Monday, January 30, 2012

El Cajas... Sinking Into Páramo

Wishing to get back to nature, I traveled to a national park called El Cajas.
The park consists of mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and páramo.
Páramo is an alpine tundra or moorland.
The ground is soft, porous and retains a high quantity of water like a sponge. If you step on the spongy part of the páramo your foot sinks. It is best to walk on the packed ground or scramble over the rocks.
The park is at altitude as well... 12,800 feet (3,900 meters).
I went for a hike. The vistas were pretty amazing. I didn't know what to expect, so I carried a pack with a med kit, sleeping bag, ground cloth, food and water. I had heard that clouds often roll in and can be disorienting. Since I was hiking alone, I wanted to take the right precautions.
There was low lying brush...
Ground coverage...
Cactus...
Flowers...
Plants and flowers woven together...
And this crazy forest...
With wrangling trees growing in all directions.
I crossed a few rivers
Passed by a number of lakes
Passed by more rivers
That were raging
And made a few missteps.
It's all part of the adventure. Check out this short video to see what it is like hiking in páramo.
I got a little bit lost, but eventually found my way.

The first day I spent hiking. The second day I spent fishing for natural trout. I hooked into a few, but released them.

El Cajas was a beautiful area and quite unlike anything that I've seen before. The park had some good trails. The terrain was rugged and the climate variable. While I was there it was sunny, rainy, cloudy, cold and warm... all within the span of a few hours.

1 comment:

  1. What a good life you are having each day new and full of adventure. You Sir will have some of the best stories to tell in your old n gray days. You will be envied by those who were to afraid to leave there little life and take a chance on the world and all it has to offer those who go out and look for it. The "bad things" that are feared once worked through are the sweet parts and the ones that are offered up without having to work for are the icing on the "cake". Live Long Ride Hard and Love Life to the Full.

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