Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Parque Cajas.

Last, what was it, Tuesday, I think, I went to Parque Cajas with Daniela, a traveler from Switzerland. Parque Cajas is about 45 minutes west of Cuenca. We hopped on a bus to Guayaquil and asked the driver to let us of at Tres Croses. As the bus wound up the mountains, the land became more and more barren and cold looking. It was foggy outside, and I stared out the window, wishing I had worn more than a tee-shirt and a fleece.

Finally, the bus pulled over on the side of the road and let us out (and true to Ecuadorian bus fashion, I had one leg still on the bus as it was driving off). Once it turned the corner, we were completely alone, and Daniela and I looked at each other with wide eyes as the wind sliced through us. Our four to six hour hike through Parque Cajas no longer seemed like the smartest idea in the world.

Tres Croses.

Instead, Daniela and I opted to walk down the road a little ways. We were afraid that if we went too far down one of the paths, the fog would descend and we would be, to put it frankly, screwed. So we found a path we could take along which we could still see the road. We walked for about an hour or so, to a high point. Once at the high point, it started to sprinkle a bit, so we turned around. In a few minutes, it was pouring--cold rain that the wind blew everywhere. Not only that, but there was some sleet mixed in as well.

The Parque itself was beautiful--high in the mountains, there were no trees, only a series of lagoons filled with ice cold water. There were small streams of water everywhere--in fact, the past we took doubled as a stream, and we had to step carefully through the water. The barrenness of the park was its beauty, and I would have loved to have spent more time there--had the weather been just a bit nicer.

When we made it back to the road, Daniela and I walked down it a bit further, then stopped to wait for a bus to flag down. After about half and hour or so, a bus came and we were able to board it to return to Cuenca.


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