Published: August 15th 2012August 15th 2012
After getting back from our Panamanian Adventure, Haley took a few days to head to Tayronna National Park (located a few hours away) while I stayed in Cartagena to take care of business –ahem, getting a blood test and getting that Colombian ID sorted. Luckily, it all went swimmingly, the same guy was working as the last time I was there and remembered me. He switched my A+ blood type in the system to AB+ and told me that my ID wasn’t ready yet and to come back in about two weeks to pick it up. Phew! I definitely thought I was going to have to jump through fire trying to explain to them the situation and why not to fine me!
We were going to go to San Gil next, the outdoor adventure capital of Colombia, but we realized we didn’t have enough days before Haley needed to get to Bogota to meet the amazing Monica and then to go back home. So we decided to go to Medellin, it always gets rave reviews and I barely saw any of it last time I went. My friend Steve I met while working at Blue House Hostel (who was originally
planning on staying in Cartagena and went on a trip to Medellin and never left) took awesome care of us partying it up each night with the help of his friends. One of his friends has an apartment really high up with a gorgeous night view of the city –super lucky to get to see that! The first day we wondered around looking at the famous fat statues and then exploring the Exploratorium and botanic gardens. The next day was the highlight of the trip: paragliding.
Medellin is situated in a long valley surrounded by gorgeous tall green mountains and apparently, has the perfect conditions for paragliding. Now we all know I’m pretty adventures at this point, but jumping off into thin air is not my thing, basically because I just think it’s automatic death. Like I would love to go sky-diving and keep getting asked to go, but I just don’t think I’ll ever be able to leave the plane. I’ll be like some spider monkey hanging on with all limbs to the door. But since we had to forfeit all of our adventurous for Medellin, I decided that I was just being silly about all of this
anyways (it wasn’t as extreme as sky-diving anyhow. Stepping stones, right?!) and go. Of course it didn’t help when my guide/flying-dude-buddy was telling me just to run with him off the side of the mountain and sit into position on his call. Uh excuse me?! Just run off a cliff and sit back?? Are you nuts?!!
And they didn’t even get us to sign a waiver or anything, no they just stuck a paper bracelet on us with a number to call should we be found in oh say a bush or plastered to a roof or something. But to my surprise, it was absolutely amazing and serene. Totally graceful and you didn’t feel those crazy butterflies in your tummy at all. It was such an awesome experience and better yet, it was only equivalent to $80usd as opposed to the typical American price of $300 or so –winning all the way around (thank you Colombia!). Landing was a bit rough however. We had to circle a few times and then I suppose my guide just gave up and decided to go for a big patch of rough dirt instead of the arms of the other guides on soft green
grass. So we came skidding to a halt as he quickly yelled for them to grab the kite, otherwise we would have gone back up! No broken bones or anything, just a bit of dirt on the clothes –no biggy.
I’ve also found myself jumping into thin air in an entirely different way. Just a little over a week after Haley left, I got screwed over yet again by another Colombian. That was the final straw for me; I’ve never packed so fast in all my life. I didn’t even say good-bye to all the wonderful people I did meet there (which breaks my heart but luckily, they completely understand). I just couldn’t take it nor do it. So who knows where I’ll end up next. Right now, the plan is to give Buenos Aires another shot come September with Monica (she’s also very fed up of the Colombians). I’m going to miss Colombia so very much though, the country that is, not so much the people. It sucks that my experience there brought me a majority of bad apples and has kind of ruined the race for me. However, the country is absolutely gorgeous and there’s so much
to see and do. The salsa culture and the extremely yummy rare and exotic fruits will leave a huge hole in my heart. I highly recommend everyone to go visit and explore all the beauty and fun the country has to offer. And most off all, I'm still really glad I at least went for the kids if for nothing else. They showed me a whole different side of beauty and I count myself really lucky to have experienced it. I suppose that all of these rough times in Colombia were really just signs for me to leave after all. Welp: Roger that (finally).
There are more photos below