Friday, 27 February 2009
Arrive in Urique
I'm off to Dublin today to meet up with my brothers for the Ireland vs England rugby match on Saturday. After that I shall be travelling to the west coast of ireland, beginning in Killarney. I wont be back until the 12th march.
This Time Last Year
Woke up at 6am after good night's sleep and walked down to the outlook that we were shown yesterday. I took a good few pictures as the sun rose and lit the gorge. Walter came later and we walked back together for a breakfast at about 7am.
The first hour was a very steep descent with plenty of scree. I was ahead when we reached the bottom of this section (though we would spend all day descending) and bathed my feet in a rock pool whilst waiting for the others. Amazingly I saw a salamander in the pool floating in that typical skydiver way.
Our descent continued on the shady side of the gorge on a fine track. Superb views.
Eventually the horses pasted us and we could see that the riders were having a tricky time on the steep descent. I think some of them walked on some sections. The descent continued and we passed some marijuana fields. It's grown a lot in small allotments high in the mountains, but it's not wise to hang about or take photographs.
Our descent continued and we took a break at a metal bridge across a small stream.
Pretty soon we arrived at the small village of Naranjo. We have lunch at a friends of our guide and enjoy the shade.
After that the descent continues only this time we are in the full glare of the sun. I use my umbrella as a sun-shade much to everyone's amusement.
Finally we get down to the road and are met my a truck of our ranch. They will drive us into Urique so we don't have to walk the hot dusty road ourselves.
Start at 8.48 and walked for 6hrs 53mins
Low 849m at 15.41
High 1941m at 9.12
We stay at a small hotel in town and convene at a local restaurant for dinner later. I manage to upset a farmer from the USA who grows corn locally and then offers it as prize money to the locals for long-distance running. If the local tribes had not been thrown off their land and made to live in the mountains they would still be growing their own corn now. He didn't like my arguments. I didn't ask if he was growing GM varieties!
The dinner was very good and the company around the table fun. Later a bunch of bikers came in and joined us. They were boisterous and friendly.
This Time in 2007
Today we are to paddle the Tres Amigos. But first we must repair the damaged canoe.
We finally get away at about 9am after some hassle involving the credit card. After a two drive down a bumpy road we reach the small town of P. Here we spend an hour doing some shopping for lunch and then go down the ironmongers to get some nuts and bolt to fix the seat on the canoe, We already have some tape to fix the leak.
After everyone is back on board we drive around the maze of dirt roads in the pineapple plantations until we find the put-in for the Tres Amigos. This time we find it quite easily!
This river is a beautiful limpid green colour and runs in dappled shade as the trees lean over the river. Some people take a swim to cool off whilst we fix the canoe.
David and I take the repaired boat, and we take a bailer too. It still leaks in a slow way! We have a very pleasant days paddling on a very pleasant river. David has his first day without falling in! That's not counting the Rio Frio yesterday which has no rapids.
After the take-out we have another long drive to the Laguna del Lagarto which is a beautiful wildlife lodge. Its 7.15pm by the time we arrive so its a quick shower and change for everyone before dinner.