Ending our trekking adventures on a big high

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
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53
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Trip End Oct 26, 2010


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Flag of Colombia  , Magdalena,
Thursday, August 5, 2010

Anyone who is into rain, mud, smelly clothes, more rain, insects bites and camping on archaeological sites we highly recommend this trek.

Magic tours were amazing when we rang them at 7am to let them know that we could not make it as Bernie had half a Caribbean coastline in his left ear. After some treatment from a local doctor, loads of drops, days of doing dances on 1 foot and a farmer syringing all the sand out we were ready to go. We had checked in for 5 days, 4 nights of adventure and we got our moneys worth.

Day 1 (1st Aug)
9am start with a 2 hour jeep trip to our starting point of Mama. We were trekking with 3 Italians and 3 Dutch. Started the trip on a high with the some amazing baguette sandwiches. I know it seems a bit over the top however we had found alot of the bread in South America to be really sweet and this was amazing. Caught some of the locals playing a game of Tejo, requiring players to throw a metal plate or disc weighing about 2 kg at a target so as to make it strike the "mechas" (gunpowder) in the middle of the target. Not the quietest sport I have heard. Started the trek at about 1pm which was just when the light rain started. It did not take long for the heavens to open and all the efforts of trying to keep our boots and socks dry was in vain. Even had a piggyback from one of the guides to avoid water logged boots, he could have saved his back. At this point we did not know about the landslide that had occurred a couple of days before we arrived, clearing out a cabana at a camp. No one was thankfully hurt. After cutting my hand on bard wire and attempting to clean my boots in a creek and getting eaten alive by insects I finished my day in bare feet.

Day 2
The rain had stopped for the 2nd day of trekking however this did not mean that there was of lack of mud. Due to the mud slide we had a short trekking day with R & R time by 1pm. Was the most relaxing day, stopped at swimming holes to cool off, had snacks along the way then chilled with a swim in the river beside the camp. Camp was much better the 2nd night as there was about a third of people there.

Day 3
Early rise today and on our way to the archaeological site of an ancient city in Sierra Nevada where we received information that we would be camping the night. As this is normally forbidden we realized how privileged we were. After 3 river crossings, climbing over rocks with 20 metre drops and 1200 steps to the top of the lost city we were glad to make it before the rain begin. We made a small detour to a natural swimming hole at the city which pleased Bernie very much. As long as the man is swimming, he is happy. Must get a swimming pool in Australia so I can get so peace and quiet. :-) As you normally cannot stay at the site they are not really prepared for stayers however we made the most of it, cramming everyone into the kitchen until the rain eased and our tent could be pitched. Bernie was not happy at all about the idea of camping and risking getting everything wet however when he saw that we were to stay on the top terrace he was blown away. Juan Carlos, our guide did am amazing job of building us a shelter over the tent to ensure that everything stayed dry. Was the best sleep in the whole trip.

Day 4
Early start, as we wanted to do tour of the city before others go up. The city is huge with over 169 terraces carved into the mountain spanning over 4km square. The city and the surrounding mountains were so mystical, surrounded by an amazing amount of green due to all the rain. Can see why it was known as, Green Hell. The hard slog to get there was well worth it. Our walk back to our 2nd nights accommodation was the most rain we had so far & with a different route back to the camp this involved alot more river crossings and a cage crossing. By the time we arrived at camp we were all wet through but the thought of this been our final night in the jungle we did not care. Had a bed this night however personally I perferred the tent. We had managed to save a set of dry clothes to wear each night and I was excited about trekking in dry socks the next day.

Day 5
Both Bern and myself were not feeling great when we woke up but the thought of putting our muddy boots outside our hostel room in Taganga keep us going. Found another swimming hole on the way out and was amazed to see the muddy route that we took into the park. The sun was blazing all day and we were all exhausted when we reached Mama for lunch. This was Bern and my hardest day. Arrived back in Taganga, the hostel owner took pity on me when they saw the state of my boots and helped carry my bags up to our room.

The trip took us 2 days to recover and finally we have been able to leave the hostel and the close proximity of a toilet. Cannot recommend this trip enough and was very happy to reconnect with my love of mud. I remember my mum telling me stories of needing to be hosed down after rolling in mud puddles as a small child.


Now deciding where to go next. Time is running out. :-(

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Comments

beverley watties on

fantastic wish i was with you in mind maybe not in body

Standa on

Yo guys ... You make me want to go hikin' again ;)

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