January 10th, 2012
“I undertook a short visit to Cobachon from Dec 22- 24th. I was accompanied by Victor Vergara, my wife’s cousin and a friend from Purio. Our primary objective was to see how the ranchos were holding out, see the condition of the pastures, and most important of all to fish. We were planning to drive as far as we could, reaching just beyond Rio Horcones and walk the rest of the way. However, upon reaching the Los Buzos harbor and having coffee with Nubia, the proprietress of Restaurante Kenia, we found that a group was leaving on a boat to Tembladera and we could catch a lift to Portobello, just a few kilometers shy of Cobachon.
Once there we found the ranchos to be in fantastic condition, even the rock gardens and orchids were flourishing, the improvements are really impressive. I was especially taken by the wood stove and details like leather joinery, and the Gran Azul logo branded onto the rustic wooden furniture. The cattle pastures also look great although the orange harvest this year has been disappointing. Our arrangement to let Daniel sublet the pastures occasionally to generate much needed income for his family is working out as he has kept them clean of invasive shrubs and trees. He reported to me that there is a vast natural regeneration of cocobolo or rosewood ( Dalberia retusa) and that he has left most of the bigger specimens alone. Of course no fire is allowed to be used whatsoever.
While visiting the pasture we saw a King Vulture and three Green Macaws at close range. The King Vulture was amongst many Black Vultures feeding on a dead snake. The Green Macaws were feeding on the fruits of a nearby Sandbox tree (Hura crepitans).
We spent one night drinking Gin Caballito with Daniel’s mother and father in law. My wife’s cousin and his friend did most the drinking and being good Santenos fell deep into reminiscing of the good country life lost to city dwellers, and still alive and well here in Cobachon.
The next day Daniel showed me a turtle egg nursery where he has planted eggs that he had saved from poachers. He said it was a very rare species to be seen laying in this area, the Green sea turtle (Chelonias mydas).
Our short visit was as always, too short. The fishing was not very productive but we caught enough to each fish each night. The walk back was quite long, the hill crossing Punta Blanca, el Malageto, didn’t fail in tiring us all out, as it does with anyone who crosses it. Hopefully I will be back soon to hear how many turtles hatched!”