After 2 weeks in Chile and Argentina sightseeing, wine tasting, struggling with jetlag and the worst cold ever, it was time to fly to Cartagena to catch up with Mark and Bec.
We had left the itinerary up to them, as we were keen to experience the brown bus life. They suggested we hike to the Lost City and as Shauno is into suffering, we were up for it.
The drive to the trail’s start was a mini-epic of a dusty, rutted uphill dash with the driver seemingly in drug running mode. Curiously, we waited until the hottest part of the day to set off. 5 minutes later we jumped into our first swimming spot.
Mules readying to perfume the track
And then…. it was uphill with the sun beating on our sweat soaked backs. The heat intensified by its reflection from the grey dust of the track and at times amplified by the 2-3 metre deep ruts worn by mules and people. There was a pungent smell of hot dust mixed with mule urine and dung.
It was a brutal beginning and ultimately a brutal ending. The rest was easy, apart from the hard bits.
Dusty leaves, dustier throats
Side walls to the cauldron
We were twice as old as most everyone else and it showed!
Nights were spent swinging from the ceiling but alcohol was not involved due to the fact there was no refrigeration.
Shaun ran a small morning clinic treating blisters on the feet of young ladies.
5 star luxury
Sunrise from the hammock
We hiked though thick jungle and along the way swam in pristine natural pools, marveled at the beauty of the birds and butterflies and glimpsed a shy armadillo.
Wiwa preschool class photo
A moment of distress. Nothing that chewing some coca leaves and lime can’t fix.
Many rivers to cross
The final ascent after 2 days of sustained sweating was a cheeky climb of 1200 steps into the fascinating world of the indigenous people. Their culture and society was rich and well organized. Their gold too much of a lure for the Spanish conquerors, and their destruction inevitable.
Suffer baby suffer
Our guide, looking comfortable as always
Four’s a crowd
Free coffee/internet cafe!
Dos cervezas, muy frio, por favor
We learnt a few things…that it was as tough as the Kokoda Trail (a jungle trek in New Guinea) and that it would be Sal’s first and last jungle trek. And now Becci-Rae can bond with her brothers over trekking with their Dad.
Posted from: Barranquilla, Colombia. The brown bus is headed towards: San Gil and Bogota, Colombia.