Now, before I start with my story for real, you have to know Tatacoa isn't really a desert (althought it really feels like one if you ask me) because it does rain from time to time - so its considered a semi arid zone (and for more details, is also located in the municipality of Villavieja just north of Huila, about 38 km from Neiva and between the eastern andean mountain range and the Magdalena river).
I have no words to describe the scenery, you can get the most amazing contrast between the blue sky and the redish rock formations. There are enourmous arches and small paths is something like being a bug..... ah! is exactly like being a character of Disney's movie Bug's Life. Anyhow, after taking the most Amazing photos it was time to head to our next destination and campsite, Los Hoyos. We had two options, we could get on our bikes and ride an extra 6k or we could get on our aircon confortable bus and take photos of our hardcore fellow travellers... guess which one I took.... yeap, after all the effort a bus ride was just what we needed.
It has such a diferent atmosphere, as opossed to Cuzco where the soil is red, this area is made of greyish and black stones. It was just like walking on the moon and then, after a 6 hour walk we kind of bumped into paradise, the whole scenery changed dramatically into a beautiful green garden. That can only mean that there was water around and that meant that we were close to the river... yeeeeepeeee. We walked a further half an hour and finally reached our destination, the River Cabrera. We sat by the river bank had a couple of sandwiches and then jumped into the water where we cool down and we even had a spa mud treatment for free!
Next and final day of our travel in the Tatacoa desert, we packed and load everything onto the bus and headed to Pacande on our way back to Bogota.
Pacande is a 3450 masl mountain which became very famous after Jorge Villamil - a local singer - wrote a song about it. We did a 5 hour walk to the top of the mountain and back. An optical ilusion made us think that we weren't far from the top but with every step the top seamed to move with us. We stoped to cath our breath and to enjoy the beautiful scenery, to the left we could see the magnificent and shiny Magdalena river and the always green rice plantations at the foot of two small mountain ranges. To the south we could see the Huila department, and further away we just managed to see Neiva where a couple of days ago and God nows how many KMs away we started this extreme, beautiful and enriching weekend.
So that's how I left Tatacoa ...for the first time , as I'm planning to go back soon, as the experience is truly amazing and at this point of my life I want experience it again with my special one... Tatacoa is an amazing place full of 12 million year old bird, fish and reptile fossils, some are as big as elephants. The experts say that originally Tatacoa must have been a very green area with lush vegetation and a huge diversity of species, today is refuge of owls, bats, foxes, snails and spiders. It gets its name from the Tatacoa, a local snake. During the day it gets so hot and dry that you can almost fry and egg on a rock but when the night falls you can feel the cool breeze that comes down from the mountains whilst looking at the infinty of the milky way, drinking a local beer and counting shooting stars.