We made it back from our 5 day trek to The Lost City a few days ago- well rested (from partying), well walked, and well & truly ready to be back in civilisation. All in all the walk was around 50km return, which doesn’t seem too bad over 5 days but when you factor in uphills, downhills, rivers and steps, it was more than enough walking for us.
We started off with about 4 hours of walking on our first day, beginning with a walk along the river, a fairly tough hour long uphill battle and a steep downhill to our first nights camp where we spent the night in hammocks. The walk itself is fairly pretty, overlooking the Sierra Nevada mountain range – really green and the top of the mountains are covered in cloud. Every now and again you take a break from lugging yourself up a hill to appreciate the view (though I spent a lot of time looking down, willing my feet to keep moving). Kel and a bunch of the guys moved at a rate of knots, attacking the hills like there was no tomorrow. Poor Liam got a blister from his shoes that first day and had to do the rest of the trek in thongs.
Our second day we ended up on a 16km walk with some fairly intense hills to make it all the way to the camp just before The Lost City, stopping along the way for lunch and a swim in the very cold river. That was a looong day, starting at around 7.30am and not making it into camp until around 5 or so. Most of us were in bed straight after dinner at around 7.30 (paaaaarrrttyyyyy!).
Day three we woke early again and made our way to The Lost City ruins, 1km and 1200 (very steep) steps from our camp. Apparently the ruins weren’t discovered until 1975 – we figure that’s not through lack of trying, but because most archeologists would have started walking up the 1200-odd steps, thrown in the towel halfway up and headed back down to the river for a swim. The ruins themselves are not that impressive, but the setting that they’re in is pretty spectacular and made it all worth it. We spent a few hours wandering around and catching about a tenth of the explanation of the history thanks to our less-than-impressive Spanish skills.
The last few days of the trek were fairly cruisy, only walking for a few hours each day on our way back and spending more time relaxing, swimming, reading and playing cards. The last day was mainly downhill, which we managed to do in 1.5 hours rather than 4 as we ran down the mountain rather than trying to walk slowly. All in all it was a fun five days, though I feel pretty safe in making the call that we were all happy to be back.
Kel, Puppy and Pete all left the next day for Medellin- heading to Cartagena for the day and then catching the night bus to Medellin (they’ve made it safe and sound). They’ll be sticking around there for a few days, heading to the Coffee region and then onto Bogota in search of some rock climbing and adventures. Liam and I have caught up with Mark, Grace, Rachel, Tehmani and Chris and will be heading to Carnival in Barranquilla – Colombia’s most important folklore celebration and one of the biggest festivals in the world (actual PAAAAARRRTTTYYY!). After that we’ll head down to catch up with Kel and Co in the south of Colombia and onwards into Ecuador.