Day Trip From Bogotá, Colombia
“I love nature, I just don’t want to get any of it on me.” Woody Allen
We turn on to a deserted road (and I use the word road very loosely). There has been nothing but nature around for a while. I am in Colombia with a tour guide and driver that I have met this morning. I decide to just put it out there. “Are you going to kill me?” Apparently not. We are really going hiking.
I am headed to Encenillo Biological Reserve (http://www.natura.org.co/general/reserva-biologica-del-encenillo.html) in Trinidad in the province of Guasca about an hour out of Bogotá. It was established in 2007 with the purpose of conserving forests and preserving some of the unique species of birds and plants of Colombia.
This is the last remnants of primary forest of the Eastern Andean Cordillera. It had trees and plants like certain species of orchids and cedars not found anywhere else.
This may be the last refuge of populations of species of birds and mammals such as gouache and armadillo in the area.
It was also an area for limestone and you can see many quarries on route. (regenerated quarry)
There are many different trails. Our excellent guide Martha from the Encenillo Reserve speaks no English and I had to really focus to understand. Luiz translated when necessary. My Spanish improved a lot by the end of the hike.
We started at the Encenillo forests past the regenerated limestone quarry and then took the orchid path. It was not easy for me.
I am not a hiker. I was ready to give up before we reached the top with its beautiful view of the surrounding valleys. I happened to have been on a flat part two hours later when I heard we still had twenty-five minutes to go. It is just not heroic to give up on the flat part so I kept going.
But it is not about the hike. It’s about seeing the incredible beauty in a place you have never been before. It’s about your attitude on the steep part where you cant get your footing or you are pushing branches away from your face. It’s about continuing on when you don’t think you can. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other and making it to the top. ( some people got their first)
It is also about getting to the bottom which is always harder for me.
Thanks to tour guide Luiz Lamprea for his kindness and patience; Martha Ligio Gutierrez Avellaneda for her passion and knowledge of the reserve; and Gonzalo Pulido for being such a good driver.
Viaje Con Cuidado