I hadn’t realized the escarpment was so tall.
Sure, I’d seen pictures of it. Who hadn’t? ‘The Land That Time Forgot’ and all that.
I wiped my brow, replaced my hat, cinched everything cinch-able just a little tighter and prepared to climb.
“What in the Sam Hill do you think you are doing?” my guide exclaimed.
“Well, you said to see the orchids we had to get to the top.”
“You are making the small joke, no?” he asked with disbelief in his
eyes. “These days we all just grab a cervesa, listen to Alex Pardo and watch his
slides. We don’t actually climb the escarpment!” He handed me a cold brew.
“Its much more civilized that way.”
I took the beer and listened to the welcome sound of its cap twisting off.
And I thanked every god ever known that I had used a travel agent to book this trip.
“Not only has he the best
slides of every species of Catasetum, he discusses the
intricacies of their culture and care. So many people
only think of Catasetums as that funny little orchid that
shoots pollen at you if you trip its spring.” Suddenly
my guide was more eloquent than Peter O’Toole. “As
I’m sure you are aware many Catasetums are found in
Venezuela. Venezuela is a country of extreme beauty and
geographic variety. These crafty Catasetums have evolved
to take every advantage of that fact. They hail from the
lovely coast side to the hot interior jungles. Each
geographic zone has