My adventures in Colombia really got rolling on my first full day in Villavicencio. The plan was to hit the road at 5:30 AM and drive straight out to Hernando’s fish farm about 2 hours away, and then stop at a few places to look for fish on the way back. The weather was crappy, with rain all night and a slight drizzle at dawn that lasted most of the morning. But a big delay was caused by someone parking Hernando into his garage, so we were not able to leave until the owner of the offending vehicle was found and the car moved. This is something that we chalk up to ‘COWA’… Colombia Wins Again… which means that annoying things will happen, there is nothing we can do about them, so just move on and do not get upset. COWA was a BIGLY part of this trip.
The late start meant that we had to deal with more traffic on the roads, so we were slower getting out of town. We hit the countryside about 8:30 in the morning, a time when we had intended to already be at the fish farm. The plan changed to trying to find filming locations while we had good light and work our way to the fish farm later in the day. We can return to the city in the evening. There is no sense driving when the conditions are good for filming.
But… COWA… the conditions are not all that good for filming. The rain stopped mid-morning, but the skies remained overcast. All the rain had blown out the streams, and each creek we passed was flooded and muddy. Hernando and Allesandro (a fish collector along to help out) were concerned that we were not going to find any place to film at all.
I, on the other hand, was having a great time. Yes, I wanted to collect fish and get some good video, but this day was also my first real foray into the countryside of the Llanos. Everything that I saw was new to me. I think that my bird watching was annoying Hernando and Allesandro a bit (after spending two weeks with Hernando, I think he became at least a closet birder), but I added 32 species to my life list that day.
The aquarium gods were watching and took pity on us, because the stream that would be our best chance at finding Apistogramma veijita, the Cano Potosi, was running low and clear, even while streams a kilometer away were blown out and muddy. I have no explanation, but I am thankful that this stream turning out to be such a great place to see fish.
Thank you to my sponsors for this expedition. Please visit their websites and take a look at what they have to offer.
Enjoy the video…