I’m moving a mite slow today. I got knocked off a horse yesterday and I’m still a bit shaken. At Carolina’s home in Santiago, Casa de Dragon, I was riding her magnificent black stallion, “Blackbird,” and we were galloping back to the stable when he went under a low-hanging branch I didn’t see to duck, and it whacked me in the head and knocked me off onto my back. Rather took the wind out of me, and left me with a few scratches, aches and bruises. Nothing appears to be broken, however. It could have been much worse… 8-year-old Maia nursed me diligently, cleaned my wounds, and put colorful emoji bandaids on them all. When we got back to LaKzonA Lodge, Dona smeared me down with Arnica gel, which worked amazingly well to take away the aches and bruises from the fall.
This morning I had a productive Skype meeting with the Grey School Administration. People are really responding to our new offer of a monthly tuition subscription! At 10:00 Carolina came by with Maia, Angela and Eric to take us all to Cerro Iquitiu Parque Ecologico Municipal in San Lucas Toliman where we hiked up to an old-growth forest atop a mountain, Cerro Iquitiu—“Heavenly Mountain.” A bit of a hike, but the trail was well-made and maintained, with log steps and a great lookout spot. The forest was so lush and primeval, with a much lower temperature from mist rolling mystically up the mountainside. Gigantic trees with fluted buttress roots were covered with a profusion of vines, ferns, bromeliads, orchids, lichens, mushrooms and moss. And what a contrast between the huge trees and the many tiny things—fuzzy black “spikey no-touch” caterpillars (as Angela called them), miniature flowers, seeds, nuts, berries, acorns, broken blue eggshells…
When we got back to LaKzonA Lodge around 3:00, we discovered that our Internet connection was gone. Even our cell phones wouldn’t work for outgoing texts or calls—though we could receive them. We’re totally cut off from civilization, and we can’t even call for help!