This was the second half of the 4-day-hike I had wanted to do. The original path from Laguna Jakob to Laguna Negra was covered in snow and inaccessible. The alternate road started in the swiss colony, so I made my way back there already making plans on catching up on those beers I had missed out on the previous day. The idea of nice cold beer after a long day’s hike seemed great. Plus I’d be taking the bus home, so no need to be sober. Unfortunately life had other plans. None of the bars and breweries in Colonia Suiza were open, which actually turned into a serious problem when I was looking for a toilet. In the end I had to ask at a school if may enter theirs.. I did not expect the place to be that dead just hours after I had seen it completely overrun by tourists.
Then, finally, I could start on the hike. Contrary to the first part, this hike starts with a steep uphill section. In the woods. Again I was reminded of my friend and had to whole-heartedly agree with her. Stupid trees blocking the view. Luckily, the higher you get the fewer trees there are. And, admittedly, the trees with their red and yellow leaves make quiet a big contribution to the view. Still.. Wouldn’t it be enough if they were on the other side of the valley to look onto? Why do they need to be along the path as well?
The second half of the hike climbs alongside a huge, seemingly unsurmountable cliff. The water of the laguna crashes down in two long waterfalls slowly digging itself into the stone. At the top you’re greeted by a ragged scenery and a strong wind. The laguna negra is very different from the one at refugio frey. Where Refugio Frey and its laguna are located in a small valley, with trees and gras surrounding it, the laguna negra is surrounded by steep dark cliffs. I thought refuge in the refugio almost immediately to warm myself up and enjoy a hot coffee.. After having recovered a bit I explored the area a bit, but didn’t get too far. Between being blown around by the wind and the complete lack of tracks, I decided to stay put for a while before heading back down.
It still amazes me how different the same scenery seems on the way up and the way down. A slightly different viewpoint changes everything and even though I left the refugio before 2pm with plenty of time to get back to the bus stop by 6pm. However, I really only started on the hike back down around 3pm and still stopped every couple of meters to take pictures. Suddenly I found myself with one hour and 5km left and had to seriously hurry to catch my bus.. In the end I made it with about 3 minutes to spare.
I’m still not entirely sure how I managed to lose two hours on the way back down, I must’ve hit a time warp somewhere. It’s the only logical explanation. Surely I didn’t take that many pictures.