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Seasquirt

The adventures of Fe & Chris

Archive for August 6, 2007

Jungle birthday

On Friday I celebrated my birthday with a nice long walk (back up the previously mentioned horrible muddy trail) doing bird counts with Chris at 5am. A Quetzal kindly made an appearance to wish me Happy Birthday, and we got to walk along probably the most pretty, if most difficult, transect I have done yet. The transect took us to 2,100m elevation and provided some wonderful views over the rest of the forest. It also contained the elfin forest - “Bosque Enano” which is completely different to the surrounding, enormous trees of the rest of the forest. It was a truly special place with lots of moss and lichen - seemed very lord of the rings or some such, although disappointingly no birds.bosque.jpg

After staggering back to camp (literally in my case), we went up to the nearby river for a much needed wash - it was a wee bit chilly, but almost fine once you got under the water completely! We then had a celebratory chocolate bar and a nice afternoon nap.

In the evening I was surprised with a nice cake that had been prepared all afternoon. What was more surprising was that they managed to make it with the limited cooking facilities available - the cake tasted lovely though and was topped by some innovative candles made from “magic wood” - a type of pine which smells very nice and in theory lights easily, except when on a birthday cake apparently! Since it was a bit burnt on the bottom (due to the innnovative cooking methods) I found a machete to be the best form of attack. It really did taste good though!

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Mud, mud glorious mud…

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Over the last few days I have been on another small break from base camp and ran away with Chris (well, actually walked quite slowly) to another satellite camp called Cantiles. Everyone who’s been there has come back saying it’s nice, but muddy, although we weren’t quite prepared for how true this turned out to be - it was rather treacherous to have so much mud on a slope of a considerable gradient - Glastonbury eat your heart out! I was always amazed when I made it from my tent to the kitchen without slipping on my bum! The walk there was quite an experience too - luckily I had quite a small pack but it was a long trek that involved more mud and numerous undulations - hopefully I will be superfit by the end of this (although somewhat doubtful).

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The camp itself was lovely - the most jungly camp so far with lots of huge trees ( there is a 50 metre tall Liquidambar in the kitchen), a couple of pet Chestnut-headed brushfinches (Chris is teaching me well), and the occasional Quetzal - yes, we have finally had a couple of good views of them, though no photos as yet.

Some of the excess mud had been skillfully crafted into an effigy of the forest ’spook’ known to Hondurans as Eddie Tyler (though I’m sure this is not the correct spelling). He’s a cheery looking chap:

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We ate plentifully as the camp is due to close soon and had copious quantities of food. Chris is desperately trying to get fat after the harsh comments on his Guanales post! He made great inroads on the Cantiles Cheese Mountain and did some damage to the excess cornflakes & jam.