Tuesday, September 30, 2008


After spending two weeks at Las Cruces biological station, we spent the week between September 8 and 15 at a site called Cuerici. Cuerici is a farm at an altitude of about 2700 m, and the farmer, Don Carlos, raises trout as well as a few species of trees. On our second day there, we drove up another few hundred meters to a type of high-altitude forest called Páramo. The vegetation there was uniquely adapted to drastic temperature changes and high UV exposure - most plants were hairy and all were short and shrub-like. We also took an all-day hike one day to see a 2000-year-old oak tree and a really neat waterfall. During the hike, we crossed a wide-ish river on a not-quite-wide-enough tree that had fallen over it, which was slightly terrifying but really fun. Our environment classes while we were at Cuerici focused a lot on sustainable conservation, using Don Carlos's farm as an example to analyze critically.

Although it was pretty cold at Cuerici (especially at night), we were kept pretty cozy by multiple fires/stoves, hot chocolate, and lots of blankets. The 22 of us slept in one giant bunk room and shared a big bathroom, making for another fun bonding experience. We spent a lot of time hiking through the oak forest surrounding the farm, and learned a good deal about trout farming. The views were absolutely gorgeous at Cuerici, and we spent a lot of time walking around inside of clouds. At the end of our stay at Cuerici, we drove to La Selva research station (lowland tropical wet forest), which is where we've been for the past two weeks - more on that to come soon!

View from a high point in the oak forest.

Marshmallow-roasting party one night after class :)

The log bridge - I'm second from the right (and although you can't tell, I'm terrified in this picture...)

Páramo again... there was lots of climbing involved.


Mark Ace said...

great trip with great pictures.
my link

Anonymous said...

all i can say is wow....dad