El Choro Trek, Day 2

I awoke after a freezing night in the tent to a bright sunny morning. I decided to stay in my sleeping bag until I heard people outside as it was still really cold. Breakfast was a awaiting me as I got out the tent and again I just needed to sort myself out. I went around the campsite taking photos while the guide packed up my tent, I really wish I remembered his name, and you can see in the pictures below the bridge that is no longer there. Big water surges took three of them down this year. The camp site is actually situated in a really beautiful location and it was nice to be able to experience it as the day before everything was covered in grey.

Keen to get moving we left the camp just after 8am and continued down the path. Sara opted to stay and would catch us up and overtake quite soon. The first few hours of the trek were yet again downhill which is actually really hard on your legs. But later today there would be a lot of up to balance it all out.

Our first rest stop of the day was by a waterfall. We reached some stones and walked around to relax and pose at this scene. I’m glad we did as for most of the rest of the trip the stream became more of an acquaintance as opposed to the good friend it had been up until this point.

The path led up and we walked around the mountains at roughly mid level which is what you do for most of the rest of the trek. Having crossed the river the day before for most of the morning we traveseases along the west side.

After passing through another hamlet we reached another river crossing. This one was also down and requires us to walk along the river bed. Luckily someone has painted bright yellow arrows that are easy to follow although the bridge does look pretty sketchy.

After the crossing there is a big up. The path is also pretty scary here as it’s just where people have managed to walk around the trees to where the bridge was. When we had finished going up you stay at this level for the rest of the treck excluding when you have to cross a couple of tributaries. We met Sara at the top and had a well deserved rest and enjoyed the views. You can see Bella Vista in the distance and this is where we stopped for lunch.

I enjoyed stopping by Bella Vista. There were lots of animals and interesting things to photograph, so after lunch I had a play. I also brought a couple of bottles of coke for us to enjoy.

After lunch there was only 4 kilometres to the camp site. I was already aching a lot today-one piece of advice I’d give is don’t get only 5 hours sleep before you start this as you only make it harder for yourself-and I was really feeling not having had my bag on my back for all this time. It reminded me of Salta when I had to walk a punishing 2.5k with my bags after having not eaten for four days. But I was determined to make it to the San Francisco camp and it was only 4km away.

Above you will see that yet another bridge is out. This one I thought was a little more confusing but you can see where you need to get to in terms of where the bridge was so climb up there and you will find the path. Again there is a big down to reach the stream and then a steep climb which circles right around the mountain when you reach the camp on the other side.we spotted some nests, spider webs and caves.

When I reached the camp for the second night, San Francisco, I made friends with a brother and sister. The little chap was playing with his hat and I mimicked. Before I could react he was sat next to me and I spent an hour showing him and his older sister my photos. Afterwards they insisted that I took pictures of them. I really like the way this came out as it shows so much of this boys mischievous personality. It was also really nice how they both helped me with my Spanish. They helped me take pictures of the animals and it was really fun to play. Again dinner was made for me and Sara and I chatted until the mosquitos started biting. The night was so much warmer and we went to bed early for the 6am start.

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