When early explorers took their boats past Barro Colorado on their way up the Chagres river it was just a hill on their right. Nowadays the hill remains but it is surrounded by water on all sides, flooded by the lake created when they flooded the Chagres river to make the Panama Canal. On one shore of Barro Colorado Island, or BCI, sits a research station run by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where I have a research project on interactions between plants and mammals. Active since 1923, BCI is the best studied tropical sites in the world.
Our ocean-ocean ride will include a stop here next week for one night before we head into Soberania National Park across the canal from BCI. I’m here now to work, live-trapping agoutis, working with graduate students, checking camera-traps etc… But, of course, I have my uni with me and had to take a spin today.
Although the island has many miles of jungle trails, its been made clear to me by BCI management that these are off limits for unis. This leaves a small big of pavement and docking around the labs. Still, this was fun, with plenty of hills, stairs, and other things to play on.
A great study break.