A Guy’s Hike To The Peak

At 1,200 feet, The Peak is the highest point on Providencia. It is part of a regional public park, that covers 24 acres, and is owned by the Colombian government. Six large streams and bodies of water start at the peak, and these bodies of water and ravines make up the central watershed source for the island.  The park was established to protect this watershed and to preserve and recover the island’s dry forest.

So, 1,200 feet is not a casual hike. I’ve been dealing with some problems in my left knee lately; add in heat, humidity, incline and rocks, and I chose to sit this one out. Luckily, Kevin was up for the challenge, and he an Scott set out to conquer the peak.

It is easy and affordable to hire a guide to take you up to the top. They provide transportation to and from the peak, and provide information local plants, trees and wildlife along the way. However, Kevin and Scott felt no need for a guide, choosing instead to go it alone.

This meant getting there three wide on the back of a local’s motorcycle. Since Kevin was the “lucky” one in the middle, Scott started with sore leg muscles, from holding them in the air on the back of the bike (keeping them off of the ground, and away from the exhaust pipe) for the 15 minute ride to the start of the hike.

The path was clearly marked, and the guys trotted along at a good pace.

By the middle of the hike, things became more challenging, as the incline and presence of rocks increased (rocks, another reason I’m glad I skipped it); it was definitely a cardio workout at this point.

They reached the top in a little under two hours, covering 3-4 miles. Having started later in the morning, the guided tours had already come and gone. The guys had the top of the peak all to themselves while they ate lunch, had a break and enjoyed the views.

Nourished and rested, Scott and Kevin made their way back down the trail to the bottom.

Now for the real challenge….getting a ride back to the dock in town. The guys finished at about 1:30, smack in the middle of siesta time. Everything on Providencia shuts down from 1-3pm, for siesta, something that still slips our minds regularly.

After waiting in vain for a bus, and beginning to make the walk back, the guys managed to flag down a van willing to give them a ride. As they drove along, it became clear that the van was not going toward town, but to Southwest Bay instead (the big horse race was taking place today, with an official cash prize). When this was finally made clear, through a challenging Spanish/English conversation, Scott and Kevin jumped out of the van and continued walking.

Eventually, they were able to flag a man down who agreed to give Scott a ride to town on his bike; his friend would come along behind with Kevin. Along the way, Scott’s driver stopped to argue with a woman about money. After 15 minutes she finally gave in and handed it over, and they continued on. When Scott arrived at the dock, there was no sign of Kevin. He turned to see Kevin already in his dinghy. He’d not gotten a ride on a bike, but instead had hitched a free ride with one of the local police.

On Kevin’s ride to town, the police radio was abuzz with news that someone had been injured at the race. It seems a man had leaned too far out into the path of the oncoming horses, and had broken his leg.

During all of the radio frenzy, Kevin asked the policeman if he needed to go and respond. The officer replied no, with a shrug. We later learned the ferry that runs to San Andres was delayed in leaving, so that the man could be transported to a hospital.

Scott hobbled back onto Sea Life, after his brisk ascent and descent of the peak, and round trip “leg lifts” on a motorcycle. All in all, an eventful guy’s day. Here are a few more photos of the guy’s hike, and views from the peak.

Don’t forget that you can go the Where Are We Now page, and follow the link to our Delorme satellite tracker. It shows the paths for our walk up to Morgan’s Head, Pablo Escoabar’s house, our buggy rides around the island and the guy’s hike up to the peak.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”