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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 12.93, -85.93
1542hrs: Location: Verandah of Bunglow 7
Broken sun but blowy....very blowy.
Summary: today kicked off with the usual coffee at 0600hrs....late as the kettle took some 30mins to boil due to the feeble output of the solar batteries. I think we have drained the whole days supply.......other Eco bungalow occupants are sipping tepid yucca juice and switching of lights at every opportunity whilst we are scalding our lips on Barista quality Italian brew....."tough"...in the distance I spot a couple of "Bill Oddie" birdwatcher types setting off in search of the lesser spotted "Ooomegoolie Bird".....
EQUIPMENT ALERT: disaster has struck in the sponge bag department. A whole tube of shaving gel has managed to quietly discharge itself and coat my entire supply of Alka-Seltzers in scented gloop. We carefully hand wipe each sachet and I think disaster has been averted by swift intervention.
The Eco Resort is in fact an organic coffee plantation covering thousands of acres originally set up in the 1800's by German immigrants....and now still owed and run by a German family who purchased in 1974. As a consequence, the place is a weird fusion of The Berghoff/Eagles Nest meets Speedy Gonzalez. However, they
have done a fantastic job...employing and housing at peak production some 600 locals in the plantations. They recycle everything and I mean everything.....grow all their own veg and even have organic cattle who export their own methane....
Our Bunglow is nestled below virgin jungle that is "allegedly" home to a wealth of monkeys, sloths, mammals, reptiles, insects and other creepy crawlies....so far we have seen a few blow flies...one squirrel and a tame gopher type creature that was snuffling around a nearby footpath in search of Halpeno flavoured Nachos crumbs dropped by a local family who were on a day trip.....
We are feeling smug with our "intrepidness"......having just made it back from a 2 hour 30 minute hike into "virgin jungle".....well actually, we followed well marked trails varying in their level of difficulty from "pushchair friendly" to "SAS jungle warfare certified"......They are given names like "Tarzan" and "Canal" and wend their way up from the central camp into the high jungle canopy above.
Starting off on one called "Atico" we disappear into dense leafy terrain working gently upwards. We hear the odd whooping noise and insects chirrup nearby. Confidence builds and we are tempted to try the SAS level
but are put off by signs warning us in Spanish about the terrain and advising we make a note of the emergency phone number........after about 1 hour Cathy is keen to try a short cut from trail 6 to train 9 (SAS level but descending back to camp)....I am sceptical and start planning for any trouble such as attacks by rogue Monkeys etc.
Off we set following a small malaria infested (guess) creek.....pah! "easy stuff"..she squeaks from behind....."this is what my Pilates training has been preparing me for"!....then we hit SAS trail 9......narrow....muddy.....jungly....steep....
"The trail fades and I have to look for trampled sticks and other "Bear Grylls" clues to make sure we haven't strayed off piste....my mind soon starts to work overtime......how long would it take to be found...?!.......we may be stuck here for years surrounded by nasty looking toad stalls and huge poisonous spiders lurking in the vast tree roots! Eventually, I spot a Nike trainer imprint in the mud...relieved we press on and make our way down to civilisation.......for a well earnt Club Sandwich...
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