A fantastic closing to a remarkable trip. Starting very early this morning, we took advantage of the cool breeze and morning light to navigate through the extensive Cispata mangrove reserves. Seventy years ago this area was a much different scene, full of rice fields and ragtag crocodile hunters which almost decimated the reptile population.
Today we learned the wonderful story of a community of hunters and farmers who united with conservation efforts twenty-five years ago, changing the landscape to mangroves and launching a crocodile rehabilitation center. We were all impressed knowing that our local guides were in fact the former hunters; now proud of their studies and efforts, they maintain the largest and most successful crocodile releasing program within these beautiful mangrove estuaries. We really enjoyed this morning’s navigation, pairing bird life with such a wonderful community story.
We returned to the ship in mid-morning for a great brunch and some relaxation before our final afternoon activities in the Sanguare Reserve.
Our afternoon trip was quite the surprise, a first in this region for us and the ship: getting clearance in this unanchored bay to visit the Sanguare lodge and reserve. We were graciously received at a wonderful family-owned Hacienda, turned from cattle lands into a sustainable eco-paradise teeming with birdlife among beautiful gardens and trails. The afternoon featured an array of activities including kayaking, birding, trail walking, a cultural performance, and an amazing display of the local gastronomy. A fantastic ending for a remarkable trip!