I have been dying to tell you about my adventures into the Cajas National Park....well, it has been four months since I first went there and today is the day I get to share.
Cajas is a magical place about 12 miles from Cuenca. It has many beautiful mountain ranges and lagoons. The altitude ranges from 10,000 to close to 14,000 feet high and there are many different birds and also Alpacas. Mom just recently learned what the name Cajas means. "Cajas" in Spanish means 'boxes' so she couldn't understand why the name; she learned that this "Cajas" comes from the indigenous quechua word "caxas" which means "cold"; and, cold it is, according to the humans who went with us; but with my thick coat I could never tell even though I got pretty wet.
When we first arrived in Cuenca we were told that no dogs were allowed in this incredible place; but, what do you know? Mom found a way. Well, it was really Anna who did, but the important thing was that we went to Cajas in December with my friends Chimbo and Kenna and some humans.
I've visited many beautiful places since we moved to Cuenca, but I have to say that Cajas is by far the best. We were free to run up and down the trails without leads. There is simply nothing better than freedom and fresh mountain air to make me happy.
My mom didn't have her hiking boots or her walking stick with her since our stuff had not arrived from the States. She said she needed them to go up to the lagoon because it was misting and the steep trail was very slippery so mom and I stayed behind while our friends went up.
I had to stay to keep guard and make sure mom and I were all right.
We really missed out, so as soon as the work in the house is finished, mom has promised to take me there again. This time for a real hike up to the lagoon. Although I don't know how mom is going to make it. She was huffing and puffing all throughout the hike since Cajas is much higher than Cuenca and the trails are treacherous. That's what she said, though perhaps she is not in as good shape as she wants to think she is.
Mom says that hiking Cajas is not for everyone. It's really beautiful and peaceful but the weather changes very quickly. And, that is true, I can attest. When we were there one minute it was sunny and the next it was misting, and right after that there was the rain, hard and cold with thunder and lightening and nowhere to take cover. Going down the trail is harder when it is wet, and mom fell twice and got her pants all muddy. She, of course, blamed it on me. Since when she fell it was just me and her and she had to put me in the lead, or so she felt... like I was going anywhere... pleeease! When we were all together, I knew it was safe and I ran and ran, up and down and up again, having so much fun in this incredible place.
Mom and I went down towards the car and mom was totally worn out but so was I, yet I just didn't know it until we got home and I couldn't wait to go to bed and crash.
Now that mom and dad have their hiking boots and walking sticks, they don't have much of an excuse. Cajas here we come soon!