Though I was a bit nervous before going it turned out to be an enjoyable trip. I thought that I would be taking the 3 hour journey on stone roads to Ravelo in the back of a lorry (which I thought was called a 'turno' in spanish) turned about it was in a bus with ok leg room. All the word 'turno' means is whos turn it is to take a vehicle on any given route, but this word is also used to refer to the vehicles as well! Very confusing.
A question for the walkers amoung you.
If you start walking at around 3500 metres above sea level is that called hill walking or mountain walking?
Well whichever you call it that was what this trip was about. Much walking to look at some of the areas of woods that FH has been helping the communities near them to conserve so they don't cut all the trees down at once.
On Wednesday we arrived at Ravelo at lunchtime, ate and then walked out of the town to some hills in the distance. When we got there we used GPS (Global Postioning Satilites) to accurately measure the area conserved. In all we walked for 2 1/2 hours. Not a lot but I'm still getting used to living at high altitude and it was only a warm up for the next day. In the evening we went to a community 1/2 an hour further on and stayed there for the night.
The woods (only low growing trees) we went to on Wednesday in the distance (pic below left) , and my boss Sergio (right) and David one of the technicians.
Thursday we started off on motorbikes and went to a community and found someone who knew the area we wanted to go and look at. Then we went to a high point on the bike and looked over the conservation area. We then started an hours desent to the river at the bottom of the conservation area. I had jelly legs by the end of all that down hill walking. We had lunch (sardine rolls and biscuits Sarah had made before I left) in a beautiful spot by a stream with pools.
Then set off along the river to record the missing information for this area. The techicians went off with the GPS and the camposino (what the country folk are called) and my boss and I took photos and drawings to record the different types of vegetation and to look for erosion. This was tiring enough, but we then had to get back to the community! The technician walked straight up a 60 or 70 percent slope to continue collecting the GPS data and to measure the area and my boss and I followed a path by the river back to the community. Unfortunately it was too good to be true and we had a steep climb back out of the valley to the community. By the end of it I felt that I had almost walked too much that day! I then got back on the motorbike for a 40 minute ride back to Ravelo, to catch the 3pm bus back to Surce, with less leg room and people standing in the isles all the way back to Surce.
See the bottom of the valley follow that along and around the corner some and thats where we started from and we still had a load of climbing to do!
Needless to say I slept well that night.
As I write this Alana is playing next to me with some bottle lids and keeps saying gras (her form of Gracias (Thank you)).