Speaking of being sunk, that sums up our afternoon and early evening. Mud is not the issue, since we're following established roads. Except the rains have made them into rivers. For long stretches, up to a half a mile, parts of these roads are under three feet or more of water. Since the only off-road equipment on our fleet of Range Rovers and LR3s are the Goodyear Wrangler tires, this means maintaining a steady speed of about 30 mph to create a bow wave a foot ahead of the engine compartment. No snorkels, just Land Rover's Bob Burns standing in waist-high water with a radio, offering directions and encouragement. It's daunting, not knowing how deep it gets, or how far the water goes on for. As the sun begins to set, we hit drier territory. The ensuing two-hour drive through pitch black jungle seems strangely anticlimactic by comparison.

After 15 hours of intense driving, our reward is lodging at the five-star jungle oasis of the Chan Chich resort. It even has a paved airstrip.

No, this has not been your average trip. But a Land Rover is not your average vehicle. Given the chance, I'd go back tomorrow--mud, snakes, bandits and all.

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