Saturday, February 10, 2007

Moskitia - Day 1 Overland to Raista Ecolodge

Up stupidly early this morning to catch the bus to a place called Tocoa. Met up with my fellow travellors (two swedish nurses, a budding wildlife photographer, and the owner of a non profit organisation) at the bus station at 5:30am and piled onto the bus. Not too uncomfortable but it took us about 4 or 5 hours to reach Tocoa. From there we had to pick up a "Paila" which seems to be some kind of seriously jacked up pick up truck. Seating is on the back and consists of some planks of wood. It is seriously uncomfortable.

The paved road dissappeared after about 30 minutes and from then on it was dirt roads and I began to understand just why the trucks had such big tires and jacked up suspension. Here's a picture of the truck that we almost got into before the guys in our truck kidnapped us.

The trip was long hot and dusty, but there were quite a few interesting sites to keep us amused. Lots of wildlife and rural scenes.

The last hour or so of the journey took place along the beach. The road dissappeared and we drove along the shore where the sand was firm from the water.

There were a few places where this meant that the truck seemed to be on the verge of tipping over. It's hard to capture this in a photo, but believe me, it was quite a nerve wracking experience. Especially when the welding holding the rails in place started to give way. Everyone on board seemed to take this in good spirits though so there was not panicking (maybe a few cries of "mummy...").

After some time we reached a place called Batalla and picked up our next form of transport, a boat to take us to Raista.

We took a brief stop at Palasais to use the facilities. Apparently this can be quite a dangerous place at night, there is currently a ban on consumption of alcohol and a curfew on all minors.

The sun was setting on us as we motored over the lagoons and through rivers until we eventually reached our lodgings for the night and a welcome cold shower and food.

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