Reuters London newsroom
When I told him I was would be back and ready to report by Jan. 1, he didn't say anything British, like, 'how smashing.' But he say it will be great to have me back on "crocodile watch."
And, I suppose, I might write some things, too.
The standing joke between us last year was that I was to call him immediately if a croc snagged a tourist - more newsworthy for him, of course, if it was a wealthy Brit. But any tourist would do.
After a dog was taken by a large croc last spring from the beach - in a pretty dramatic witnessed episode - it became much less funny.
It would seem to be even more so now, as I have been reading about the boldness of the La Manzanilla crocodiles this fall - and how far the lagoon has extended to the beach area where children gather.
In the meantime, in Australia, there's a new tourist attraction: tourists climb in a clear acrylic cage and get lowered into the water with saltwater crocodiles. The ultimate thrill, some of the swimmers have said.
I can't quite imagine getting into a tank like that and letting one of those 2,000 pound behemoths get a shot at me - no matter how tough the tank is supposed to be.
In the tank with a crocodile in Northern Australia
Several years ago in Zihuatenejo, I was walking with three Australian fellows from Queensland who had sailed in. We were taking swings of beer from jumbo beer bottles when the trio suddenly bolted and ran back the way we came, running like the devil himself was after them.
What made them run was a 10-foot crocodile, sitting motionless in a small lagoon near the shore, maybe 100 feet from where we were about to pass.
I walked back to where they stopped (hard to run with a beer bottle in your hand) and tried to tell them that I thought was no real danger.
They said 'forget it mate.'
In Australia, they explained, saltwater crocs can - and do occasionally - run a man down and drag him back into the water, just like the unlikely named canine 'Lucky' last year in La Manzanilla.
Ever since, I try to keep a nice buffer between me and even the relatively mellow La Manzanilla creatures.