I Can See Snow on Nevado del Tolima!
Today was bright clear blue sky, hardly a cloud anywhere!
Salento is situated at 6,200 ft altitude (the same as Lake Tahoe, CA) and very near to the Andes Mountains range containing several perpetual glacier covered peaks. These mountains influence the weather and cause a lot of clouds and afternoon rain. So when today was so clear, I had to get outside and take lots more photos — over 120 of them! (Thanks be to digital)
Of course, I went straight to the Mirador, my favorite viewpoint. Much to my surprise, with no clouds I could see a snow capped peak looking due east. I did a full zoom on my camera to take the photo in the header of this post.
Just so you get a sense of how far away the snow peak is, below is a photo from the exact same spot but without the zoom!
Nevado del Tolima
It took me a bit of work studying google maps, google images, maps of the Los Nevados National Park and several trekking guide sites to finally identify the peak. But the little “fin” shaped ridge just to the left (with the missing-tooth look) gave it away… this peak is Nevado del Tolima, over 17,100 feet high. Even more amazing to me is that when I did an as-the-crow-flies distance measurement on google maps, I discovered that it’s a full 17 miles away!
I also checked Wikipedia to find out about active status since Tolima is a volcano. Yes it’s active, and the last time it erupted was in 1943, before that was 1826. So who knows when it will blow again? In any case, I figure 17 miles is good enough.
Armenia to the South-West
As long as we’re talking about great views, here’s a photo of Salento with the city of Armenia waaay off in the distance. It was taken from the Alto de la Cruz lookout point. It’s quite close to the other viewpoint, really on the same hill. Except here you get a nice overview of the town of Salento down below and you’re looking south-west.
No zoom on this one so you can get the big-picture feel. If you look closely right after the first group of hills you can see small vertical light-colored rectangles. That’s actually a new development of high-rise condominiums on the north side of Armenia. And if you look real closely, you can see downtown Armenia further back to the left.
The distance is 8 miles as-the-crow-flies. But it’s double that if you have to travel the roads as a mere human, taking about 45 minutes by bus. Armenia is the closest ‘big’ city for shopping and where I go about once a week.
PS. Another thing I like about this photo is that I can actually see the Coffee Tree Boutique Hostel where I am staying! Look at the very left edge of the photo midway up. The last building you see before fields and green, is Eddie Echeverri’s place. It’s the one with the darker red tile roof.