January 7, 2014
We got off to an early start today to make sure we could get to San Agustin during daytime hours. Definitely do not want to be on these roads after dark. We were nervous as we weren’t sure exactly what to expect but we were also excited. Very few people back in Bogota would consider taking this road so there was a feeling of exploration and adventure in the air.
We left Pasto at 7:30 am and within an hour passed the Laguna La Cocha, climbed to the high paramo, and passed the town of San Francisco. As soon as we passed the town, the vegetation quickly turned to jungle. The sea of green was astounding. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Welcome to Putumayu! It looked like an amazing area to explore – indigenous villages, virgin rainforests, waterfalls, exotic birds – but we didn’t know how safe it was to get off the main road. To be honest, we weren’t even 100% sure how safe this “main” road is.
It was quite an exciting road though. As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, it’s a one lane winding dirt road with high mountains on one side and deep precipices on the other. When you run into another car on this road coming from the opposite direction, the only thing to do is for one of the cars to back up until it can find enough space for the other car to pass. Add to that waterfalls that turn parts of the road into a river and some serious fog (there were times when we couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of us) and this road was quite a feat for a two-door Chevy loaded with passengers and gear.
We made it! We braved the road, the guerillas and the fog and made it to San Agustin by 5 pm. Mission accomplished!