Pico de Loro
Sunday was a long, hard day. I left my house at 6 a.m., took the Mio to the Univalle station, then walked a block to meet a few other folks. Five of us were going to join Egor, our guide and climb the 9,000 ft. Pico de Loro. We rode in two vehicles to Pance and then to the trail-head. We soon started our climb. Before too long, we were in what looked like a jungle to me. The ground was wet and muddy and the trail soon began to rise steeply. Many places, we used the rock on the trail or tree branches to pull ourselves up. For three hours, we struggled. It was torturous, almost as bad as when I ran the half marathon in Cali. We finally reached the top. I had eaten several candy bars and half of my trail mix for energy. A couple places, we refilled our water bottles with fresh water falling from a stream. The two oldest guys in the group were on top first. Another guy from Cali and me. Our group spent about an hour on the top, eating our lunches and taking photos of each other. It was cloudy and we rarely saw much of anything. We were missing some spectacular views from all sides according to the guide. Egor, our guide, took this photo of me on top. Eventually, we had to start down. It soon became clear that this was not going to be easy. In fact, it was harder going down the steep, slippery trail. I slipped a couple of times and slid a ways each time on my butt and back, grabbing at tree branches or roots to stop my slide. My pants and shirt were soon completely wet and muddy. It was slow and careful going, trying to avoid falling constantly. In some of the really steep and slippery spots, we would have to go down backwards, looking for places to put our boots. It took us more than 3 hours to get down. I was in the lead for at least half the way. I would get ahead, then come to a fork in the trail and have to wait for the guide to tell me which way to go. I was just ready to get down and be done with this torture. I kept plodding along and made it to the parking lot and our cars first. By the time I finally got home, it was after 8 p.m. What a long day! I was tired and a little sore. The shower felt so good.