Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve (6/3/06-6/16/06) continued

Hone Creek Travel Blog

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A sign marking the Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve.
    We soon had a new task on the reserve. In the morning, we would set up mist nets and catch and band birds, and in the afternoon, we began the tedious task of helping Sebastián work on a gravel pathway from the lodge to the brick oven. Now, normally, working on a gravel pathway means shoveling gravel into a wheelbarrel and then dumping it out where you need it. This is not the case when you're 3km up in the rainforest.
    We had actually been waiting a few days for Sebastián to tell us the gravel was ready at the road for us to start carrying, however, when Pablo announced that it was actually ready, we almost wished Sebastián had waited a bit more. Haha. Anyway, Brittney, Aimee and I figured we would just go down to the road and get it over with, so we took off almost immediately after Pablo told us that the stuff was ready for us.
Me, Brittney and Aimee after carrying 30lb bags of gravel up the 3km hike from the road to the lodge.
Weimer came with us, running and jumping and swinging off trees, basically like a monkey, and yelling "Muy rapido!!! Muy rapido!" That kid's insane. I guess growing up in the rainforest and being free to do just about whatever you wanted to does that.
    So we get to the bottom of the reserve and head down the road a bit to where the gravel was being stored. We found bags and bags of gravel waiting for us. As soon as we picked up our bags, we knew we were in for a fun hike back up. Each bag weighed around 30lbs and it was difficult to figure out how to hold them. We had seen Sebastián carrying a bag that seemed to weigh 2x as much as ours ON HIS HEAD...but we had no idea how to do that and every attempt ended in a fallen bag and a stiff neck.
A highway for leaf cutter ants across the trail.
Aimee and I ended up just carrying ours, but after like half the hike back up, Brittney came up with a great plan. She was wearing overall shorts, and we helped her loosen the straps and load the bag onto her back, putting the straps back over the bag. It almost made Aimee and I wish we had them too, because it seemed to make the hike a lot easier for Brittney.
    We got about 1/3 of the way up before we passed anyone else on their way down (slackers haha) and had to stop a few times on the way up to catch our breath and readjust the bags. We got up to the lodge and it felt pretty good, like we actually accomplished something...until we dumped the bags out in the pathway to find that our three bags covered maybe a foot and a half.
A yellow eyelash viper hanging out on a branch.
After a waterbreak, we headed back down for a 2nd bag each. That was the last trip for that day, since the 2 boys had taken 5 bags between the two of them to get the whole thing overwith.
    The next morning, however, more gravel awaited...we had turned into pack mules as Brittney kept saying...haha. After two or three oads of gravel that morning, we got a break in the afternoon, and convinced Sebastián to take us to the waterfall on the reserve. Pablo had told us to wear pants because we would be passing through a field with a lot of ticks and bugs so we all covered up...only to find out that there are like 7 different ways to get to the waterfall and the way we went had no field with ticks. :-P
    It took us about an hour and a half to get to the waterfall, and the last part of the trail had an incline that was almost straight up and down, leading almost all of us to slide on our butts.
After an hour hike to get there, the waterfall on the reserve was a beautiful sight.
When we got to the bottom, and once we had survived the very slippery rocks, we saw an amazing sight. It was beautiful. In about 30 seconds, all of us were in the water. It was freezing but felt sooo nice after sweating like crazy to get there. Sebastián hopped into the pool at the bottom of the waterfall and went directly under the falls, letting the powerful water hit his shoulders. It was an awesome sight. It was like he belonged there, standing under the falls, arms crossed, letting the water hit his shoulders, head down, like he was meditating. Well, I mean, he did belong there. He had become one with the waterfall...

    When we started losing feeling in our toes, we started getting out and drying off for the hike back to the lodge. We all felt so refreshed, no one was complaining, everyone felt good and renewed. It was amazing...
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A sign marking the Kekoldi Indigen…
A sign marking the Kekoldi Indige…
Me, Brittney and Aimee after carry…
Me, Brittney and Aimee after carr…
A highway for leaf cutter ants acr…
A highway for leaf cutter ants ac…
A yellow eyelash viper hanging out…
A yellow eyelash viper hanging ou…
After an hour hike to get there, t…
After an hour hike to get there, …
Anna contemplating the waterfall b…
Anna contemplating the waterfall …
Hone Creek
photo by: smhirsch