The last few days of our research were the highlight of the program for me. Our second and final field work location was at the top of a rather steep hill to the northeast of Bermejo from last week. We arrived at the foot of the hill, met our guides, then set off up the steep slopes of Altos de Espave. The trail was rocky, narrow, and very slippery. I was terrified of going down in rain, but luckily we had very nice weather the whole time.
Along the trail, we saw some amazing wildlife. Bananas, papaya, stinging nettle flowers, crab spiders, tarantulas, banana spiders, frogs, swarms of migrating ants, and African bees. Sounds terrifying, but I loved every second of it!
About 1km north and 350m higher in elevation, we found the community’s excavated spring aquifers and reservoir tank. We returned to the site for the next two days, taking water samples at the source and exploring further up the hill looking for point-source pollution. Towards the top, we found a large open cow pasture with a very steep slope. Atop the pasture, we had an amazing view of the surrounding landscape. Fortunately it was a clear day, so the photos give some justice to these mountains.