Camping in Ybycu’i National Park

Posted on March 26, 2012

I am still waiting for permission to start new data collection in the Chaco.  In the meantime I keep busy in Asunción by analyzing last year’s samples in the lab during the week, and I’ve been looking for fun things to do on weekends.  So I was really excited to be invited on the annual camping trip to Ybycu’i National Park  with the Biology Students’ Association of Paraguay on March 10-11th.

The camping trip is a welcoming event for new undergraduate students in biology at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción.  It’s a chance for the new students and some of the older students to get to know each other.  We went on hikes, played games, and sang songs around the campfire.  And there was a series of talks about biology methods.  I gave a talk about some of the methods we use in primatology to study behavioural ecology (I have BSc’s in primatology and biology).

Giving my talk on behavioural ecology methods.

I spent most of the weekend swimming in a natural pool below waterfalls:

Natural pool with waterfalls. The students are practicing fish capturing techniques.

And I went on a couple of hikes to see a bigger set of waterfalls:


… and the re-construction of La Rosada, one of the oldest iron mills in the Americas, which was destroyed during the War of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Argentina & Uruguay vs. Paraguay, from 1864-1870):

La Rosada iron mill re-construction

La Rosada iron mill re-construction

This is the first time I’ve really experienced the eastern side of Paraguay!  The plentiful water, heavy tree cover, and lack of dust were heavenly after extensive time in the Chaco.  I may need to reconsider the way I choose my fieldsites…