There’s no doubt I’ve been riding hills – the descent into Santa Rosa was hair-raising at times – but in Los Nevados National Park, where I want to head next, I am going to encounter real mountains. Los Nevados National Park encompasses the highest area of the Central Cordillera in Colombia with a number of mountain peaks of over 5000 metres. Unfotunately, there is a rumour going around that the park is currently closed to visitors and it is not entirely clear whether this is due to volcanic activity or, alternatively, because of administrative problems.
The reason I am in Santa Rosa is that it is on the edge of the park but it is not the most popular entry point so I might just be able to sneak on into the park without encountering any major obstacles. The only serious hitch is that my maps, which are pretty detailed ones, acquired at the Instituto Geographico Augustin Codazzi, are mysteriously blankish around the area of the park. I’ve been told there is a way into the park from Santa Rosa but I don’t know exactly where it is and it’s certainly not indicated on my maps.
I’m wandering the streets of Santa Rosa mulling over the problem of how to find my way into Los Nevados when I see a hand written sign in a shop window advertising a local mountain bike club outing. There is a contact name and mobile number. Problem solved.