We are at the end of the adventure, a few more kilometres and some hidden gems before returning to Santa Marta
I am on my way back from the Lost City to El Mamey, going slowly and always on my own. I take a lot of photos for future reference and for the joy of family and friends back home. I wish they were here, although now I know that none of them would never make it there.
Today it is hot and sticky and most of the route is exposed to the hot embrace of the Colombian sun. This is the main challenge of the day, along with a couple of very steep hills to climb and descend. I found a walking stick that some other hiker was left behind and supporting myself with it things are going much better. I’m really enjoying being all alone, away from people who make noise and smoke all the time. Now it is easier to absorb the sights and sounds of the nature around me. At some point, I reunited with my fellow travellers for a dip in the river Buritaca, that I do all dressed and with my shoes on, tossing myself from a rock. I wash my clothes and me in one splashing go.
Soon we arrive to our beloved cabanas and hammocks. We treat ourselves with an impromptu soup out and an afternoon siesta, then following a tip from Castro, we follow a 20 minute path to get to some majestic falls. These must be reached by slipping down a steep slope, clinging to a rope not to fall against the rocks that populate the bottom.
The waterfall flies through the air by a jump of 20 feet with a loud bang and a splash fierce, ending finally at peace in a beautiful swimming pool of cold, deep water, all surrounded by rocks that were placed there for the enjoyment of divers. A Colombian boy dives off a cliff 15 meters high and then challenge the gringos to do the same. Nobody is crazy enough to take up the challenge, but we do favor a little grebe from one of the plates to 4 meters in height, an ideal springboard for our actions more bourgeois.
When we return to camp we run a half-holiday. Medellin Añejo rum bottles and cans of beer Aguila seem like a dream from the large stock of the owner of the cabanas, beautifully bathed in their box of ice. People are divided into groups. Some are beginning to engage in loud and boisterous games of cards, while others challenge each other in endless games of chess and cumbersome in view of romantic candles. Castro driving carries a lot of sweets to all his boys travelers, a well-deserved reward for completing the trek, passing narcos, snakes and wild American.
The next morning we make it to get to El Mamey, and after having eaten a hot meal and be drained a pair of Aguilas, just let us be done with a lot of semiubriaca tejo, the Colombian version of the game of bowls that looks like a race shot put with a side of explosions of gunpowder. My performance is among the most wretched of the century with a throw almost super wrong can kill a dog step, 5 meters away from the target explosives Tagus, between the laughs out loud so that the trekkers of the villagers.
Finally it’s time for the last part of our incredible journey. Like a demented film series B, our final challenge is to try to bring into a small Isuzu Jeep as follows: 9 trekkers, Castro, the driver, his wife and daughter, plus backpacks, boxes of supplies and two chickens ! After several failed attempts at comedy, we begin our 12-mile ordeal to the main asphalt road to Santa Marta with the following line: driver / owner, wife and daughter safely accommodated in the front, 7 hikers perfectly adapted to the mosaic rear of the vehicle in the company of chickens and some ‘supplies, Castro out, hanging on the big spare tire on the tailgate of the Isuzu, two courageous British carrier on the roof of the jeep, sitting amid a sea of bags and boxes.
In this training pyramid-shaped face the treacherous dirt road down from the mountains to the sea, enjoying a box-like comfort and safety levels of sardine style Paris-Dakar rally, while the driver goes to zig-zag between holes as deep canyons, protruding rocks in the middle of the trail dirt roads end and tight spaces on the roadside. The valley and its jungle below now no longer seem so inviting and picturesque, and the engine struggles to keep up and the bottom dell’Isuzu rasp out repeatedly against the rocks.
Finally the jeep gives up and refuses to go further. The transmission is gone. We retreat in the shadow of a house nearby, some asleep, others play soccer with a ball of rags, I look at Castro and the driver all blacks become fat and sweat in an attempt to repair the damage. Another Colombian arrives with his bike and joins the team of mechanics after he ran home to get the toolbox. The jeep is gutted, repaired and turned over, then we are ready to resume the journey back to civilization and return to our separate paths, but not before there drained a freshly squeezed fruit juice, a generous tribute to the sweaty trekkers from Ms who lives on the road to the Lost City.
Simone Chierchini Copyright ©2010-2011
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