Like I mentioned, I don't remember what time it was when we left the house. All I knew was that it wasn't early. From Ozollo to the start of the hike shouldn't have taken too long, perhaps about 15 minutes at most, but GPS failed us. Sent us the wrong way, it did. We had to ask several people before we eventually got back on track.
When we finally arrived at the Lezika restaurant car park, it must have been way past 6pm, probably closer to 7pm. Yes, I know. The story of this trip. The first person I saw, I stopped and asked. Oh, she said. You go a bit farther down there. It'll take about 2 hours, you know. What??? I don't remember what I'd written in my plan, but I did mention we needed a couple of hours at least. But that two hours was for the whole walk; the way she said it was like she meant that it'd take two hours to get to the forest! I hope we've misunderstood her!
We decided not to turn back; after all, that was what we'd come for. We started walking briskly and before long, it started sloping upwards. Oh-oh. Maybe that was why the lady said two hours. We're not going to make it there and back before dark! We saw people coming in the opposite direction, but no-one in the same direction as us. Until later. When we saw people behind us, we felt calmer.
The walk was fine, but you'd need decent walking shoes and reasonable fitness because of the incline. If it's been raining, some parts may be a bit more treacherous. In my original plan, I had a route and the whole route would have taken about 2 hours. We didn't follow the route. From the car park to the first of the painted trees, An Invitation to a Kiss, is just over 3 km, I think. It takes about 30-45 minutes. From the kiss, we just walked around for a while, and then went back the same way we came from.
Name: Oma Forest, The Painted Forest, Bosque Pintado
Directions: The website has all the details. Basically, you walk out from Lezika restaurant car park, cross the road, turn right, and in a minute, you'll see a sign. Follow the gravel track. If you don't see any signs after a minute's walk, then you've gone the wrong way.
Verdict: Interesting! Unusual, different, contemplative
Tips and recommendations:
- Allocate 2-3 hours at least. Follow the recommended route as outlined on the map. Don't start late like we did.
- Dress comfortably. You'd need a decent pair of shoes you can walk in. They don't have to be trekking boots; trainers will do, for example.
- Bring water!
- For photographers - remember, once you're in the forest, the pines will be blocking a fair bit of light. Go later, and you'll have even less. Because it's going to be shaded, don't worry about harsh lighting. You may find you'd need to either push up your ISO, or bring a monopod or a tripod with you.
- Children can do the walk; in fact, they'd love the forest! Just allow more time. I actually saw a family with a pushchair, but I wouldn't like to be the one pushing! In fact this site says "Oma Forest is neither wheel chair accessible, nor baby pram accessible." In the same site, you'll find information regarding how to get there by bus or train.
Just like Guggenheim and El Peine del Viento, there are many photos I took which I would like to share with you. I've made another video, bigger, and better, I hope! To appreciate the video fully, watch it in full screen and in 1080p HD. Click on settings wheel, bottom right, click quality and select HD.