THE GHOST OF THE FOREST
I am a very patient man, it helps, to put it mildly, when you are attempting to film wildlife in all manner of weather and locations, however this last week has seen my reserve of patience and concentration drop to the point where I am sorry to admit they are scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel. I was somewhat shocked to feel this way, as the little Geoffrey’s Cat ( Leopardus geoffroyi ) I have been attempting to film and locate this last week, is rarely seen and filmed that I should be boiling over with enthusiasm at the fact I have been given the chance to wander at will in one of it’s forest strongholds here in deepest Patagonia, but it seems I have gone off the boil, so to speak.
I have spent the last week wondering and waiting in the forests surrounding the Milodon Cave National Historical Monument, near the town of Puerto Natales, but my mind seems to have gone walk about , as Australia’s aboriginals would say. My stunning location is located not far from the shores of the Fjord de la Ultima Esperanza ( Last Hope Sound ) it’s claim to fame is the patch of hide and bones of a giant Sloth known as a that a German navigator Herman Eberhardt, discovered when exploring the region in 1895, but even the scenery is failing to keep my mind focused.
The main culprit for this, could be my mind allowing my financial worries to bubble to the surface, as I ready myself for a return to England, where in the the next week I will touch down at Heathrow, with nowhere to live, no immediate job to walk into and so little money in the bank , I may as well use it to place a bet on a rank outsider horse running at Salisbury races the day I touch down, I might just do that.
I have been up to my back teeth in the jaw dropping scenery of the Torres del Paine National Park for the last 4 months, and as tired and battered as my body and mind are, having stomped over vast ares of it in search of the Patagonian Puma, it was a nagging doubt that my finances were getting low and I would have think about the big return journey. During this time I have witnessed and filmed some rare behaviour and had an incredible time doing so, which I am happy to say will go a long way to increasing my chances of getting my documentary film about the Pumas funded in full, the producer I am working with in Bristol has a small smile on his face, which gives me hope, and considering the fact I am a one man operation, whose main camera “bit the dust” after a month of filming, and I have survived solely with a Nikon DSLR and a short zoom, makes my results even more extraordinary.
However the current lack of funds in my account has sown seeds of doubt and my ability to happily wander and film with the levels of patience and concentration has suffered, and the lack of funds mean I am unable to fill the larder with the large quantity of food I require to keep marching all day every day. I still have over a month left on my visa, but the British Airways 787 Dreamliner is calling for the long 14 hour flight to Heathrow.
So it with great sadness that later today, as the forest outside the window continues to be blanketed with large quantities of snow, I have to admit defeat in attempting to track and film the little Geoffrey’s cat. I have no doubt I will get my project funded, and I will return with more time and more equipment and with any luck I might just catch a glimpse of the little cat that lives in the woods, whose name is Geoffrey !!!!