We have now being working our way through Latin America for 2 months, in Santa Marta we got so absorbed in the volunteering and filming that there was very little time for sightseeing.
So, to get the ball rolling we booked in a 6 day hike to see Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), in the Sierra Nevada Ranges on the north coast of Colombia.
I read that the walk was tough, but far out – it was tough!
The thick, humid Colombian jungle revealed steep rocky climbs and sudden slippery descents. Each camp offered the opportunity to rest, eat hearty meals and wring out your sweat soaked clothing and add layers of melted insect repellent.
The camps are quite beautifully located each one unique with rivers, waterfalls, swimming holes or showers with views over jungle valleys.
On the fourth day we rose at 4.30am and climbed high into the peak of the final mountain up thirteen hundred small stone steps, designed to deter the keenest horseman.
Ciudad Perdida (called Teyuna by the indigenous people) is a city abandoned to invading Spanish diseases and was eventually reclaimed by the jungle. In the seventies it was rediscovered by thieves (who called it Infierno Verde – Green Hell) and the bases of 135 houses have been carefully reconstructed by eager archaeologists.
One of the highlights of the trip was actually passing the houses and villages of the indigenous Kogi’s whose houses still looked exactly as they did hundreds of years ago. They are fiercely protective of their way of life and I heard that it was extremely unwise to take their photos without getting permission first.
On the last night a Kogi family stopped by the camp to eat with the permanent cooks who live there. John worked his magic on the kids and calls of “mogwai, mogwai” in their native language rang through the night as they egged him on to keep up the jokes and silliness.
The next morning we were up bright and early and our path took us past their family huts. We got a glowing reception from the kids who were there the night before, as well as eager eyes from younger ones who had heard the tales of the crazy man with curly hair who made their siblings laugh so much the night before.
Getting a sense for how people live here was one of the biggest highlights of the hike and has inspired us to learn more about variety of indigenous people who still live simple, wholesome lives, sustainably from the land.
Likewise it is great to hear how the government has allocated massive areas of land to allow people to live the way they have always lived, including one community of nomads who as yet have had no contact with the big commercial world outside.
We have had very little internet over the last 2-3 weeks and I have much to post so, rather than waffle on, here are some pics…
We have enjoyed our recent treks so much we have decided to do more!
So, (if you don’t mind!) please share below the best hikes and treks you have done in your life. We want to follow in your footsteps…