Monday 4 March 2024

Our first volcano summit and driving through a very unique forest

Hello everyone! Sorry for not posting for so long, we haven't had wifi and also it's been very busy because we've been moving a lot.

We are in Toche, a steep valley running down from the Los Nevados Parque Nacional.

Where we stayed was as amazing as its surroundings. It was a simple, nice campsite next to a thermal spring where you could feel down to where it was bubbling up. It was so deep even Dan couldn't feel the bottom of the spring! We had lots of fun swimming in the thermals and were so lucky because, most of the time, we had the whole place to ourselves!

We also climbed Volcan Machin. It was a short but very steep walk that took you through wild and thick vegetation. We climbed through a forest of shady bamboos and collections of palms and other trees to get to wide open plains.  When we reached the top, we could feel the volcanic activity in the ground which was hot and radiating inside the soft mosses. You could also see the volcanic activity in the fumaroles bursting from the voclano Every now and then, steam would burst out of the fumaroles adding a dramatic plume rising above the vapoury, slow and placid haze.

When we reached the peak - our official first volcano summit - we couldn’t see anything because of the thick, dense vegetation all around. Disappointing, as the view was what had been motivating me the whole way up.

To reach Salento (our next stay), we drove along the Toche valley through whole palm forests with beautiful mixes of other trees in between. We also read that these wax palms, only grow in this area of Colombia, and are the tallest in the world growing up to 63 meters in one hundred years! In the first fifteen years, the palms grow a wide stump, and their first leaves, but then, they grow a section per year. It also takes them five years to grow their crown. So, to tell how old a wax palm is you need to count the sections and add twenty! In the Toche valley, they are so tall because they used to grow in mixed forests where they need to compete for the light with tall trees.

The next post will be written by Ismene, but…we don’t talk about Bruno 😊 A little clue for you, if you can fathom it).

1 comment:

  1. Ooh can't wait to read Ismene's post - mmm a little Bruno. Sounds scary. Gosh you have done so much since your last blog. You must all be so fit. Lots of love Mxx