A Mega Otter Fossil Morning!

The trail system at ARCC has all sorts of fun names for the trails. One of my favorites is Mega Otter Fossil, mostly because it is a really nice, open trail. Other trail names are: Toxic, Edge, T8/Bamboo, T1, Blood, Huascar, Heaven, Death, and Dry Lake. I was going to take a picture of the trail system map but I forgot! Oops!

Another fantabulous morning at ARCC! It started out cool and early, but not too early (6am). After a delicious breakfast of egg sandwich and chocolate oatmeal drink (I have had so many oatmealish drinks while here!) we headed out for my first mammal transect on the Mega Otter Fossil Trail. The actual transect was pretty slow, possibly because of the friaje (cold).  I later learned that Sophia and I were actually under some sort of curse to have the worst transects of all times, actually seeing not a living creature on some of them. However on this one I spotted a dwarf squirrel less than 5m from the trail that was fairly adorable. And then we saw and heard glimpses of a skittish white fronted capuchin group. Oh and non-mammaly we saw birds (of course) and some yellow-crested woodpeckers having a mid-morning snack on a termite nest. Yum!

A lounging  white capuchin from a different part of the reserve. Clearly he is unconcerned with my presence.

A lounging white-fronted capuchin from a different part of the reserve. Clearly he is unconcerned with my presence.

It was fun getting to lead on trail and the slow pace gave ample forest viewing time. But the best part of the morning came after we were done with the transect.  We decided to continue down onto the freshly machetied trail called Mammoth. It was quite different from the other trails with actually some elevation changes instead of the typical flat floodplain of most of the trails. There are a couple stream crossings, one which is named Flo and the next Rachel. Rachel is a particularly neat stream crossing with a big boulder and waterfall with a nice little pool at the bottom. It is a spot that looks wonderful to just relax and sit in the water. Then at the end is that “Mammoth” a quite large, wide, sandy-bottomed creek that  is really gorgeous and has two near perfect tree fells. One is actually really good with two natural hand holds. It’s pretty cool that a tree can continue living after it has been toppled and change its growth patterns to the circumstance.

Me with the perfect tree fall in my ultra-flattering jungle garb

Me with the perfect tree fall in my ultra-flattering jungle garb complete with compass necklace

Once we arrived at Mammoth creek Sophia and I went exploring for a bit. Then we sat on a log at the side and relaxed a bit after the long walk. After a while we finally tore ourselves away to return to the trail…. Only to return to the creek through an alternative entrance and walk to where Mammoth and the river meet. It was so peaceful, no sand flies for once, and generally a very happy moment.

Meet Sophia, my mammal volunteer buddy!

Meet Sophia, my mammal volunteer buddy!


About Meg LaFollette

I studied abroad in Fiji for 5 months in 2012 and absolutely fell in love with traveling! I went to New Zealand right after and then Peru this summer. When not traveling (and sometimes during) I love healthy, environmentally conscious living. Animals, biology, horses, and behavior are other passions of mine.
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