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Published: November 26th 2007
The Lost City
This was the capital of the ancient Tyrona civilization. 1500 BC I think...
As James (one of the guys in the trek) put it, ´this must be one of the greatest adventures of all time, lads!´
No one is really sure how far we walked during our six days in the jungle, but a conservative guess would be 45 miles, most of it being on a steep incline. The trail afforded great views of mountainous jungle vistas with steam radiating up from the greenery, turquoise rivers, tunnels of pure vegitation... it was like hiking through Jurrasic Park, sans the reptiles. There were probably about 25 river crossings, and mud bogs 100 meters long. We all came out with hundreds of mosquito bites each. It was certainly more difficult than any of us expected, but very rewarding.
On the first day, we got a ride in a converted Land Cruiser/carnival vehicle up a very steep and muddy road to the trail head. Several times the vehicle became completely stuck in mud, only to be released after lots of shoveling and 7 guys pushing on it. There was one instance where it was teetering along on two wheels, threatening to roll down a ravine. The fat man driving clearly had nothing to live for. Half way
up the road the driver gave up, so we started walking. On that first evening, the jungle suddenly gave way to a strange little village of fading concrete structures. Uneven music was playing from some warped cassette. It seemed like a ghost town with nothing but chickens and stray dogs poking around, but eventually groups of soldiers wandered into view. We stayed the night in this village simply because it was the last place with TV, and there was a soccer match on that night. I fell asleep in my hammock right next to 20 or so young soldiers with their machine guns and grenades cheering next to me.
The rest of the nights we stayed in hammocks under small huts in the jungle. The food was great- all cooked over an open fire. Indigenous people could occasionally be seen between the trees, hacking away with machetes. Our group of five tourists and two guides were the only people at the site, except for the soldiers. James has this flag with him from his home village in Ireland that he takes photos with at all of the major sites he visits. We spent a day walking around the site with
Soldiers... and I
Couldn´t wear shoes haha
that flag, taking pictures with soldiers and ourselves, only to be told that night that the rebel group ELN in Colombia has the exact same flag haha. So that was an unsettling coincidence.
Relatively speaking, it all felt quite safe. The soldiers were very friendly, mostly just bored. I won´t be wearing tennis shoes for at least a month due to the blisters!
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