Flying Visit to Parque Nacional Cerro Cora
Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
117Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The worst thing about the journey was the movies in the busy - three shockers all with a theme about the American President. We met a local lady in the bus who apologised about not having room in her house for us to stay! Very sweet, considering we´d only had a brief conversation.
Next day, we headed back down the same road to the park
The scenery in this area is striking, red soil, long flat plains, trees with pink blossoms and large hills of red-coloured stone in the distance. The earth is very dry but there are still green trees around.
A two kilometre walk later with our heavy packs and we are at the park rangers office. He offers us a bed for the night in the huts at the office, but we´re keener to hike into the park and camp next to a river. Watched by the park ranger, we unpack our two enormous packs into a small one for the night. Ed pulls out of his bag some black lacy undies and thermal leggings I thought were lost at a laundromat, much to the surprise of the implacid ranger. I´m sure to this day he thinks Ed is a cross-dresser!
A hike of a few kilometres past various military memorials and we arrived at a shady riverbank - perfect in the 30 degree heat. We were all psyched-up for a refreshing swim, but the water temperature put paid to that idea. We saw fish swimming in the river, lots of birds and leaf-cutter ants. An abandoned military installation was nearby and we found an armadillo shell in one of the ruined houses. In the evening, the bats came out and after dinner we threw our sleeping mats outside and lay down to watch the stars.
A six-thirty breakfast got us going for the day and we packed up the tent in a hurry. We were keen to reach the park mirador before leaving later in the day. The sandy ground showed evidence of all types of animal activity, a nice consolation if you can´t see the animals themselves! Tracker Mundi recognised rheas, pumas, foxes, birds and snakes.
The heat was intense and the track varied between enclosed prickly shrubs and trees and wide-open spaces of grassland where the heat was almost unbearable. Here, we saw a rhea (ostrich-emu type bird) running around. Lots of ant mounds made us take care where we sat. A slight breeze helped us with the heat, but our two litres of water were starting to look a little mean
It was a relief when the track ran between some shady trees. From this point onwards, up to the mirador we were surrounded by buterflies - tiny yellow ones to enormous shiny blue morphs. The mirador itself was a large rocky formation requiring scrambling to the top. The views were stunning and we felt it was worth the effort. Numerous butterflies fed on sap from a tree and we saw some beetles we´d never seen before.
The hike back while hot, was bearable - it´s always easier when you know the way. We found our park ranger friends sensibly resting in the heat of the day, chatting in Guaraní and listening to the radio. They offered us a hot shower which we really needed by that stage. A quick repack and we walked a couple of kilometres to the highway to flag down a passing bus.