Monday, January 21, 2008

Expedition Pictures

The Caldera Expedition began with a 3-4 hour boat ride to the south end of Bioko Island. We moved all of our supplies onto the beach using two little boats. Total unloading time was something like 4 hours since we unloaded enough food and supplies for about 70 people or so.
Our base of operations was Moraka Playa. I spent all but three nights living at this beach, conducting monkey censuses during the day and attempting to sleep at night. I did get to see a lot of monkeys and a few other interesting creatures such as lizards, snakes, tree hyraxes, birds, fish, etc. The beach was excellent though, and I made an attempt to swim everyday. This was difficult towards the end with my infected finger but I did manage to incite a successful skinny dipping excursion on the last night.
One of the census trails ended at a beautiful punta amongst the cliffs. Of all the places I have been in my life, I would say that this section of the island was the most unspoiled by human contact. The streams were crawling with fish and crayfish and the water was clean enough to drink. I felt as if I was one of a handful of people living who ever had the honor of being there. It was a truly special place.
The weather while at the beach was predictably unpredictable. I think we had a total of 3 days that didn't see major rain.
For whatever reason, it seemed to rain harder when there weren't any clouds overhead and vice versa. Several days were spent sitting on the beach watching white clouds turn black as soon as they passed overhead. Also, for whatever reason, there seemed to be no discernible tide schedule. Even the people in camp who were doing turtle census couldn't figure out what was going on.

Me and fellow student/friend Roberto aka "Big Bob." It was nice meeting him and all of the other Equatoguinean students. Bob and I ended up hanging out quite a bit. He was very helpful in teaching me some Spanish and is himself a social dynamo.
My attempt to spread the concept of a bro pic in Africa. Some people got the hang of it but I still have a few things to teach the others. From left to right we have Tammy, Bosco, Emma, and myself. Tammy and Emma are fellow students and definitely cool people. Bosco is our friend, cook, and so much more.

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