Tuesday 28 October 2008
Monday 25 June 2007
Well, having sad our adíos to the Caribbean coast, we headed on an 18 hour bus journey to Bogota, not really sure what to expect. The sleeping tablets worked a treat and we landed full of beans. Bogota was an absolute treat, full of galleries, museums, fancy shopping malls and gorgeous places to eat and shimmy!
It was the first time I was ever in an art gallery (Botero), where the ushers smiled and were mad for chat. The warmth of the Colombian people never ceased to amaze us. We ended up hanging out in Bogota for about 5 days, trying to figure out how to head to Peru (with the help of our new student cards!). Never once did we feel threatened or unsafe, compared to any of the Central American capitals. It was so nice to just wander around, eat, drink and be merry. We even went for a boogie downtown, which was a bit of a larf. It certainly is a visual treat for the lads, considering the enhanced cleavage of most young females!
The Lost City is set in the Tayrona National Park on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and was only discovered sometime during the 50's. About 5 years ago a group of British and Israeli tourists trekking to the Lost City were kidnapped by guerillas and kept hostage for three months. We didn't tell our folks that before setting off!
There was a group of twelve of us and we hiked between 4-6 hours each day. It took us three days to get to the Lost City and yes, it was physically excruciating at times. But oh did we eat and sleep afterwards and felt like we deserved it.
The park is inhabitated by the Kogi tribe, who still use the Lost City as a sacred ground. The darker side of the story is the fact that there are numerous cocaine factories within the park, it was even an optional visit as part of the trek!!
As most people say about doing treks like the Inca trail or this one, it is often the journey and not the destination which has the most impact on you (how long have I been waiting to use that one!!). It really was a physically and mentally amazing journey which reduces you to you, your rhythm and the nature which surrounds you (and lots of card games). I would so recommend the whole experience from start to finish, from the warmth and generosity of our guides, to the bonding of the group (on the whole) to the reward of seeing such natural and unadulterated beauty.
Tuesday 19 June 2007
We left Cartagena and headed for Taganga, which is a beautiful little fishing village just outside Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast towards Venezuela. After spending a couple of days there, hanging out by the sea and drinking every combination of fruit juice from the ubiquitous street vendors, we headed for La Ciudad Perdida.
Sunday 27 May 2007
So we landed and hooked up with Scott & Alex again, having left Lenny & Catherine heading south. The canopy tour, a way to get from one tree to another on a zip line, was pioneered in Monteverde, and the tour we did had 18 zip lines and a tarzan swing (fear of heights = the whole flipping jungle heard me do that one!). It was too much fun, seriously.
We cooked up a storm in the hostel that night with Scott & Alex and lots of Imperial and giggle fits later, crashed out with the prospect of a 5am start for San Jose. No kidding, I haven´t been up later than 7am in about a month. It gets dark here at 6pm on the button every day so Central America wakes up with sunrise!!