On day three, I rose to a perturbed Katia. It turns out I was supposed to join the caminantes for morning exercise. I was to go run a lap of the pasture by myself at once. I returned to find the caminantes involved in a lesson they were recieving from Pablo on compasses and maps. They were preparing for a hike! This was exactly the kind of thing I had daydreamed about for days since I first gazed out over the hills and valleys on to Miches from El Seibo. After a filling a discarded coke bottle with water changing into long pants, I rode with the rest of the hikers to the place Pablo had planned the beginning of out hike. Armed with a map, compass, and GPS, we set out across the pasture.
The hike was like something out of a dream. While there was no persistent trail, we picked up and lost little tracks through the grass the whole way through. We forded the river at a place where it was about knee deep and came over a heavily forested rise into rivine carved by a smaller, secondary waterway. From there it was about a hundred yards straight uphill after which we were treated to a breathtaking panoramic view that included the pasture from which we had come. For another couple of hours we hiked over rolling hills, shimmying under the occasional barbed wire fence. Finally we came upon a road that would lead us back to Jamao and began to follow it. About halfway there, Pablo arrived in his pickup and took us back to camp. When I think of it now, it's amusing how quickly the notion of riding with 10-plus kids in the back of a pickup truck has become normal.