We made it there !! And it was a real Victoria Adventure
!!! There were three of us: Chiqui Arroyo, Raul Ortuño
(the worker I sent before to collect Victorias for La
Rinconada) and myself.
We took off from Santa Cruz Tuesday, January 24, 2006, at
4:30 am and traveled for 9 hours by a very nice road to Trinidad.
As soon as we arrived we went for lunch to the shores of the
Ibare River, on the way to the Victorias. When arriving
there, Pepe (José Ribero) called telling us that you sent
another mail with more instructions for collecting the plants.
So we went back to Trinidad to receive your mail and were off
on the road again.
Trinidad is surrounded by rivers and ex-rivers that form lakes.
The first one was the Ibare River which we crossed over by bridge.
The second, also a branch of the Ibare River, is like a big lake.
It took us 25 minutes to cross on a special boat that carries
cars and trucks. The third one was the Mamore and, although the
crossing is usually not as long as the former (about 15 minutes),
it took us more than 25 because the current and the wind where
so strong that the small motor was not able to push the boat
as it usually does.
We are in the peak of a very rainy season, so rivers are especially
high in volume and the dirt roads are especially bad. The next
piece of road was soft clay with deep tracks that stopped us
a lot of times, so we had to push the car to go on, and sometimes
to go back.
A couple of times I though we wouldn't make it through and
would have to spend the night on the road (praying that it wouldn't
rain). I was also concerned because we were running out of time
and daylight. But we went ahead and reached the last "small"
river according to Raul who came both times in the dry season.
The small river called the Tijamuchi was not small at all. It
took us about 10 minutes to cross it by boat.
After crossing the river it is only 1300 meters to the place
of the Victorias. We were incredibly excited at the sight
of them. There was water on both sides of the road forming two
quite deep ponds connected under a small bridge. Most of the
Victorias were on the right side with only three individuals
on the left. They were about the size of the ones of La Rinconada,
maybe a little smaller and a lot more deteriorated. We noticed
rims of two colors: green and reddish. We did not see leaves
with the deep red rims we have in La Rinconada.
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