We met Rolando (our guide) at zero-dark-thirty this morning (that’s 5:30 a.m.) for our 3-hour boat trip on Lago Yojoa. We first hiked down to his house, in the dark, for a quick cup of hot coffee, and then we proceeded to the canal to board our small rowboat. Rowboats (or pole boats) are great, because they don’t disturb the wildlife and you can sneak right up on the critters if you’re lucky.
Canal leading to Lago Yojoa
Retreating into the Background
It was still very dark on the canal as we headed towards Lago Yojoa, silently paddling over the still waters (or rather Rolando was paddling). And then it started to rain, a continuation from the night before. Within minutes we were all soaked, and I was desperately trying to protect my camera and lens from the downpour. Both camera and lens are professional grade, and as such have “some” weatherproofing—but they are not waterproof. Such is the nature of wildlife photography—you have to suffer to get the shots you’re after. As it became lighter the rain also became lighter, and the numerous species of birds started to make their appearance.
Immature Black-crowned Night Heron
Within approximately one hour we entered Lago Yojoa, and we were the only boat and people on the lake. To row into this pristine wilderness, in almost complete solitude, is a true privilege. Rolando’s sharp eyes never ceased to roam the banks and marshes, and he only spoke to point out a specific sight—otherwise he remained as silent as our surroundings.
Large Egret in Flight
Large Egret in Flight
Rolando had quite a repertoire of bird whistles and calls at his command, and he utilized this talent frequently to call his feathered-friends in closer to us. But it’s Rolando’s eyes that are truly amazing—he can spot things that we would never see on our own in a million years (maybe two million).
On a Precarious Perch
Turquoise Motmot (Toh)
We were on the water for almost 4-hours, and the time just zoomed by. We still have 2-1/2 weeks remaining at this eco-lodge, and you can be assured that we will hire Rolando’s services again (probably next week). The word AMAZING is often overused by travelers, but this morning was truly amazing in every respect. Even getting drenched with the morning rain couldn’t deter our spirits.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Reporting from Lago Yojoa, Honduras . . .