White water rafting

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The ride to San Gil was great! We left Giron after a quick bus terminal breakfast and in the Colectivo, drove us for over 2 hours through the Andes, and we would of climbed to quite an altitude. The Andes were very steep, about 2kms straight up with little vegetation baring only baron rocks and shrubs but still jaw dropping when you could see the enormity of these things! We drove from the valley, winding our way up for over an hour to ride across the top through semi alpine forests. Soon after we had stopped for a quick refreshment we then gradually descended a bit towards San Gil, but first we passed through a section of the country where signs were errected, warning people not to venture off the road because the area is a huge mine field. Im not sure whether its military or guerillas that are responsible, but when something like this occurs, you realise how far away from home you really are.

San Gil, we finally arrived in the afternoon very tired and checked into Hotel San Carlos for only 10,000 pesos a night, with cable television and our own private bathroom. We immediately had a siesta for a few hours before awaking at 7.30 to get some dinner. We found a local restaurant that served up soup for an entre, a huge main course of chicken breast, rice, blackbeans, sweet potato, banana and lettuse, with lemonade for only 6,000p (3$ australian) - Bargain! We were stuffed and tired still, so retired to our hotel to watch some spanish television, which seemed every channel had news on reporting something big with the military on the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan borders! hmmm... BED!!

Waking up on the 5th was easy, as we had slept alot in the last 15 hours. We immediately got up, showered in the only option of freezing, but we are getting used to it now, and headed out to the closest bakery. After finding the main square, exploring the church that looks the same as every other in these towns, finding the hygenic (sarcastic by the way) meat market, and taking a few photos... We took an offer to do some white water rafting for the day.

The rafting started at 2, and a Van picked us up traditional Latin American style (late) and we headed off upstream to our starting position. Our team consisted of a couple of Colombians and an older Swedish couple visiting family here. The rapids weren't the biggest, however on one or two occassions we had a couple of metres drop and in one of them I came flying out as the boat tipped up! I and the other 2 blokes on the left hand side of the boat also came flying out. We floated down stream and all managed to get back in the boat before the next set of rapids. Most of the rapids were pretty easy though and at times we got to jump out and have a swim. It was great fun and we got some good photos. Next time I will definitely be doing the hardest class possible.

The rest of the day we did nothing except pig out on some badly cooked chicken at some American Roasted place and looked for some more thongs as Matty managed to break his that he got from Jamaica. We fell asleep watching Godzilla in Espanol, ahha!

The following day we took a stroll through the park in San Gil that is unique for tree's that grow these long dangly silver things all over them. Its really wierd and would be great for a horror movie! There we met Andy (The Austrian from Parque Tayrona). We walked around town a bit before heading back to his hostel ...meeting the 3 Irish blokes! hahaha... Not much of a coincidence though as there really isnt more than 1 or 2 hostels in the town, and Colombia isnt touristy at all, so bumping into the same people can be common. Matty, Andy, Paul and I went down to grab a absolutely huge pizza ... It must of been good because 2 of the guys were vegetarian and still ate it! haha. Then us and the 3 funny Irish blokes went out drinking to suss out the local pubs in San Gil before retiring to bed.
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