Monday, July 09, 2012

Crocodile Rock

I was crossing a placid, shallow creek that leads to the ocean in Playa Buena Vista, Costa Rica, and when I got ashore, I saw my friends in the other side gesturing with horror.  No more than ten feet from me a rocky shape moved in the water. Our friend Petra, a confident German, ran into the creek and shooed it with her foot. It was a crocodile, about 3 meters (10 feet) long. I was totally calm, safe and sound on the other side. I even made the international gesture for WTF? to Petra.
I never saw it as I crossed. Nothing moved as I crossed. But when it swam away, running away from Petra's foot, thrashing its tail and pushing his head above water, it was awesome and terrifying. And huge. The more I thought about the idea of me having waded only feet away from him, who according to Petra, was coming from where I was, creeped on me up to a slow, extended freak out. The rest of the group would not cross the creek after that.
Petra said crocodiles are shy. I'm lucky he wasn't hungry. I thought Petra had experience, being the manager of our hotel and used to living in the jungle for years. Later on I asked her how long she'd been in Costa Rica and she said 4 months.
I'm so happy I didn't know that then.
I'm relieved that none of us saw the beast as I was crossing, because I don't know if thrashing about like a maniac trying to reach the other side would have been appetizing to him. What does one do? Remain still as with bears, or run for dear life?
Here I was, depleting the world's reserves of DEET, trying not to be eaten alive by insects (I wasn't), only to find that I was close to being a special enchilada dinner for a crocodile. If you don't believe me, here's proof:

Fearless Petra Shooing Croc Away. 

Check out those teeth!

1 comment:

  1. Once in a crocodile park, they told us that if they started chasing us we should run in zig zag. They told us these after leaving us ALONE in a space full with crocodiles that we have to cross in order to get out, the guide opened the fence and then leave and waited for us at the other side. It was cool and super scary.