Published: October 23rd 2008October 20th 2008
Sunset on the road between Barichara and Guane.
I went with some new friends on a drive to the beautiful colonial town of Barichara and then to the even smaller town of Guane. We were driving past the huge Canyon just in time for sunset...breathtaking!
I arrived to San Gil from Bogota on September 10th. It is now October 23rd and I am still here!
Originally, I wasn't even going to go to San Gil. Instead of coming here from the coast like most other backpackers do, I went from the coast of Colombia to Medellin. Then I headed to Bogota and was planning to go directly on to Cali.
However, when on the coast, I met many backpackers with stories of San Gil and all the affordable adventure sports that they did here. My interest was peaked...especially when I saw all the cool pictures of my friends doing paragliding, rafting, and absailing down the waterfall. When I was in Bogota, I was cold and a little bored...so I decided to change my plan, not continue south and instead head back up north to San Gil. So that is what I did, but only for 2 nights and 3 days...one day to paraglide, one day to absail the waterfall, and one day to white water raft. Well....that was 6 weeks ago. I arrived, loved it, and never left. The weather is gorgeous and comfortable. The people are so kind and friendly. The town was just big
enough to not be boring and have a fun nightlife on the weekends, but just small enough to feel completely safe all the time, and to run into familiar faces randomly on the street or in the supermarket on a daily basis. The surrounding countryside is gorgeous...filled with rivers, farms, canyons, mountains, plenty of swimming holes, a couple waterfalls, and a very beautiful colonial town of Barichara that was voted to be Colombia´s most beautiful town.
The hostel here is called Macondo and is owned by Shaun the Aussie who has lived in Colombia for 5 years now...3 of them in San Gil. His place is super comfortable, chill, laid back, with a kitchen, book exchange, internet, hammocks, lots of board games...my favorite being one called ´Pass the Piggy¨...so fun! Shaun is a very friendly and helpful hostel owner who acts more like a buddy hosting his friends for a few nights than a cold and removed business owner trying to make a fast buck on the tourists. His staff of 2 local ladies, Blanca and Gloria, are also very friendly and kind...we made fast friends. Blanca taught me how to make Sancocho...a typical Colombian soup made of plantains,
yuca, and other veggies. Conversing everyday with them has done wonders for my Spanish as well! I will post pics of the hostel soon too. :)
In the 7 weeks that I have been here in San Gil, I have also gotten a chance to spend some time olunteering at the local children´s home up the hill. Shaun used to volunteer there and continues to donate both money and things that the children need. I spent a few hours a day in their beautiful home/preschool helping with homework, play time, meal time, and nap time. They were adorable...I will post pictures soon!
I will leave San Gil on the 28th of October to Peru after spending 7 weeks in good ole, little San Gil. Who knew I would be so happy here and stay so long??? I will be back for sure.
Here are a bunch of photos from my weeks in San Gil and the other surrounding sites, including the other colonial towns of Curiti and Barichara. Enjoy!
There are more photos below