The “collectivo” was a small open truck with benches installed in the rear. I was thankful to ride up front, on the slow bumpy road that seemed to stretch endlessly, past teak plantations and small villages with modest houses made of sheet metal propped up on wood over bare earth. What struck me was how well tended they were: front yard swept clean, flowers lining the fence. People smiled and waved as we drove past and I felt as though I was going in the right direction, without knowing why.
In Boca Chica, I paid the driver the $1 fare and he waved me towards the end of the road which came to an abrupt end at the water's edge. There, all was commotion as locals unloaded a truck heavy with food, water, tools into a long narrow boat, the “lancha”. As I stood unsure what to ask for, I heard someone speaking French. The couple, were working out how to get everything into the boat and directing the others in Spanish. I greeted them in French, and they stopped to chat then called over someone who could take me to Boca Brava.
The boat ride took only three minutes and yet I felt suspended in time in that narrow waterway between the mainland and the lush island. Large frigate birds and pelicans swooped overhead in the afternoon sun, the rush of wind drying off the heat of the journey. When we pulled up to the dock of the Boca Brava hotel, I was spellbound and there my journey began.