River Wild - Rio Claro Adventures
Trip Start Nov 24, 2007
49Trip End May 15, 2008
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Without a tent but really against paying 70,000 pesos (roughly $38 dollars) each for nightly accommodation, we headed to the national Wal-Mart-like super store, Exito (success) while still in Medellin in search for some type of makeshift tent that we could use for the weekend and thus save on depleting funds
Arriving at the reserve the next afternoon, sunny skies and one incredible river instantly made this one of our new favorite stops. As good as our luck was however, that night could not have been any worse. In cheery moods we decided to walk outside of the reserve a few miles and dine at a roadside eatery because the regular dose of tuna, bread, cheese and tomatoes that we were so accustomed to eating just didn't seem to match our spirits. We left all of our stuff behind knowing it was safe and went to go eat some real Colombian cuisine. We had just finished our dinner that led us to drinking rum with some good 'paisanos' from Medellin who were elated to see two Americans in the middle of nowhere when all went to hell. First it began to drizzle, making light `tics´ against the tin roof. As we shared Rum Anejo and our new friends began to talk louder, urging us to come dancing with them down the road, the `tics´ turned into much lounder 'Tangs.' Within minutes it turned in to an all out downpour
As nice as they were to offer us good Colombian rum and some late night dancing, sober or not they offered to drive us to our makeshift campsite in the now poring rain. As soon as we hopped into their SUV however the car alarm started blaring and the owner had no idea how to shut it off. We were definitely worried by then because we had only stored our bags under the tarp thinking that nothing would happen. Giving up on the the SUV we hopped in the back of an old `Willis´ jeep without hesitation and soon were speeding down the muddy road towards the reserve; the entire time clearing the windshield with a rag so that the driver could actually see through the condensation building on the windows. By the time we jumped from the jeep, hollered our thanks, goodbyes and ran a 30 seconds over to our blue dome tent along the river we were entirely soaked so we proceeded to get completely naked in order to keep from soaking the inside of our so far, dry and holding strong abode. The rain was tropically warm, lucky for us and rain and believe it or not, aptly named Rock Blue Solid was not wavering. There was not one single trace of water inside.
As we began rejoicing in our masterfully built tent and the fact that the rain will probably be over quickly, the rain worsened
The next mornings blue skies and sunshine and fun day exploring the river bank trails was given away to another nightly downpour. This time however not nearly as bad. All in all, our time there was quite good. The river wasn`t exactly as clear as advertised due to the runoff from the mountains but it still was an impressive river and the walks we did far upriver were spectacular. Pictures to prove.