side effects of fungus medication

My First Night at Cocha Cashu

by Jason on July 9, 2012

When we got to Cocha Cashu, we put up our tents. And when the night came, I got really scared. REALLY SCARED. I knew I would be fine, but my mind started racing. I was so far away from anything. I would be here for 6 weeks. There was no boat until that time. And I was in the most biologically diverse place in the world with jaguars, snakes and a litany of other things that could kill me. I was in a foreign world. And I knew nothing about it. I finally spoke to Antonio about it, and he told me he was scared his first night 10 years ago. That helped me feel better. I went to bed and I was still a bit nervous, but I was OK. It took me a few hours to get to sleep.

Sat, July 7, 2012

Frickin’ great potoo. Scared the crap out of me. Was trying to sleep my first night, and I hear this horrible sound that lasts 5 seconds at a time that occurred multiple times. Sounded like a large mammal. I was so scared. It sounded close, and I thought it was a jaguar or something like unto it.

I can now say I know what it feels like to believe a jaguar is just outside your tent. My heart was beating so fast. There was nothing I could do except just lie there. And my tent just happens to be the farthest away out of anyone. The next closest tent is at least 75 feet away hidden by jungle.

Then I felt this courage rise up amidst the fear. My mind became crystal clear real quick. I felt like I was talking to the jaguar and telling it to leave. I felt strength in facing it head on amidst all the fear. Luckily, nothing happened.

So I woke up in the morning and find out that what I heard is a great potoo. It’s an ugly bird with a big mouth and a horrible roar. But it’s harmless. Why couldn’t I have learned about this bird BEFORE my first night there? That would have helped just a bit. Why did I have to find out about this bird the way that I did?

I did get out for a walk today, and again I got scared. We stumbled upon a huge snake — an indigo snake. Non-poisonous. 5-6 inches in diameter a few meters long. I didn’t see it until it was literally right next to my feet. It startled the heck out of me. I feel like a little girl out here compared to the other researchers who already have experience in the jungle.

I was also able to film 3 different species of monkeys – spider monkey, capuchin monkey and squirrel monkey. So many squirrel monkeys. So small and always running.

Varun, the plant Ph.D. guy who does the tree plots taught me a lot about different plant species, seed dispersal and more. I love nature, and I’ve heard a lot more animals than I’ve seen. I love it out here, and I’ve been scared and nervous at the same time. Still hoping to see a jaguar.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: