September 22nd 2014
Skipping ahead to 6 days into my stay in Medellin, and Phil and I had decided to go to Guatape. Guatape is a cute little town about 2hrs bus ride away from Medellin. Everyone has been telling me its amazing and not to miss it. I’m not sure how Phil has caught up to me; he stayed 2.5 weeks extra in Bogota to study Spanish and I am yet to stop to take classes so it seems I am just making my way through Colombia incredibly slowly. Anyway, its nice to hang out with someone and not have to do the regular introductions: What’s your name? Where are you from? How long are you travelling for? Where are you going next? Where have you been? Etc It’s starting to get repetitive.
The Lost City Trek: 26th to 29th August 2014
I actually wanted to do the trek the following week but when I enquired at the MagicTours office I was told that the indigenous tribes close off the area for 2 weeks for their yearly something or other…lucky I asked! Once again, no one at the hostel had bothered to mention this closure even when I said I was thinking about doing the trek next week.
I tried to be more prepared than normal and started packing for the hike the night before. I’m glad I did because I realised that I had left my only bikini hanging on a tree to dry at the hostel before last. Thankfully, it was only the next town across and they had it in lost property. So in the morning, rather than get picked up by the tour group at my current hostel, I had to taxi to the previous hostel then taxi back to the tour office. We were meant to all meet at the office at 9am but I found myself hanging out there until about 10 because everything moves so slowly here. When we eventually were herded to the bus, I had to run back to get the water bottle I’d somehow forgotten. Not sure how I keep forgetting things.
On the 18th of August I went to Barichara: a cute little town about 45 minutes away from San Gil. Made plans the day before to meet Casey and a girl from her hostel, Leslie, at the steps of the church at 7.30. At 7.20, knowing that it would take me about 10 mins to walk there, I decided to eat some fruit for breakfast – otherwise I’d be on time, aka Colombian ‘early’. And what do you know, we all got there at 7.40! Perfect timing! And once again, steps of the church is the fail-safe way to find someone.
Luckily Casey knew where to go to get the local buses; the entrance to the bus terminal was seriously just a small gap in a brick wall. I would not have even seen it had I not walked through it! No sign, nothing. Of course once you’re in there, there’s buses lined up one wall all with town names signed about where they parked.