Waterfall and Giant Tree Hikes


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March 3rd 2007
Published: March 3rd 2007
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Besides research and working in Watchimak, there are opportunities for fun outings. The biggest two are the Watchimak Waterfall (Cascada) and the Giant Tree (Arbol Gigante).

Initially, Kerensa and I did a combination of both destinations, beginning with the Giant Tree and then going to the Waterfall. We left at 9:00am and got back after 2:00 with lots of hard rainforest hiking in between. We felt spent at the end of the day, and our guides, Jacobo, Nelson, & Bolivar, decided that the two would always be seperate day trips.

The day of my second trip, Kerensa was a little under the weather, so didn´t come with us. Our guides were Nelson and Carlos and I went with two other volunteers, Paulina (from the Netherlands) and Melanie (from Wales).

We started by having our guides offer us jungle crowns and paint our faces (so the dangerous animals would know we were not to be messed with). I asked Nelson, our guide, why they didn´t paint their faces, and he told me that I should paint both him and Carlos.

After painting, we were off. We hiked maybe an hour and a half to reach the Waterfall.
PaintingPaintingPainting

This is me being painted...
On the way, we passed the site of a future road. The guides told us that once this road is built, (sometime in 2008), there would be a side-road directly to Watchimak.
*(After returning from the hike, I found out the road has been "coming" for a number of years.)

We arrived at the waterfall arond 11:00 - a great time because the light is beautiful for photos and it is aproaching the warmest part of the day. At the waterfall, we rested, ate a snack, and dove in! Nelson and I climbed the tree to the upper part of the falls. (I had tried this in our first visit with limited success.)

We swam for another half-hour or so and returned to Watchimak by lunchtime.

The other main outing in Watchimak is the Giant Tree (Arbol Gigante). Kerensa and I hiked with Teresa, Carolina (our guides), Melanie, and Paulina.

We left around 9:00 and hiked for about an hour and a half to get to the tree. As always, hiking through the rainforest was amazing. You can hear all kinds of birds, insects, and other "jungle noise." On a prior hike to the Giant Tree I saw monkeys, but we didn´t get to see them on this trip. (Unfortunately, I didn´t have the camera on that hike.)

On the way back to Watchimak, we took a side-trip to Carolina´s farm (finca) house (the Giant Tree is on her and her husband´s property). There, we picked and planted pineapple before returning to Watchimak.

*Thanks to Melanie and Paulina for sharing their wonderful photos with us!


Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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CarlosCarlos
Carlos

I got to paint Carlos´ face.
NelsonNelson
Nelson

Our other guide, Nelson. I pained his face too!
Road Survey StakeRoad Survey Stake
Road Survey Stake

It is strange to be hiking in the rainforest and see surveyor stakes.
NelsonNelson
Nelson

You can climb this tree to reach the upper part of the waterfall.
NelsonNelson
Nelson

You have to jump to get down.


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