white suits.

I had to leave the resort area to find a dog who quickly became my solo canine friend. He seemed to find my photographic pursuits interesting and followed me through the village to see what kind of crazy things the female gringo would do.

One thing that I found interesting about el perro is he was amazingly adept at reading the waves along the beach side of the village. As we worked our way through fishing boats he knew exactly when to move and when to stay as the waves came in and out (they were unpredictable to my eyes in this area). As such he quickly became a guide as we worked our way through the boats.

At the end of the village adventure, my little canine friend eventually gave me a good bye look and disappeared as we got close to the resorts; it seems that like all los bichos he knew he wasn’t allowed in the forbidden resort zone and went off to explore greener pastures.

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