Sunday, 1 April 2018

A Day in Mala with Great Friends.



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Chaskwasi-Manu Children's Project


OK! The adventure starts today next at Los Pantanos de Villa nature reserve, south of Lima, Peru. After the day spent there birding with friends, the adventure of my lifetime is ahead; six months of cycling, packrafting and birding. Six months to experience oceanic coastline, desert, mountains and rainforest. Six months to try and see more than 618 bird species, the incredible Green Birding list that is the current World Green Birding Year list record held by Dorian Anderson of the USA.


29th March 2018 – Mala

Such wonderful friends, Katia and Mani with their sons, Luisfer and Nicholas, we set off at 5:30 a.m. For the family's holiday bungalow just south of the city of Mala. The motorway is busy despite the arly hour but traffic is moving steadily enough for us to make progress. A couple of lengthy stops are due to the toll gates. The weather is foggy but there is the promise of the sun burning this away. It is going to be another very hot day.
A carbon transport day before the six month Green adventure, I feel very tired and anxious over the coming fossil fuel free challenge. I just hope that this is due to the jetlag yet I am reminded that I have had three bouts of sinusitis this year with attendant asthma problems. My peak flow has been less than 400 of late.
We stop to buy some watch them being baked pies. They have a look life flying sauces with finger-pinched sides. Another item bought in good number is a tube of pastry filled with choice olives. Deliciousa!


We get to the bungalow via sandy dirt roads beyond a small village. Security gate is opened and we unload the holiday things from the boot and into the large bungalow. A superb and startlingly red Vermilion Flycatcher, male of course, is on a tree next to verandah oblivious to people as it searches for it's next prey item.
Mani and Katia go to bed. They work so hard and getting up early means they need to catch up with some sleep. Mani in particular is shattered. He hasn't been to bed at all overnight. In fact he spent the night with a study group working at his thesis for his Master's degree.
I go for a walk around the compound in the afternoon. Pacific Parrotlets are common,as are Streaked Saltators and Blue and White Swallows. Croaking Ground Doves do just that . . . croak and a small group of House Sparrows are in bushes in an adjacent house's hedge. Long-tailed Mockingbirds, Amazilia Hummingbirds and Groove-billed Anis are seen, the latter has a couple of juveniles hiding in thick undergrowth but betraying their presence by noisily begging for food. A Bran-coloured Flycatcher is the first one I have seen of this species at sea level. Overhead the occasional vulture fly past, Turkey and Black.
 Drab-coloured Seedeater
 Pacific Parrotlets and a passing Amazilian Hummingbird
 Streaked Saltator
Pacific Parrotlets

Into Mala for provisions, mainly fruit and salad, not of it is wrapped in plastic and all look marvellous and colourful.
Late afternoon and we are off on a rescue mission. Luisfer', Mani and Katia's oldest son needs ice for his first ever camping on a beach trip with his friends from University. So after queuing for about forty minutes on the motorway we arrive at their beach resort and pass over BBQ wood and large bags of ice. Now I could never image my parents travelling fifty miles to deliver bags of ice!
We return via a dusty dirt road to a small village, Azpitia, which lies atop a ridge with a large river below. We get out to admire the view and to enjoy a large glass of deep red Chicha. The next village has an Easter scene made up of Incan warriors and Spanish ladies as the protagonists.

Back at the bungalow more friends have arrived, Fabian and Fernando with their delightful daughter Malu. A very special couple, Fabian is from Nantes, France and speaks four languages perfectly. It is incredible the way Fabian can switch from English to Spanish in the same breath. The evening is spent with good food and good friends, games and music.



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