If we could take the previous day's weather patterns as balances, then the rain this morning extended a promise of sunshine for the afternoon. We decided to hike Iguaque. By the time we got organized and made our way up to the park entrance, however, it was already 11am. The park warden warned us that it was too late to trek beyond the first lake and we agreed to do only that and then return before nightfall. Moments into the rock trail leading up to the lodge we were joined silently by a furry critter of unique character. Seemingly domesticated, but obviously wild, this animal had a raccoon tail and an ant eater's nose and was as portly as he was unabashedly relaxed with us immediately. At the lodge we learned that he was, indeed, a 'pet' and he would probably follow us all the way up to the Lago Iguaque if we made it there. His name was Osi and he was a South American Coati (Nasua nasua).
I made it to the lake in exactly 3 hours, with Osi on my coattails almost the whole way up and Ulrich made it up ahead of us in 2.5 hours. From there we ventured a little bit further, Ulrich on high speed and me at a more cautious medium. We crossed the ridge above the lake, which I had never done and managed a vista of the other lakes and the valley on the opposite side looking out towards the Periquera. It was beautiful and worth the extra muscle work. Osi, of course, knew better and didn't follow us above the lake. About halfway back down, around the time you exit the Páramo and enter the forest, Osi reunited with us and lead the way down to the park entrance as our chaperone. It was getting dark and I figure he must have been a bit worried about us. We left the park by 6pm to the park warden's relief and Bonnie and William came up to get us in the Polar Bear.
We dined in town at Casa Quintero and then went home and directly to bed, satisfied and tired from a really good hike.
Today's song is No Celling, by Eddie Vedder and from the Into The Wild Soundtrack. It's a song about places you love and today was a fitting day to think about and appreciate a place I love so dearly.