BirdLife: The Magazine Apr-Jun 2018 - Page 37

The interview The Lowrie’s run supported Armonía’s work to save Blue-throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis Photo Aidan MacCormick 4 Pretty saddening… it’s hard to imagine that there is still wilderness out there? Running on roads was harrowing in terms of how much roadkill we found. We saw two giant anteaters dead at the roadside, including one with her baby on her back; we thought we’d never see one alive. Finally, in northern Bolivia we did and I will never forget it. The effect of roads was sobering. When you look at satellite images you can see a herringbone pattern of roads, as the rainforest is carved for logging, ranching and settlements. But on the abandoned Rua de Onças “Jaguar Road” in the Brazilian Amazon we saw how forest can claim things back: we ran alone for three weeks. You ran one third of the route barefoot… Yes, running tall, with quick steps, light and flexible; it’s more natural and minimises injury. Though not whilst pulling the trailer – that killed our Achilles tendons. I became so fit I felt like I was flying, running on clouds. In Northern Argentina, it was so hot we left footprints in the tarmac! Then we ran along the white lines. Your best running fuel? Brazil nuts! When you munch them next time, imagine you’re in a pristine rainforest because that’s where almost all of them are from. Only undisturbed forest has the right bee pollinators. Any memories that stand out? Hearing a jaguar hunting a tapir outside our tent one night. Locals in hysterics after watching David being attacked by ants while putting up our hammocks! And one boy who chased us down the road nearly passed out from the apr-jun 2018 • birdlife Armonía’s Alternative Feather programme saves 15-20 Macaws per headdress Photos Wendy Willis 0 An estimated 50-250 Blue-throated Macaws are left in the wild Photo Myles Lamont 7 effort. He had a breathing condition, so we stopped and chatted to him for a while and he just grinned bashfully. Children give us hope. Is there anything you’ve changed in your life since your run? It’s cemented our quest to live simply. David has made us a log cabin with locally sourced wood. And we’re back in South America now, but this time on bicycles with our three-year-old son sitting behind me and our 17-month-old daughter snoring behind him in a trailer. David is pedalling through the red rainforest mud in front, accompanied by a cloud of plate-sized butterflies, pulling another homemade trailer with all our kit. It seems our addiction to South America and human-powered adventure is going to be difficult to shake. Katharine has countless more stories, tips and experiences to share. You can read more about the Lowries’ adventure in Katharine’s book: “Running South America with my Husband and other animals”. To find out more, and for a signed and dedicated copy, go to www.5000mileproject.org/shop You can also show your support at: www.birdlife.org/support Are you inspired to fundraise for BirdLife? Go to: www.birdlife.org/ fundraise 37