Leatherback Season (part 2)

By BobbyRica | August 30, 2012


Roberto invited me to stick around after the kids were done with their practical theses for a little bit of fun. “There’ll still be nubile young women, but they won’t be my students anymore, so I won’t stop you”, he guffawed.

Roberto, of course, still quite the comedian. By nubile young women, he’s talking about more of the turtles. Roberto was devoted to their survival, in a way he could never devote himself to women anymore. But not that long ago, once upon a time the conservation director was a wild and crazy gigolo, way crazier than me.


I drifted in the area, sometimes checking on him, sometimes avoiding him. We had that kind of relationship, not really that close to each other but ready to lend a helping hand, if we could. Friends of friends, basically.

That kind of friend is basically really useful for a single guy. He makes a good untraceable wingman, and similarly any stalkery one night stands or jealous exes wouldn’t be able to trace me back through him.

So I couldn’t really be blamed for not even committing to a no when he asked me to stick around for him. He was gonna be a busy guy in the interim, but I wasn’t getting paid and didn’t have training to do the advanced stuff he needed help with. An extra hand would help him get to work on the turtles sooner, but actual turtle experts were on the way anyway.


The next few days I found myself looking for singles among the multitude of tourists who passed by Tortuguero, for beach vacations, ecopark tours, even just eating in the restaurants and bars. I wouldn’t dare say I was trying to forget Sara. Far from it, she would not be thrilled to find me hanging out with the other singles. In any case, my chances are actually pretty dismal around here, since it makes more sense to visit this place in a group than on your own. Still, I was hoping to strike gold with a wild child backpacker.

And a wild child backpacker was exactly how I would describe Aya, a Dutch national with a form as firm and attractive as a guitar. As expected, she was a smarter and more interesting date than what I was used to, bringing with her wild stories of lost bags, almost-brushes with criminals, and her own advice on great dating places around Latin America. Aya’s job allowed her to roam the continent in the same way that I did, and in some ways she seemed a perfect match for me.


Of course, she being a she and me being a he kind of got in the way, but I liked her anyway. She shared warm stories of her first few months with her son in bed, and in that way we shared intimacy after intimacy. She wanted to settle down, but her wanderlust won out over her maternal instincts, to her own surprise as much as anyone else’s. Alfonso was with Aya’s parents now, where he could be raised properly and have a fairly conventional, affluent way of life back in Europe.

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