Official Start from the San Rafael Reserve

Trip Start Jan 01, 2009
Trip End Oct 01, 2009

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Flag of Paraguay  ,
Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hola from the road in Paraguay!
The ride has officially begun!
It was another of many mini-adventures, to say the least, putting my trusty bicycle through the first heavy storm of the trip... complete with hail, horizontal rains, and winds so strong my bamboo flagpole snapped in half. But Skinny Horse and I managed to roll into Procosara's post in the San Rafael Reserve on January 1st, just in time to hear the rains are helping extinguish the many forest fires that were set on purpose.
This is unbelievable:
The national tree of Paraguay (Lapacho), usually blooms yellow or pink flowers. Only 1 in 50,000 Lapachos blooms white flowers. Last year there were only three white Lapachos in the entire San Rafael reserve. Now, with so much deforestation only one white Lapacho can be found. The photo is attached.
The people responsible for destroying the last 7% of this forest are routinely reported to authorities, but corruption, bribes, and threats run so rampant in this area that actual legal action is as rare as a sighting of the endangered "Jaku Peti" bird. 
I've got to hit the road now, but I'll update you again soon! As always thank you for your support, interest, and encouragement!
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