Ongoing exploration of Rio Sabana Trail - Oct 2018 update - 3 days exploration

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The Rio Sabana trail actually joins with the Trade Winds trail to complete a path of over 25km. Our main photographic focus is the river itself .  At parts the trail is lost due to hurricane damage or landslides. At about 4 river crossings there are real dangers.

 

For this I started on the Sabana Park near Naguabo. Followed the trail until the river crossing were I slept, it was actually flooded due to a lot of rain. Then I explored the river for a half a day - I was calm again. Then decided to take the trail all the way to meet with Tradewinds trail, essentially to cross the entire park.

 

Thus at the end I was welcomed by a forest ranger on the end of PR-191, since the park was closed, and he drove me to the gate, were my wife and son were waiting for me. According to the ranger nobody had done this before? It was supposed to be 'impossible'. I would agree with him ...

 

But as expected, I found severe hurricane damage and found myself in a part were there was no more trail - the hurricane had it completely covered it up. I then went up the mountain, and found myself in a peak surrounded by totally uprooted and demolished trees all around. I was so high that I got cell reception and communicated with my family and got the GPS coordinates of were I was, but that did not help.

 

I was actually lost for several hours due to this! A prayer made the miracle and found the way to the trail again. I also learned that to be lost outside the trails here is a deadly situation... The forest is immense, impossible to find the way out if your are in the middle of it. There is nothing edible in this forest.

 

On the image we see my legs cut in many places due to a plant that is like a razor blade.

Due to Maria this plant has grown over all the forest, specially in the open parts of the trail. They have created sort of a wall - you need to be fully dressed with long pants and shirts to survive in these environment now. I was so badly hurt that it took a week to recover...

 

Raul completed this trail on 10/2018 and took 3 days sleeping on the muddy or overgrowth trails. The variety of landscapes and formations I saw was staggering, with many small rivers crossing the path.

 

The last part of the trade winds trail (near PR 191) was decimated by the Hurricane Maria, with many large trees uprooted.

 

There is also a huge, really huge landslide being formed (they may grow) very close to the trail near the end of the Tradewinds (by Maria)  - if this expands it may close the trail completely for a while? Maybe forever.