its back to the city again after a beautiful weekend spent in the cordillera central of the dominican republic, driving around on bumpy dirt roads on the back of a beat-up pick-up truck, walking around in the forests and swimming in mountain streams. i was secretly hoping to get a chance to catch a glimpse of a very rare and elusive beast: the hispaniolan solenodon (solenodon paradoxus), a strange-looking nocturnal animal which in addition to having an odd latin name is one of six types of venomous mammals.
in the end, we were not fortunate enough to see any solenodons but we did unfortunately make contact with another barely visible type of animal, apparently some bizarre kind of mosquito. while we did not see these little monsters themselves, we soon noticed their extremely itchy bites which then turned into several dozen bright red spots in my case and into brown-blue bruises in my friend's case. so while my arms now look like those of a hapless amateur junkie who's been desperately trying to find a vein, my friend's legs look like those of a torture victim who's been roughed up by some third-world dictator's henchmen.