"No one lives forever," I said as I pulled myself across the ravine clinging to only a vine with my hands and feet. Capac, our native guide, did it without a safety harness and in a third the time it took Gunny and myself. When I reached the other side, Gunny grabbed my bare shoulders until I balanced on the slippery rocks. We stood atop a waterfall several times the raging Niagara.
"Methuselah lived 1000 years," Gunny, my valet and companion brushed the water from my back. We wore only native kit; the vines on our arms and legs and a strap to hold our tender parts.
"Tommy rot. Biblical hyperbole." I unwrapped the vines that protected my forearms from rope burns. Capac motioned to put them back on. He pointed to vines a dozen feet away that hung into the falling water.
"You mean we have to repel down through the waterfall," I said.
"You told us to leave the climbing harnesses back at camp," Gunny pointed a finger, accusing. Capac laughed at his consternation.
"You want young body. You want to life forever? You must go."
He was right. I'd come this far, and if I had to rappel through Angel Falls to get my manuscript on Evil Editor's desk, then so be it.
Opening: Dave F......Continuation: Khazar-khum