Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Finding Guicán

Traveling south from Bucaramanga took us directly though the Chicamocha Canyon.

Although we heard a lot of good things about Barichara, we had lunch in San Gil, then turned east to Onzaga, passing through Mogotes.

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(in Mogotes)

(the road is not paved, but it's a highway, complete with kilometer posts and buses)

(in Onzaga)

(we found a nice little hotel for 20000 pesos, and drew lots of attention around town)

In the morning we got gas and asked the attendants how to get to El Cocuy/Guican. Instead of the main road out of town, they said that this smaller road leading out would be faster. They also offered the suggestion that we get a better map, which we agreed with, but couldn't do much about. After that turn, we pretty much didn't know where the hell we were but just kept trying to keep the general direction. And ask everybody we saw which way to go.

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(we asked people driving cattle...)

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(...we asked people in random houses...)

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(...we tried to ask these kids which way to go, but they were less than helpful. Well, they were more helpful than the lady that we tried to ask who was utterly afraid of us and ran away. But the only answer that we got from these kids above us was to the basics, like it was the start of class...)

(...we even asked 2 crazy old guys at this little fork in the road. Thankfully, they were fun crazy, not sketchy crazy.)

We eventually made it to Capitanejo, where we expected to get on track to get to Guicán. Somehow, leaving Capitanejo, we turned onto a side track which turned out to be a good mistake. We didn't know that the main road had been completely wiped out in a landslide (until we heard that rumor later in la Esperanza, and then managed to run into the deadend ourselves...ooops).

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(the area provided plenty of scenic vistas during our meanderings)

After stopping numerous other times to ask adults, children, and animals (sometimes it was hard to tell which combination of those categories produced the people we asked, but everyone was super nice, and really most of them were normal, there were just a few that were especially uhhh...backwoods types...) which way to go, we eventually made it off the Capitanejo-Boavita sidetrack (to be picked up again soon...) and back onto the main road that took us through el Espino and then into Guicán.  After some shopping for a place to stay, we found a nice one, Guacani, for 40000 pesos with good parking.  We then planned our attack for the national park.

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