Tips & Tricks to help you plan your next adventure
We woke up early on Sunday morning, had a quick breakfast of banana porridge and terrible coffee and headed out the door. We were off to see if we could hitch a ride on one of the many Guayaquil bound buses to Cajas National Park.
Now you would think that as Cajas is a huge national park, and a major tourist attraction to those visiting Cuenca, that they would have a direct bus at least once or twice a day. But no, they don't. Instead you have to try find space on one of the buses headed to Guayaquil (4 hours away) and jump off on the highway when you see the sign for the national park, after roughly 1 hour.
Now it's easy enough to get a bus there as there are many running each morning, but getting back can be very difficult. I've heard and read stories of people waiting 2 or more hours on the side of the road for one of the buses headed to Cuenca from Guayaquil to stop and let them on.. Unfortunately, even though there are plenty of buses as it's a popular journey, a lot of the time there's no room, and hence the buses just cruise on by. We were lucky and managed to jump on a bus back within 10 minutes of leaving the park.. But more on that later.
We arrived at the park with the most beautiful of weather. This was lucky, as for the last month or so it has been raining and overcast every single day, making trekking around the park not so enjoyable. Needless to stay we were both stoked with the weather. We went to the Rangers office, signed in and headed off for a walk around the lagoon.
The path we chose follows around a huge lagoon close to the entrance of the park. Along the way we found a couple of llamas, took plenty of photos and nearly lost both Sean's shoes in a surprisingly deep puddle of mud. It was great.
About half way around the lake we climbed up on to a rock overlooking the lake for a little break and a couple of pictures. Sean asked me to take a photo of him, and of course I obliged. As I fiddled with the camera and looked up at Sean he was down on one knee. I thought to myself, that's a really weird pose, not something Sean usually does. If he's going to pose for a photo he'll chuck his arms out to the side, not get all the limbs involved. I took a quick snap. And then he started talking.. And I couldn't believe my ears.
Now I don't want to bore you with all the sappy details but if you didn't guess, we're now engaged!
Sean's been carrying the ring all the way from Australia around in his backpack for over 5 months waiting for the right opportunity. Talk about incredible!
We continued exploring around the lake for a couple of hours and ate our picnic lunch we'd packed. The whole time neither one of us could wipe the grin from our face. After lunch we left and hopped on a bus within 10 minutes of walking out the gate! Luck was on our side.
All in all this day was perfect.
The weather was incredible, the park was beautiful and to top it all off it looks like I'm going to be spending a little more time with Sean! Who would've guessed!
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An Aussie who loves travelling, hiking, trail running and pretty much any activity you can do outdoors.