Friday, 31 July 2009

the final countdown

Its a slow week here with everyone waiting for Tuesday when we head back to San Pedro for the end of season party.  With school groups coming and going the tents keep changing so I've finally got around to slinging my own hammock, which is actually really comfortable.

Today a group of us went over to Guanales camp, which is only an hour away and swam in the river.  On Sunday I'm booked to do canopy access, which involves climbing to the top of a tree on ropes.  Nothing else to report at the moment but already making plans for where to go next.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


We were picked up at 6 in the morning to ride down the mountain on trucks to Cofradia, then transfered round to the other side of the park by a bus, which absolutely did not stop at a shop, and even if it had done, certain people were not responsible. 

From the drop of the bus it was a three hour uphill walk to Santo Thomas, our packs were taken most of the way by truck then the rest by mules.  Santo Tomas is different again, the centre of the camp is two buildings in the middle of fields, there are houses dotted around and a little shop.  The view is amazing, in one direction up into the mountains again, the other way down to the coast and across to Guatemala. There was a fantastic stream right by the camp with little waterfalls and locals brought round fresh fruit Transects were fairly hardcore as they all started at least half an hour from camp and were on about 60 degree slopes.

On my second last night there we had a party with a bonfire, Santo Tomas is a dry camp and there is absolutely no alcohol allowed, unless you go to the shop, which is all of two minutes away so of course no one drank anything. 

The walk up to Cortecito was five and a half hours uphill, the mules took our bags until an hour before the end but that hour was probably the hardest walking I've ever done.

Cortecito is the most beautiful camp but unfortuntely my camera battery died so I will have to try and steal pictures from other people.  Highlights included a stream running through the middle of the camp where we caught frogs, the comedy value of a table built on a slope so that you could walk one side of it with only your head showing and best of all, Howler Monkeys! I also got to feel smug when a school group arived having taken nine hours to walk up from Santo Tomas

The walk back down was easy and we were in Santo Tomas in under three hours, after another night we walked out to the road and got on a minibus. Then things got interesting, one person on the bus needed to be taken to the dentist and the rest of us had been promised a stop at a burger bar.  The driver had his own ideas and took us off the road through a slum and the through the city centre before driving straight to Cofradia. We stopped three times, twice for police roadblocks and once when he ordered us to turn off the aircon then, stopped to get in the back and turn it back on.

Base camp was full with school groups and all the staff had to sleep on the floor in the DNA lab.  There were events in the afternoon, including the Cusuco olympics and Mr and Miss Cusuco 2009, which will need to wait for photos to explain.

One week left in the forest, but I'm already thinking about where to go on my next expedition.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Buenos Aires

P7120276.AVI I’ve just spent a week in Buenos Aires, where I had a room with a local family and meals are served at a kind of restaurant.  It was very different from the forest but great to see life in a Honduran mountain village and the fresh pastellitos they sell are brilliant.


On my first day we did a large mammal walk on transect 4, the only signs were of white tailed deer and coati but we did see a pit viper and a coral snake by the path.


On Thursday night we had a barbecue, which was rained off so everyone moved onto the terrace of a semi-abandoned hotel called the ecolodge and played cards.  Friday afternoon a group of us went swimming in a waterfall.


 The large mammal transects finished yesterday and in the afternoon I went out mist netting with the bird team and we caught five birds in a hour including the largest and smallest species in the park. Tomorrow I leave for Santo Tomas on the west side for another week, followed by a week in Cortecito so I should be returning to base camp and internet on the 29th.