FOLLOW THE EXPEDITION
In previous reports we have told you about the progress of the boat crew, our archaeological discoveries and the amazing places that we have been to. So, we thought that we should turn to more practical matters for this report.
Once a camping location has been decided upon, the Colonel's team will go on a recce down river, Capt. Jim Masters will take a team to check on the boat crew and re-supply them if necessary, and those who are left erect the camp. For the camp in the photo below, four people put up the tents and set up the kitchen.
Our Favourite Campsite Yet
We have several four-man tents and four one-man tents. Below is an example of a one-man tent. There is just enough room to store your gear and lay out your sleeping bag.
A One-Man Tent
We then find a location, as private as possible, to dig the toilet. This basically consists of two poles with a plastic screen between them, a hole in the ground and a shovel (the explorer's flush).
The Explorer's Toilet
Once these jobs are finished everyone gets on with their own jobs like updating the web-site.
The Field Comm's Centre
Around about 6pm Gerry and Noel serve up one of their tasty field dinners. They cook with whisper stoves and use tinned food from home and locally obtained food like the egg that Chrysoulla found freshly laid on her bed.
The Freshly Laid Egg
It starts to get dark here at about 6.30pm and by 7pm we have a drink and watch the fabulous sunsets and the stars coming out.
A Typical Sunset
In other news, Heavy rain has raised water levels, but they are still at the lowest in living memory. Whilst this has made the going tough for the boat crew, the vehicle borne archaeological teams have been able to reach hitherto inaccessible areas. In view of the prevailing low water levels Capt Jim Masters is pushing his smallest craft ahead. "Pachachotec" (God Of Creation) commanded by Lt Luke Cox RE escorted by the Avon inflatable support boat have now reached Eucaliptus. In the crew two teenagers, Aymayra Indian Alexander Catari(17) and Mark Lobel(18) of London have won praise for their efforts.
Further south the explorers are finding more and more early sites, mainly from the Wankarani and Tiwanaku period (3000BC - 1400AD). Toby Marriner is inspecting Jim Allen's Channel to see if it is natural or man-made and also assesing effects of El Nino on various environmentally important lakes on behalf of Bolivian Governement.
The Expedition is now only 90kms from Lake Poopo and expects to reach it on the 12 of April.