The Rio Seco Trail

The Rio Seco nature trail can be accessed via a small road on the left just past the Salybia bridge. You will have to drive along the road (if it can be called that) for about fifteen minutes. After this time period you should notice a widening of the road along a bend. Further on the road deteriorates considerably, and a recent landslide will prevent most cars from proceeding further. This does not pose a problem as the trailhead is only 2 minutes walking distance away. The highlight of the Rio Seco trail is its culmination, the Rio Seco waterfalls. We have no pictures of the falls on this occasion, preferring to restrict pictures to the trail itself for now. The trail is quite easy to follow, with the exception of some slippery bits. It is a rather bad idea to attempt the trail during the rainy season, or worse, directly after heavy rains as we did. Try for the dry season instead, unless you are not averse to ankle-deep liquid mud. We slipped and fell in the mud on two occasions, with cameras becoming submerged in the goo. Additionally, after heavy rains the river can turn an ugly red-brown hue, which we surmise is from quarrying somewhere about. You will have to ford 3 streams that essentially divide the trail into thirds. The first stream is a piece of cake to cross, the third involves getting wet up to your shins, and the third (especially after heavy rains) is frankly alarming. Prepare for an impromptu 'dunk'. From here on you follow the main tributary of the Rio Seco river upstream to the falls.

Before this particular jaunt, we were affronted by throngs of online digital neophytes who cast aspersion on all things film, especially 35mm film. Consequently, for this trip, we took our 30 year old Olympus OM-2N, complete with silver flaking off the mirror, and fungus growing on the glass internals. We also took along a cheap fungus-etched 50mm lens and attached a semi-fisheye wide angle to it. This semi-fisheye was reviewed in the 1970s as one of the 'worst performing lens accessories ever made'. Vignetting at the corners, edge distortion, low-contrast, unsharp, out-of-focus at the edges, this lens is a nightmare. To top all this off, we used Kodak's cheapest negative film. We present some of the pictures here: not too shabby, we think. The camera also survived submersion in mud, and being washed off in river water.


Rio Seco Rio Seco Rio Seco Rio Seco
UPDATE - 2008

Introducing the Rio Seco Waterfall as pictured on a follow-up hike. Photographed using an 8x10 view camera in both colour and black and white; the colour pictures always lag behind our b&w uploads as colour pictures have to be developed in batches of 20 at a time.

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