QuickPeek: Highway Walking. Hitch hiking. Beautiful Gorge.

Given the numerous trails around, we had many options to walk on today. Our hostel owner convinced us that the Ruta del Cascadas was well worth visiting and told us about a couple of side trails we might check out. He highly recommended that we rent a bike to get there. But given I have a bike and have chosen not to bring it with me, it was hard to pay for a bike rental, ja ja. So we decided to walk it, about 25 k’s or so.

The route started from the town center and we walked thro some winding neighbourhoods which was nice until we hit the highway leading to the gorge with waterfalls. The shoulder disappeared and the road had quite a bit of loud and dusty traffic. ugh. We kept at it and walked on as we saw numerous tourists on bicycles cruising downhill. It did seem like fun, but we were committed to the walking bit.

It took us almost 8-10 km before we got to a dam. This was the spot where we had to look for a long trail that would take us away form the highway. We spotted it closeby and started on the proper hike up. But the combination of multi day of hiking and the long road walk had made our legs sore and given this route was going up and over hills, we decided to take it easy and hitch out.

We got back on the road and immediately a friendly guy picked us up and gave us a ride up to a small river called Machay. We spotted a trail heading into the forest and couldn’t resist getting on it. The trail was well laid and fatastic to walk on. The scenery was stunning and the water in the river was clear as crystal. Stunning, haven’t seen a river this clear since, umm, may be the Icefields near Jasper!!

After about 30 mins of walking, we had to turn back since a landslide had destroyed the trail. Bummer. Anyhow, we headed back and the more popular Machay Waterfall was on the other side. There was an entrance fee to visit the waterfall, which we chose not to pay and skip entering, afterall its just a waterfall. We had to walk back a few k’s to get to the village of RioVerde where we’d have buses to take us back to Banos. This spot was filled with tourists, everyone on a rental bike and many of them heading out to rappel down the falls. Heh, entrenched tourism, can’t stand it.

We managed to get back in time and along the way I had the idea of making some Bajji for dinner. Hmm. Of course it was impossible to get the right lentil flour, but I decided to go ahead with using wheat flour. I tried it out and though it didn’t taste as good as the one’s mom would make or the stuff I could buy on the streets back home, it was nice to have a reasonably successful first attempt. It’s heavy on oil use and I might not make it often, but it was nice to eat some nice snacks while on the road 🙂

Track Notes

Distance: 15 Km
Expenses: SG$ 16.92
Comments: The ruta del Cascadas is certainly more fun on a bike.