Day 35: The trek to Ciudad Perdida (The lost city)

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019.

Day 6 of Colombian Caribbean Highlights by Bamba adventures

Todays itinerary:

Day 2: Adan’s Camp – El Paraiso Camp (B/L/D)

Wake up for an early breakfast before departing on your 15-kilometer trek at 8:00 am.

Walk through the indigenous Kogi village of Mutanshi to learn about local life in the jungle and the native inhabitants who live here. During the day you will meet indigenous families in their native lands and cross the river Buritaca several times refreshing yourself in the cool waters. During rainy season water levels can reach up to 1 meter deep.

So today, please plan to wear water shoes or hiking sandals with good straps and be prepared to get wet.

Snack on fresh fruits during the trek before reaching the third camp. Get settled in, have dinner and sleep here overnight in your hammocks.

(15-kilometer trek; 8 hours approx.)”

The clouds made us all assume that it will rain in the night. It didnot. But it was getting colder by and by, that I finally used my blanket.

Wakeup time 5:00 am. Somebody set his alarm to 4:10 am. Aggression got brutally sugjugated by drownsiness.

5:00 am I get up.

Fresh Shirt, fresh Shorts. Yesterdays washed out clothes are still wet. They go into a drybag. Again additional weight in my backpack. My Backpack is at least double as heavy as the other ones. SLR and powerful optics.

I go get drinking water for my camelbak. They do with either ozone clearing or by boiling and filtering it and provide in huge orange tanks.

The camps all have solar power, wifi internet (3000 peso per hour up), but restricted options to charge. At 9:00 pm adams/Alfredo Camp turn off power. Other camps have small water power plants or simple fuel driven generators which may run all night. There is always shower with river water, which is refreshing but not too cold.

I push everything back in my backpack and go for breakfast, 5:30 am. Coffee cup-wise, a plate with toasted bread, scrambled eggs, roasted plantain, … marmelade from a plastic bag or something else to put on the bread.

At 6:00 am we gather and go. Cisar tells us, hardest day. About 1.000 m altitude up.

He further tells us to think if we really want to do 5 days, or if we want to switch to 4 days. Half of the group booked 4, half 5 day trip. You can easily shorten, but not walk longer, because of insurance. If you do 5 days, you arrive at your last camp at 08:30 am and sleep there, next day you walk another 3 hours.

We all switch to 4 days, will get wifi in the next camp to get a hostel in Santa Marta for the additional day. Cisar will rearrange transports.

We start to walk. It gets more and more jungle. Later cloudforest. No motorbikes any more, only miles do the transportation.

First break, a lady offers fresh pressed orange juice. Use of the banjos is 3.000 pesos. With increasing altitude, juice, beer, water, banos, everything is applied altitude inflation.

Cisar explains on our way some plants. He tries to guide us what to touch and what we should not touch. At the end it is “donot touch anything”.

Stay away from dried leaves, could be snakes in it and especially the young ones cannot dose their poison yet.

Nobody steps into dried leaves anymore.

We walk by some indigenous villages. They are populated by the builders of la ciudad perdida, the former tairona, the kogi.

It is quite weird, the tribes currently occupying the Sierra Nevada donot have territories, instead one tribe takes the northern, one the southern, and one the eastern slopes of the mountains. Place for another tribe on the western slopes.

We walk along river buritaca, which we have to cross multiple times. Lucky us it is still dry season. So sometimes we cross via jumping from stone to stone, there are two bridges, sometimes we take off the shoes and wade through the water. But it never gets deeper than knee deep. And it is never dangerous or difficult.

It should be rainy season by now. TripAdvisor had horror stories for us before we left, about mud challenges and 4 days totally wet. We packed everything in plastic bags. Unnecessary with enough luck.

We reach lunch place, where we go for swim in the river, wash our sweaty stuff and have lunch. Beer price is already at 6.000. Diesnot matter.

After lunch 20 minutes for digestion. Then we continue up.

Next break, watermelon.

And down. Cisar calls it “Sierra Nevada regular”, as long as the sum of the ups and downs is not a relevant up.

River crossing … every river crossing German Sascha is ready with the swimming short to jump.

It starts to rain a little bit, which is not a refresh at all. But everybody starts to hurry up, to avoid the heavy rain.

We reach our camp. Same procedure: shower, wash out sweaty thing, put them on line to dry with the stuff from yesterday.

We sleep again in beds, blankets only, no pillows. Showers and toilets are new, clean. Todays bunkbeds are not head to feet, but beside each other.

I have strong cold from the AC from the landcruiser. I am always in search of toilet paper to clean my nose. They provide only rationed.

Dinner again enough and good cooked. I go to bed very early.

Accommodation: Paraiso Teyuna

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