El Cocuy – Day 5 – Laguna to La Esperanza

Sunday 2nd August 2015

In the morning, it kept raining and raining. I was really reluctant to get out of my tent and get wet and hoping it would stop at some point! At least the outside shell kept repelling the rain and letting it roll down without getting to the inner shell.


8am and I just opened a bit the tent opening to see the guys were starting to have brekky. Alright then, I come too.


Luckily the weather got better, the rain stopped and I could unpack the tent without rain. I think one thing I really hate is putting the tent up in the rain, and unpacking it under the rain, worse thing ever. Maybe I should investigate in getting a tent I can put up with the outside shell already on that would still not weigh too much, it has to exist!The French couple and 2 sisters had already left about an hour before with their small pack, letting their porters unpack their tent and clean up the brekky place.

Picture at 10am when starting to walk.


Laguna Grande de la Sierra from higher up.


Other lakes on the way to La Esperanza.


La Cueva de Los Hombres, another camping spot protected from the elements.

La Cueva

View of the surroundings from inside La Cueva. When we were in, we saw a hiker coming from where we were going walking fast in T-shirt. It was a Spanish guy from Saragoza named Santos I ran into later on this day who was just going for a day hike from La Esperanza and back in the evening.

from cave

The path on the left and the landscape


Another hairy caterpillar.


While starting to go down, we ran into another hiker around 11.30am, a Belgium guy named Flavius who was heading alone to go sleep in La Cueva. I would run into him and Santos too in the lechero back to Guican 3 days later. Small world around there.


Path going around another lake.


I kept being amazed by the landscape, even if the rain made the colours a bit soft.


There was this sign about a puma at some point, but I don’t think there is any left anymore, or it must be very very very rare to see one! There are also bears left but apparently only in the remote part of the Uwa territory.

puma sign

Nice, nice, nice!


Down in the valley de los frailejones. At that stage, Santos the hiker seen from La Cueva in the morning was on his way back and passed me. I told him I was a very slow walker and he better not wait for me!

valle de los frailejones

Lots of them indeed.


A tiny little ball of snow swirling around, cute.

snow ball

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.


Crossing on a bridge, water on the left.


See that patch of green over there, that`s where I am heading to. Long walk. It felt endless that day! By that time, Juan Carlos had abandoned me saying he had a motorbike lift at 1pm from La Esperanza. A bit disappointing as I thought he would stick around until we made it there, but that path that day was easy to follow anyway.

patch of green

Huge rock waterfall.


Some plant that I learned later was called moridera and was poisonous if eaten.


Landscape changing, new vegetation.

landscape change

At that stage, I saw Santos who had waited for me afraid I could break some ankle, so we walked the end of the way to La Esperanza together. At some point, Juan Carlos popped up and picked up my big pack and disappeared again, bringing it to La Esperanza. That was really nice of him, and he walked back a long way to find me and help me out as it took me a good additional 1h30 before I arrived at La Esperanza, slow as I am!

Another plant called espadilla.


Another one called amargera. The nectar of the pink flower makes a sweet drink.


The path going through a new type of vegetation.


How boring to see some plain green grass after such a diverse landscape!


Those sheeps are so funny, very hairy even on their head itself.

hairy sheep

The sheeps were so afraid of us, maybe because I had gaiters and trekking poles which looked impressive? that one jumped the fence and the other managed to entangle itself in the rope attaching him. Santos tried to pull on the rope of the second one to put him back on his feet. Him walking back after with his falling apart umbrella.


4pm, here it was finally in view, La Esperanza!

La Esperanza

Magical landscape in front of the Cabana.


Took my dirty muddy shoes off in the dining area, and went for a shower first. Marcos the owner told me the water of the shower would be warm, but I didn`t know how to turn it warm so I had a freezing shower, first one in 4 days, still very welcomed. I did not take my hairbrush with me on the hike and my hair were starting to turn into dreads but could not bother washing them with cold water!

After that, we hanged around with Santos in front of the Cabana, observing birds, flowers, landscape.

Some hummingbird on the roof2015_0802_17444400 - copia

This flower is called llamas apparently, so beautiful. I have the feeling I have already seen it in Australia.


In the courtyard


Marcos, the owner, 74 years old, living there with his wife and children and welcoming the guests and cooking awesome meals for them. He dressed with the traditional poncho and sombrero to pose for the shot. He explained to Santos and me that each man has 2 ponchos, one for the house and one to go out.


A coffee machine, same style used also in Spain apparently.

coffee machine

Marcos went to the kitchen and lighted up the oven to start preparing dinner for Santos and me and for Aline and Kevin, a young couple from Belgium who had just arrived walking all the way from Guican and getting lost sometimes a bit, and had just gone pitch their tent in the garden.

The dorm, all for myself again. Happily spreading my stuff everywhere!


Dinner time, rice, potatoes, lamb, beans. Marcos had made a homemade guacamole to spread on the potatoes. Yummy! And a potato soup with coriander as a starter.


No night shot that evening, just happy to sleep in a bed, dead tired!

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