Don’t go chasing waterfalls- Las Cataratas de Palacala

Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to. I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all, but I think you’re moving too fast. ~ TLC 

So this is the song that I chorus singing in my head for a few seconds yesterday morning at 5:30am as I got ready to go see a waterfall. Did I listen NO.

Last Monday when I visited the Hogar San Francisco de Asis one of the volunteers Ivet invited me to go with her friends to see a waterfall. Sounds cool – why not. I spoke to Matthew about it and he was ready to go too. Ivet mentioned bringing water, a few snacks, wearing sneakers, and that we would have to meet her then take a colectivo to Chosico and take a bus to the waterfall in Surco (Surco is a district in the province of Huarochirí, in the region of Lima, Peru). Doesn’t sound to bad about 2-3 hours from our apartment. I also invited a few other friends and my friend Catherine from Texas decided to come along for the ride.

The day came we were up by 5:30am out the door by 6am, met Catherine, took a bus to meet Ivet in La Molina, met her friends at the ovalo, got in a colectivo to the park in Chosico, met the rest of the group, and finally we were all on the bus (and all got seats) on the way to Surco. We arrived at a tienda (store) used the restroom and got some crackers.  We then bought the 2 soles ticket to see the waterfall. At this point I’m thinking ok maybe we’ll have about a 30 minute walk to the waterfall. But then the guy at the ticket booth says that are two options, either walk to the waterfall that was 45 minutes away or walk to the one that was 4 hours away. I say “45 minutes”, because I have had one to many so-called “easy” bad “hiking” experiences. A few other people agreed, but the majority wanted to see the waterfall that was 4 hours away. And the guy said that the walk was flat mostly – oh haven’t I heard that before. Don’t go chasing waterfalls….

And we were off to our 4 hour journey. Then someone announces there’s a short cut. I’ve done one of these “short cuts” up a mountain before short cut is aka for steeper climb and not using the wide easy path. SMH. OK we go along and see what we think is the top and ok this short cut really worked EHH wrong.

We moved passed the sandy rocky part and were finally seeing beautiful green pastures, and the donkeys and horses that the pounds of manure that we’d passed belonged too. Have you ever seen a beetle roll dung into a perfect little ball – almost reminds you of a truffle. (The delirious thoughts you have) My ears began hurting as I adjusted to the altitude but overall I was fine. Within about an hour-and-a-half I started to feel exhausted and Matthew begins to say “I thought we came here to see a waterfall I would have stayed home for hiking”. But then we stop for some fruit that we are able to clean off in a natural stream that is coming from the waterfall we are chasing. The fruit was pretty tasty.  A nice little break until we had to climb what I like to call “Rocky/Boulder Road”.  Now I started to hear Chanima, Kameela, and the rest of the youth choirs’ voices directed by Ms. Donna singing Move Mountain. I really wished and prayed this mountain would move because every muscle beyond my waist was in pain, hips, thighs, calves, shins, ankles, feet, and toes.

Move mountain!

Chorus 1
Let me tell you how to move a mountain,
(that’s too hard for you to climb).
Let me tell you how to move a mountain,
(one that hides the bright sunshine).

(When you hands are bleeding and torn),
(and your feet and weary and worn);
(when you try to climb up),
(but the rocks and reels makes the going tough),
just say move mountain, move mountain,
mountain get out of my way.

Chorus 2
Let me tell you how to move a mountain,
(when the climbing gets you down).
Let me tell you how to move a mountain,
(when you’ve traveled your last round).

(When you friends have left you behind),
(and your way, you cannot find);
(when your prayer is for help,)
(but you stand alone feeling by yourself),
just say move mountain, move mountain,
mountain get out of my way.

If you have the faith the size of a mustard seed,
just say move mountain, move mountain,
move mountain, mountain get out of my way.

wanted to jump in and swim but the water was too cold

And then we saw the  reservoir and had to take a break to take a few fun photos. We had an amazing view. Unfortunately the water was cold so we couldn’t go swimming. Of course at this point we thought that we were almost there (this thought is wrong about 99% of the time).

1 more km smh

And finally we get to a sign that says < Surco 4 km and Palacala > 1 km.

So we were 4/5th of the way there. We climb the last km and at this point we no longer are looking at the clouds that circle the tops of mountains we are in them. So we are now cold and wet – I of course am wearing a halter top and shorts, without a jacket or sweater in sight. But then we finally see it a beautiful water fall as we look across to the other side of the mountain. That must be it, and guess what I don’t need to walk there because I don’t see a path to it. I came I saw I conquered. Wrong there’s a lovely red arrow on the ground directing us to move forward. Let me tell you how to move a mountain…

Well after going around a narrow curve, ducking under a few tree limbs, and balancing on top of wet rocks on a muddy path we made it to Las Cataratas de Palacala.  It wasn’t huge but it was beautiful. The whole journey as arduous as it was a beautiful one. And who would have known that I could hike 5km up hill mountain.  God makes glorious places and sometimes you have to chase waterfalls to see them.

(But lesson learned (again) get more details, and do not trust non westerners when they say a walk is easy, flat, or short)
Want to see more photos click here!

2 thoughts on “Don’t go chasing waterfalls- Las Cataratas de Palacala

  1. Amazing, the waterfall pic is beautiful. Great laugh: “and do not trust non westerners when they say a walk is easy, flat, or short”

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