A Rainy, Snowy Lagoon

December 8, 2007
Day 801

El Cocuy National Park Trip Day 5

Picture of valley.

The valley where I had lunch.

I was up at dawn again and started walking as soon as possible to avoid the daily bad afternoon weather. Today, however, was cloudy and rainy from the beginning. At one point, the freezing rain was driving so hard into my face that I had to curl up behind a rock to wait for it to pass. I couldn't see anything all morning.

After four hours I made it to my destination, a lagoon in the mountains. It was nice but I turned around as soon as I got there to try to get back before the weather got worse. But at the midpoint of walking back, the clouds suddenly cleared and I saw the mountains and glacier that had been hiding all day. I stopped and had lunch in an amazing valley surrounded by the beauty of the national park.

When I got back to the cabins, I finally met the owner and the rest of the family, who had come up for the day to decorate for Christmas. Although I was the only guest, they insured me that the place would be packed by Christmas with families from Bogotá. However, almost no foreign tourists ever bothered coming out this far from the cities. What a shame.

I originally had planned on trekking around the park, but the detour around the damaged road would cost me two days, and I didn't have the food or the motivation to spend more than a week there, so it was time to head down. On the way back to Guican, I got lucky and got a ride in the back of a truck. I jumped on a bus right away to Soata, where I spent the first night of my trip. If all goes well, one more long day on buses will get me back to Bucaramanga.

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