The First Walking Tour Colombia
This was to be in the mountains, walking up
to Los Nevados National
Park. Our night before was at a sort of rural B&B with a
lovely hammock and
veranda area. The only problem was the food was all put out cold
and Caroline just
can’t eat hot food gone cold.
So for our first day of walking we were to go to 3440m with an altitude gain of 1542m and loss of 483m. A total of 7 miles which as due to take 8 hours. Balthasar set the pace with Stephen chasing his heels, so we did it in 6 ½ hours instead. So our acclimatization was somewhat speeded up. Thankfully only one of us definitely developed altitude sickness (though zero would have been better). What none of us was prepared for was the cold, chilling to the bone. Even worse after a slog of a walking day we were not allowed to go next to the fire in the finca kitchen and the mules had not yet arrived so we had nowhere to warm up.
The Finca (farm) Argentina was a mass of mud and animal poo. While we were sleeping in tents pitched inches away from each other in a rocky sloping field. In the night Caroline was woken by someone peeing near the tent and then someone started chatting at 03.30, not an auspicious start. However, for the evening mealtime we were allowed next to the fire and we had a delicious potato soup, which Caroline was able to have again for breakfast.
The second day was more of the same, mainly
later in the day when the chilling rain dropped and visibility
almost nothing. We walked to Finca Berlin this time around 9
altitude gain of 800m and loss of 350m. Again a bit of a slog
and one of the
group had a nasty looking fall (into a tree!); it took some time
her, but thankfully no injuries.
This time we were straight into the farmhouse kitchen. Most opted to sleep in bunks inside, but Murray and I didn’t want to separate. The campsite was flat, less mucky and very quiet. Marie was a great cook and house-keeper with a beautiful fire and good food. A proper night’s sleep was the icing on the cake. Even better, Marie made lunch for us to take.
The third day was due to take us to a higher altitude, but due to the hailstorm of yesterday and the complete lack of visibility, plus one person with altitude sickness, it would have been pointless. So we went to another finca – with no lady of the house. There was no home cooking for us, no fire. All the wood was wet, the farmer burned plastic so horrendous fumes kept driving you out.
All the farmhouses made cheese in wooden boxes with the whey and milk going to feed the pigs or dogs or both.
The one thing this trip had was lots of working dogs and they were the happiest dogs you could ever meet. We both still miss being dog owners.