With a few hours to go till departure thoughts are turning to the aims and objectives to what we are planning to do on the expedition.
Equipment is all packed and pretty much ready to go, paperwork is stacking up, making sure we have all the participants details and information, all the planning is in place and we are nearly ready to fly!
By lunch time tomorow the advanced group will be in Cusco, the historic city of the Inca’s, high in the Central Andes. With its clear air and colonial buildings Cusco is the jumping off point for tourists and explorers heading to the high mountains, Machu Pichu or the southern amazon.
Here we will spend 2 days sorting food and logistics and packing this into a truck that will take us over the Andes and drop down into the hot and sweaty Amazon basin.
While here we will also get to meet up with our great group of participants, who have come from a range of backgrounds , with a common interest in science and exploration. These ” citizen scientists” will be the driving force of our research and with Dr Ross Piper and Dr Sussanh Cass help will explore deep into our research area starting to scratch the surface of the biodiversity of this area of the Amazon. Our participants for this expedition are students, retired dam builders, research scientists, a psycologist, a science communicator and an insurance broker!!!
One of the highlights of my job is meeting so many interesting people from all walks of life , finding out about their background and learning tons from them as well. Sometimes they test your skills and character but it is definatly one of the great challenges of my job.
Very soon I will be saying my goodbyes to my family which is always a hard moment before any expedition, a chance to reflect and to expect them to have changed by the time you get back.
It is sometimes hard to find the right words to say to my kids, I don’ want them to miss me too badly, I want them to carry on with their lives just with daddy away at work, as if it is normal (obviously in our house it is!!) but at the same time I love enthusing them with my adventures and the wildlife I might see, and for my older son to inspire to develop himself and follow his own dreams and adventures.
So a mixed set of emotions before I get my head in the game (to quote high school musical- that should please my daughter!!!) And get on with the job at hand, to focus my attention on doing a great job and really enjoying what we are going to find, discover and learn while we are on expedition.
Next time I post we will be in Cusco and the team will be together!!