We ended up staying four days at Laguna de la Cocha. Jorge invited us on a boat tour on Laguna de la Cocha. He told us that Laguna de la Cocha also is called Lake Guamuez. The weather was a little bit of everything, it is located in an altitude of 2800 meters so it is chilly up here. We guessed about 10 Celsius during the day, which you can see on how we dressed.
We loved being on the lake and Jorge could tell more about the area and the birds we saw on our way. In the right pictures you see Jorge at the rudder and Joanna, who was an artist renting a small cabin just next to Jorge’s house.
The bird life was amazing
The lake is also used for farming trout. Unfortunately the farming of the trout are not really that controlled in Columbia, which effects the conditions of the lake bottom. I don’t know enough about trout farming, but Jorge was concerned.
Back on dry land again we enjoyed the beautiful surroundings
In year 2000 the lake was registered as a wetland of international importance within the Ramsar Convention, being the first with this classification in the Andean zone. The area is also know for its Frilejón trees, which live at high altitude in páramo ecosystems (The páramo ecosystem: all high, tropical, montane vegetation above the continuous timberline). The trunk is thick, with succulent hairy leaves disposed in a dense spiral pattern. The special leaves help and protect the plants from cold.
There was a big frailejón just outside Jorge’s house
It was another beautiful day, so we went into the local town and visited the harbor. The harbor is a small inlet, were the locals have their colorful boats (“pangas”) and take tourist onto the lake.
We walked around and enjoyed the colorful houses…
The houses are built on the wetland, so they have to be built on poles. Their they use a special tree for this purpose (left picture) to create the foundation for the houses
We also tried some of the local snacks… we had fresh made marmalade made from the berry “Mora”, which is the local blackberry. We also tried the ice cream, made fresh by pouring the mixture into a cobber bowl, that was placed in a bowl with ice. The texture of the ice cream was so smooth, but I like when the ice cream has more flavor.
On the way back we shopped for local groceries… everything just takes longer. You can’t walk into a supermarket and get everything, you have to visit the vegetable stand, the butcher, the lady with the eggs and a small shop (here it is called a “tienda”, that have a little bit of everything).
While shopping our motorcycles was kept safe
On the way back we noticed all the beautiful murals on the local houses. The murals reflect what the La gun de la Cocha Region is known for
Back at Jorge’s house, we started coking. We invited Jorge and Joanna to join us for dinner, and we had a great time tasting a local red wine made from “Mora”. Off course I had to take pictures of the food for my Instagram sund_camilla, were you can find more details about the ingredients in the quinoa salad and the chicken stew. The flavors were amazing.
The houses around here is not heated, so we spend the rest of the evening in front of the fireplace. Actually we spend all the nights in front of the fireplace, and were cooking the corns over the fire while enjoying a glass of the local red wine. After grilling the corns we applied oil mixed with garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Love corns .
Our time at Jorge’s house was amazing, and we had time to relax and being out in nature. While sitting inside in front of the fireplace, we could enjoy this view of the lake.
From Laguna de la Cocha we only have one more stop left before entering Ecuador. Our last stop is “Las Lajas Sanctuary”… why a church? Well this church is built in Gothic Revival style. Nothing we have ever seen before.