Just arrived home to the UK and now sitting in my car outside Plas Y Brenin, the National Mountaineering Centre on a misty Saturday morning, looking towards a hidden Snowdon.
Just starting to process the last few weeks on expedition.
The aim of the “Into the Depths of the Amazon 2018” expedition was to take “normal” people with an interest in expeditions; science and being part of a research expedition. These “citizen scientists” came together as a group to work together, alongside expedition professionals and zoologists to travel to a remote part of the Peruvian jungle to study the biodiversity , and in particular the weird and wonderful world of the insects, sometimes overlooked for more “gucci” wildlife.
After 2 weeks of living in our remote base camp the team left the jungle and returned to Cusco.
2 weeks of building the temporary camp, helping to do all the cooking, carry water from the water point, traveling out every day to monitor insect traps, camera traps and our survey sites.
Using all the skills in the group this group of people worked really well together and threw themselves into all aspects of the expedition. Meaning that they transitioned from individuals with different motivations and aims, into a functioning team collaborating and buying in to supporting each other and the expeditions vision.
And this is part of what expeditions do, they are about the participation of the people. And it’s the people who are the real success story of this expedition.
During our time in the field we have collected thousands of samples of bugs, beetles ( there is a difference!!) And flies. All of these will be sent to the Natural History Museum in London, where it is hoped that they will be studied and possibly we will find that some are exciting new species, or help us understand the range of other species, this is the legacy of the expedition and it is exciting to think that the work our participants undertook over the last few weeks will lead to broadening and widening our knowledge of the world!
In my slightly tired coffee addled brain this morning writing this post has made me realise how proud and excited I am by what we have achieved on this expedition, even before we have started the work of sifting through the collection from a scientific perspective, or reviewing our performance and logistics.
I am very proud that the idea that we proposed 18 months ago to engage a broad group of people who want to do something important and different in an expedition perspective, has proved successful.
And I am excited about the next steps, both the science findings, as well as the possibility of future expeditions in this style!! So stand by on both fronts.