Above photos are mine and are not ‘photoshopped’ in any way. That’s the real me on a real horse with the real Gocta falls in the background maybe a mile or so away.
There are different ways of doing anything; that includes ways to engage an adventure. I often prefer to do things on my own. When I do things on my own and not with a group the things that I learn seem to be more stimulating to my imagination somehow. Maybe it is a Natural thing that when a person is part of a group their individual identity is necessarily diminished. The Japanese culture is a text book example of this phenomenon.
Sole ventures are demanding. Anything new place or activity is challenging to the mind and sometimes to the body. The very word adventure alludes to the process of exploration into the unknown. Even if thousands of others have experienced something, if it’s new to you, it’s an adventure. Adventures, if they are to be successful, demand preparation. Adventuring heightens awareness on all levels, mind, body, spirit (intuition).
My body is not in as good shape as it once was. Elders, throughout the history of humans, compensate by going a little slower. While visiting new lands I am constantly reminded that humans were required to adapt themselves to different environments to survive.
Stretch your imagination. Ponder the instances when tribes/groups are invaded by other humans who are newcomers. The invaders are not intimately knowledgeable of the characteristics of a Natural environment that is new to them. More often than not, the invaders make the mistake of superimposing survival modes that are specific to the Natural environment from which they came.
Empire building, worldwide, has always been about dominating, ruling and controlling an ever expanding network of tribal communities. Empires (civilization) usurp the accumulated knowledge of tribal communities. Empires rise by exploiting the value created by humans who spent generations becoming experts in a specific Natural environment.
There are some advantages to going to particular sites with a tour group. They service arranges the transportation to and from. A knowledgeable guide leads the group. The expenses are spread among all the individuals in the group.
I opted for the group tour option to visit Gocta falls. It was a good choice. It would have taken me (traveling alone) a long while to figure out all the particulars of the journey. I had figured out that the off the road hike would begin in the tiny village of Cocachimba. I did not know the best method to get there. The tour option solves all those problems.
It is the rainy season. Not the best time to visit this area of the world if you plan to do hiking. Unless you like the idea of hiking in downpours and on muddy trails studded with slippery rocks I would recommend planning your trip here some other time. The rainy season begins in January and runs through May.
I am here now. So I resigned myself to putting up with the potential discomforts. I did not want to pass up having a look if it were possible. The local people are not stupid. They do not put visitors in danger. They do not want to risk a mishap because of the damage it would do to the reputation of the tour. They really are experts.
Was told that it was a 2 and a half hour hike each way. Most of the other members of the group were much younger. They all appeared to be in great shape. We were offered horses for a small additional fee. Both of my ankles have a history of past injury. I knew I could do the hike but I might slow the group down. I like horses. One of the other members of the group and I opted for a horse. (Actually the young lady was mounted on a mule).
The leader of the hike was 60 year old woman who leads such tours 2 times a day. Just to give you an idea of the kind of people who live in these parts. She was small and obviously in top notch condition. She was kind and particularly attentive to the needs of the female hikers. Many Peruvian tourists visit here. Today was no exception.
Some horseback views of the trail