Today I set out to walk up the 740 stairs to get to the top of Piedra de el Peñón which is one of the have to do things when visiting Guatape. More on Guatape in another post. Let's focus on Piedra de el Peñón. This is one big rock in the middle of lots of lakes. To get to the top you have to climb 740 steps of stairs. The views are amazing when you get to the top as you can imagine, so well worth the climb. And no, before you ask if there is a elevator or escalator, there is not. You do get to pay a fee of COP 15000/ 4 Euro/ USD 4.50 to climb the stairs though!!!
There are a few different ways of getting to the rock from Guatape.
The scenic hike that I was told should take 2-3 hours sounded all good for me. At 25 degrees celsious and some clouds on the sky, the weather was perfect for it. One of the owners of Lake view hostel were I'm staying, or at least i think he is one of the owner, told me just to take a right outside the hostel and continue on the dirt road to the left, until i hit the rock. Even if it's this simple i normally manage to screw up and get lost anyway, but today it was all good. I walked, stopped for some pictures and sometimes just stopped to take in the scenery. After a month in Medellin it was just so nice to be in completely fresh air and even though i did meet a car or a vespa ones in a while, I really enjoyed just having nature and good views around me. Ok, you do also pass some houses along the way as well.
The road is never flat, it's a hike up a hill or you have to go down hill. Not much shadow despite the clouds so I was very pleased that i put some sun screen on before i left. Another thing i was pleased about was that i brought water since there are no shops along this route. Did i mention, country side!? Good shoes is a must, no flip flops... I do highly recommend to go for this option but do remember that you also have to climb those 740 stairs in the end so if not very fit then maybe this option isn't for you.
It took me just under two hours to all the long scenic route so i kept a good pace. I was hungry when i reached the rock, i do admit that. There are several restaurants and places that sell snacks and ice cream at the bottom of the rock, but i came prepared with fruit in my bag. Guess most people would have gone with something else, but I do love all the fresh fruit here so that was my choice for the day. Had a couple of bananas and passion fruits, bought my ticket and then started my climb. Didn't look forward to it but it was easier then I thought it would be. They have marked every 25 step so it's easy to keep track on how much that is left. As you can see on picture further down, I do travel with a spork. Best thing ever, should always keep one in the bag. Yes I'm a nerd!!!
I passed a good few people on the way up, i might have short legs but I'm not a slow walker! Slightly out of breath i all of the sudden I reached the 400 mark, only 340 more steps to go I thought. You do see some stunning views on the way up and this was my excuse to do a small pause around this time. Water, water, water, do not forget water because at this stage you want some!!!
And when I finally reached the top i was rewarded with below views. Best of all was that i went on a Tuesday so wasn't very busy. I have heard that weekends are really really busy. I was very good and resisted ice cream, but i was very close:) Looked so nice!
After taking in the views and gotten some rest for about half an hour, it was time to take the same stairs down again. This was a bigger challenge for me with my current knee problem. My knee highly disagrees with heading down stairs... But realised that if i walked sideways down it was better. So looked like a fool but slowly but surely i managed to get down.
And did i decide to take a tub tuk back to Guatape? No, I decided for the boring 3 km walk. I had lots of tuk tuks stoping and asking if i wanted to go to Guatape but i was detarmant to walk. This until a couple that i met on the bus to Guatape the day before passed me, stopped and ask if i wanted a lift. Would be rude to say no!!!
So this little adventure ended with good company on the squere with a couple of cold club Colombia's. Very chilled and relaxed:) Legs very tired at this stage but would defiantly not change how i did this little tour...
I decided that it was time for a career break. So handed in my notice to the company who I worked with for the last ten years. It's time to pack my bag and depart from Amsterdam which been my home town for the last 4.5 years. -"Amsterdam, it's not you it's me and I need a break!". Read more
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