We (myself, Rodrigo, Haley, and Meghan) spent Tuesday exploring a new field site- a portal to Podocarpus National Park, known as Cajanuma. Spectacular transitional forest, with cloud forest yielding to páramo. Both zones are biologically rich, lovely… and muddy as all get out.
Meghan was able to place one of her GPS collars in a tree. This things are GPS instruments, capable of uploading a satellite-based location every ten minutes, tracking a bear within a 10 meter radius. Such is the theory at least… torrential rainfall, ramified tangles of bamboo and epiphytes, and a topography dominated by 50-degree crags may have something to say. Thus the tests.
We ended up setting nine wires across game trails. Haley, fortunately, is an accomplished polo player and gaucho, and thus is no stranger to this kind of cowboy work.
I know I look murderous in this photo, but that’s actually an expression of gustatory anticipation.
The road theoretically terminates at the lakes, but the region gets more than 10 meters of rain every year. Roads- if not carefully constructed- tend to devolve to other, more natural geological formations.
Instead, we backtracked to Saraguro, where we found a hotel that actually had lights. Veronica, who’s driving panache had already been demonstrated up at Tres Lagunas, received another trial by fire at the hotel entryway.
The word for carrot is zanahoria. This is also the word for people of a sane, balanced, peaceable temperament. We have many of these in our group, with Amy and Daniel two of the biggest. I mean this in the most complementary, loving way possible.