|The route to Portobello via the Rio Cascaja [Google Maps]|
Day 4, 12 kilometers, difficulty: medium
As the sounds of the rainforest fade away, we go through our morning routines. We know how to quickly disassemble our tarps and hammocks. There is plenty of optimism since that we have the most challenging terrain behind us, yet we are not out of the jungle just yet.
We continue trekking along the Rio Cascaja, west towards Portobello. crossing and recrossing the river to avoid obstacles, and rocking in the river itself when possible. No longer does it matter when our feet get wet.
Leaving the jungle temporarily we approach a series of hills crossed with a cattle pathway. We slog through the mud, which literally pulls your shoes clean off if they are not fastened securely. The mud is not so terrible in that, well it could be worse. It is the "dry" season after all. Which just means it rains less. And we know soon we will be reconvening with the river, and the mud will be washed away.
As the last stretch of the selva approaches, we do not believe that we have conquered the jungle, but rather that the jungle has allowed us passage in this time. Yet nature has one more card to play. As the people in the front hack their way through the foliage, we hear "GO BACK, GO BACK, RUN!" A nest of obispas has been accidentally disturbed, and the wasps go on attack to defend their territory. The people in the front thankfully escape with only a handful of stings.
After two more hours of trekking (including five medium hills), we reach civilization, in order to then enjoy some well-earned cold bebidas and cold cervezas.