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  • Writer's pictureRohit Pansare

Land of shifting Landscapes

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

A trip to this small South American Nation last year left a lasting impression on me. The Cajas National Park is about 20km from the historical city of Cuenca. A truly beautiful 'Spanish' town with a rich history. Starting early in the morning, the very first thing we did was to exchange our shoes for Gumboots. We then drove from 2000ft to 3000ft in a few minutes. Scenes dramatically changed. The weather, as already warned, got unpredictable. A drizzle would start and give way to blinding sunlight in a matter of few minutes.

We had arrived at our first trail. It was gloomy and the sky thick with mist. No wonder these were called the cloud forests. Thick woody climbers criss-crossing around us, with little light entering the forest floor and a drizzle with not a single drop reaching the floor.

Leaving the cloud forests behind we drove further to 4000ft to the next trail. The landscape was dramatically different here. A high altitude wetland surrounded by lichen covered rocks.

Weather even more unpredictable, open skies yet not a sight of the sun. the conifers, grasslands and wetlands all could be experienced from a single place.

Spending few hours of the day at Cajas, I was mesmerised by the diversity and would recommend a 3-4 day trek that will take you to the core area of the park.

Rohit Pansare

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