View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


We slept just okay in our little cubicle above the noisy restaurant here in the town of Guasca, Colombia (pop 13,000). As we said yesterday, it's not ideal and it's a little overpriced compared to what we've been paying during the last five weeks, but we think we're going to stick it out here until Thursday when we go to Bogota airport for our flight to Medellin.

Because while our accommodation isn't great, the little town itself is nice enough and the scenery surrounding it is beautiful. And there are lots of areas to go for walks.

I had seen on the map a path that lead up to a mountain called Pena Negra. But the path itself was quite far away and I figured it was 10 kms (6 miles) or so walking on the road each way just to get to the path.

But we had all day, so why not?

First, we had breakfast at a little cafe. A couple of pan de yucca (yucca bread rolls) and eggs and hot chocolate. Then I asked for three empandadas to go for lunch. Our bill was 11,000 pesos ($4.95 CAD) including the empanadas! Then we went to a fruit and veggie store and bought some fruit for lunch as well.

Lots of choice, but fruits and veggies are more expensive here than in Mexico.

We took off walking on the road at about 10:30am. Headed for those mountains!

A field of strawberries.

The roads in Colombia are in overall great condition...far better than the average highway in Mexico. Or Saskatchewan, for that matter!

Lots of pretty wildflowers.

More wildflowers.

It was fine walking on the side of the paved road, but for some reason this road going between Guasca and Gacheta had a lot of dump truck traffic. Loaded trucks were going down the mountain, and then heading back up empty. We never did see where they originated from, but it definitely took away from the walk. Otherwise, the road was not really very busy.

Love the Colombian countryside!

Starting to get a view.

We kept going up and up, but it was at a steady incline...not really steep at any one point. I had the iPhone mapping program running and we eventually passed 3,000 meters (9,840 ft). And kept going up.

We reached a protected forest area. The Colombian spectacled bear lives up here!

What a view. We had walked up that road on the left.

It seemed like we would never reach that path. I hadn't judged the distance very well because the road switchbacked a couple of times and when we reached the footpath we had already done almost 12 kms (7.4 miles)!

Kevin, at the top of the ridge.

The scenery was interesting and we came over a ridge to a great view on the other side. It was a bit chilly up here as we were now at 3,400 meters (11,155 ft) altitude. But we found a bit of a sheltered spot and sat and had our lunch at 1:30pm.

Having our lunch!

Here is another video for you...

Because it was a bit cold and windy, we decided not to continue to the top of the path. So then we had a long walk back to town. But at least it was all downhill!

Interesting plant life up there.

Such perfect geometry.

Look at the colors and patterns on the rocks.

Arrived back at 4:00pm, having done 25 kms (15.5 miles) and 850 meters (2,800 ft) of altitude up and then back down.

We were exhuasted! In hindsight, it would have been better to take the bus to the path itself and then walk back to town. Oh you know for when you want to do it!

The Jackery Giant portable battery pack is on sale today only...cheapest it has ever been! A great stocking stuffer...

Jackery Giant+ Dual USB Portable Battery Charger & External Battery Pack for iPhone, iPad

And in Canada...the Fitbit Zip...another great stocking stuffer!


  1. Would you be willing to share which iphone mapping program you are using? I have yet to find one that will access the GPS without draining my battery. Thanks!

    1. Yes, any GPS program will be hard on the iPhone's battery. That's why we carry a Jackery portable battery pack with us to recharge the iPhone if we're out for more than a few hours.

      I use the program with whatever country (or state) map that we happen to be in. That way I can access it without having to be online. I also use the Motion-X GPS mapping program to measure our hiking distances and altitude etc.

    2. Thank you so much, Kevin. I did buy the Jackery from your link when you posted several months ago, and have been happy with it. I appreciate the info!

  2. That's a long hike! What a great experience though and beautifully different scenery.

    1. Yep, it was a long one, longer than we thought it was going to be but so worth it!

  3. I am exhausted just reading it, Better you than us.
    Time for you to veg for a bit.

    1. Ah, we needed the excercise, we don't get enough of that you know! ;–)

  4. A very impressive hike. Especially at that altitude. Kudos!

    1. We thought the uphill was never going to end but we took it slowly and had no problems. The view was definitely worth it!

  5. Wow, a long walk for a picnic lunch. I get tired walking from the parking lot to the food court in the mall!
    Beautiful flora and scenery. Well worth the effort.
    Thanks for the cow picture!

    1. That was the longest hike that we have done in a few years, I was surprised that our muscles weren't more sore than they were when we woke up yesterday morning.

      They said that in that proctected forest area the flora and fauna is quite unique compared to the rest of the area and they were right. Definitely worth the effort.

  6. Noticed you started out with sunshine but it didn't last!

    1. No it didn't unfortunately but once were had descended it had started to brighten up again, just our luck! ;-)

  7. Wow...the video shows how gorgeous it is up there. Icantell it is a bit windy and cold. Your nose is

    1. I wish that it had been sunnier while we were at the top, it would have shown the gorgeous views even more. Yes, it was chilly up there. Really needed our toques (winter hats) and a warm sweather, if we had them with us on the hike we would have continued to the end of the trail which really wasn't that much further anyhow.

  8. My gosh, that's a heckuva hike. I'd rather take a bus or taxi to the path, and skip walking on the road, and then traipse all over the mountain. Yes, it's almost always cooler at the top, and that's when I wish I'd remembered "more layers!" Love the flowers!

    1. Yep, it was a lot longer than we had anticipated but the scenery was well worth it. Unfortunately you can't go traipsing all over the mountain, you would be lucky to even find a path to the very top. The one we were following was one that went up some communication towers. Not sure there is anything past that. We didn't really think about it getting so cool up there, and we should have known better with all the hiking that we do. The flowers and plant life were fantastic up there.


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