The Caiman's eyes almost seemed to glow more brilliantly than the flashlights we had brought along to navigate the river in the dark. I had just arrived at the lodge but traveling the entire day hadn't dampened the spirit of adventure one bit. When the guide assigned to me asked if I would like to go on a hunt for Caimans I responded "YES" enthusiastically. It was dark so we would be taking a motorized speedboat down a mosquito riddled river to search for the elusive Caiman.
In the next few days, travel via motorised speedboat would be a normal and commonplace mode of transportation but in that moment, it was still a complete novelty. As we cruised down the river, my guide began would occasionally indicate to the person driving the speedboat to stop. She would shine a light on a place in the forest and show me some nocturnal creature like a toad, or tree rat that ventures out when the sun goes down.
We continued journeying down the river, her flashlight scanning the forest for creatures of the night. When her flashlight hit a brown scaly creature resting quietly, we knew we had hit jackpot. A footlong Caiman was resting peacefully, that is until the guide got her lasso out. Before I knew it, there was a Caiman on our boat being pinned down firmly but gently by the guide and the driver. The most haunting feature of the species of the alligator family was its big round eyes, almost as huge as tea cups. As I stared down at our catch in awe and wonder, I couldn't help but imagine that it was staring up at me with that ginormous eye fantasizing about what I would be like roasted on a spit served with all the fixins…..