Down the Rio Viejo

Rio Viejo, PuriscalThe other day we heard the robin’s song that announces that the beginning of the rainy season is near. One hike I wanted to do before the rainy season began was to walk down the Rio Viejo as far as possible and hopefully to the boundary of our property where the Rio Tabarcia and Rio Viejo converge. The robin spoke so we decided to make the trek last Sunday. It was a beautiful day, blue sky and sunshine. The previous owner told us if we wanted to go on this hike to take a rope because some parts are difficult to pass. I’m not one for going on hikes with super dangerous parts so we agreed beforehand to go as far as we felt comfortable.

I did my morning chores and began to get ready to go. Roxy and Spencer both know when we are getting ready to take them on an outing. The ultimate sign that we are going on an excellent walk, is me spraying on the bug spray. Spencer watches me spray and quickly goes near his leash, ready to go. Roxy is more seasoned at watching us get ready and instead of the continuous pacing, and “hurry up guys” moves Spencer makes, she sits quietly and observes until we begin to actually walk away from the house.

Rio Viejo, PuriscalLast year John walked part of the way down the Rio Viejo with some of the workers. They got to a point where you either needed to swim through deep water, or scale a steep rock ledge. Since we knew this place was there we decided to first walk through our property and cut down to the river after this spot. We arrived at the river and the journey began. The hike was incredibly beautiful. The variety of rocks, large and small, never ceases to amaze me. We saw countless exceptionally large trees along the river’s edge.

Rio Viejo, PuriscalThe landscape began to change from random boulders in the river bed to the river bed consisting of one huge rock with steep slopes on either side. At this point we had to get into a pool of hip deep water in order to proceed. This was no problem for John and me, but a different story for Roxy and Spencer. Roxy saw us go in and knew she had to jump in and swim. It took a bit of convincing for her to take the plunge, but I was there to support her and made sure she didn’t get her head wet. Spencer is just getting used to the idea that he can swim the doggy paddle but he prefers to jump through the water. He knew he had to jump in but was concerned because he couldn’t see the bottom. I encouraged him with my voice and he jumped in and did the doggy paddle to shore.

From this point on the water was funneled down to a path that was about 1.5 meters wide and an unknown depth. The rock sloped up on either side of the water. We chose the safest looking side to carefully walk on. I wasn’t scared of falling or slipping but was more concerned that if I did the camera would get damaged. Luckily nothing bad happened. After passing this area the terrain changed back to the more familiar looking various rocks. I stopped frequently to take pictures and admire the quartz and colorful formations in the rocks.

Rio Viejo, PuriscalWe encountered the beginning of another steep rock slopes with narrow river canal area. This time the rock slopes were simply too steep to walk on and the river looked unsafe to journey through. We might have made it through the water a little more, but we were unsure if we could make it back. This was the end of the trail for us and time to eat snacks and enjoy the scenery. When we returned home we looked at the Google images of our property and tried to figure out exactly how close we were to the Tabarcia River. We might have been very close. Regardless, we had an excellent hike and just in the nick of time because just as the robin warned us, later that day we had the first thunder storm and downpour of the season. The hike we took is definitely one that should only be done in the dry season when there is no threat of rain.