Parque Nacional Chingaza
Today Constance and Gracia’s adventure included traveling by car and pocket. The pocket gave the best view of Chingaza National Park. The park is also a nature reserve, and the watershed for Bogota’s drinking water. Only 40 people a day are permitted to enter the park, but happily, there was no restriction on dolls.
The park is not far from Bogota, but it is a thousand meters higher, and Bogota is already 2,600 meters asl. This is a map taken from Google maps that shows the route, which is about 20 km by paved road and the same by dirt road. We stopped to register and pay the entrance fee, then started our climb up the path.
If you spend most of your life at sea level, it takes a while to get used to the altitude. We walked Very Slowly, and took lots of rests (and photographs).
This is a close up of the previous map – the car was parked just at the lowest point of the yellow route line next to the Guardeparque buildings. We walked the rest of the way, almost 3 km on a service road that was mostly gravel but also included a few stupendously squelchy mud puddles.
The girls sat on a lichen covered rock while the rest of us ate our packed lunch. The tall plants they are looking at are a variety of Frailejones endemic to this area. We kept our eyes open for spectacled bears and white tailed deer, but none showed themselves, and the only tracks we saw were human footprints in the mud. There were a few birds, and some ducks on the lake.
This is one of the two lakes at the farthest end of our walk…our return was along the same path…but just after this picture was taken it began to pour with rain, and camera and dolls were hastily tucked into pockets. We were really delighted to get to visit this unique natural area so close to Bogota. Constance and Gracia had their pictures taken with some of the other plants but on another camera, so will have to wait to show you those.