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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day Trip - El Chorro Waterfalls

About a half hour drive outside of Cuenca is the town of Giron (Gee-rohn), located in the Yunguilla (Yoon-gee-yuh) valley.  I had driven to Giron before, but wasn't all that impressed.   When I mentioned that to a local friend, he was shocked because he thought it was gorgeous!!    Well, he was talking about the El Chorro Waterfalls just outside Giron, which I didn't even know existed.   

Even though we are in the dryer/warmer months right now, we've had a series of thunder/lightning/rain storms the past several days, so it seemed like a good time to go to a waterfall!!!

Shortly after taking the turnoff in the middle of Giron, you must pay .30 cents to continue on the road (as well as when you return).  After 6 kms, I arrived at the parking lot for the waterfalls.   I was greeted by a nice lady who informed me it cost $2.00 to park and hike to the falls.  Though one river, the waterfalls cascade in 3 huge steps.   She said the first level takes about 10 minutes to get to, the 2nd is a 3-hour roundtrip hike, the 3rd an 8-hour roundtrip hike.  I took the 10 minute.  

Much work went into building the trail as it incorporated a lot of wooden handrails and steps.  The trail is shaded by a lush canopy of trees.   If you didn't look up, you'd miss out on a real treat.  Many of the trees had tons of Bromeliads growing in them!!!

Within minutes, I arrived at the base of the first waterfall.  An arched footbridge crosses over the water as it continues down a ravine and, depending on how full the basin is, you can walk onto a 'beach' area and gaze straight up the falls.  Some people stripped off some clothes, climbed boulders to access the falling water and drenched themselves.  A posted sign stated the pool below was 5 meters deep (approx 15 ft).

After enjoying the scene for awhile, I decided to head back to the car and explore the area a bit more.  I noticed while at the falls, a dirt road across the valley that climbed and climbed and climbed a really cool looking mountain.   So, I headed for that.  I found the road in very good condition sans huge potholes, slides, or other challenges, so up, Up, UP I went.   It wasn't until I was near the top, that I finally encountered a few homes of farmers.   Geez, what we would have to pay to have view homesites like these back in the US of A , but here it's just the norm....no biggie.  No one here is muscling in to squeeze another home onto a view site, and pay a hefty price tag, because it's just no big deal here and there's plenty of it.

So there you have it...another afternoon excursion.   Back home in time for my nap.   Enjoy the photos.

Dano


A church alongside the road on the way to the waterfalls from Giron.


The 3 levels of the waterfalls.  The first and 2nd fall are above and to the left of the powerlines.  The 3rd and lowest waterfall is below the powerline, almost in the mildde of this photo.

Trail to the waterfalls.

Bromeliads in the trees!

Look closely....see the red things in the trees?  Bromeliads.



The base of the waterfalls.




Look at the top of the rock outcrop.  A couple, with an umbrella, had it all to themselves.

Looking to the other side of the valley from the waterfalls...to where I'm about to go.

Looking back to the lower waterfalls where I was earlier.


Looking back to the falls (lower left).

The road from whence I came (see the falls in upper right corner).

Looking down into Yunguilla valley where the town of Giron is located.


Big rock formation on the other side of the valley from the waterfalls.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Dano, for the great pictures. My husband and I would really like to retire in Ecuador and are considering Cuenca. Looks like a wonderful area. Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics and the interesting blog.

    ReplyDelete

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About Me

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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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