October 2017
  • Day5

    La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) hike

    October 8, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    Hooo boy. I'm not sure Nick and I really knew what we were getting ourselves into here (look at me in that picture, so refreshed, so clean. So unaware of what the next four days had in store for us).

    After meeting up with our tour group, we took a 2 hour ride to a town called El Mamey to have lunch and set off on a four day trek to see the Lost City. We read multiple reviews and blogs about this trip, so we knew it was a lot of hiking (up to 16 kilometers in one day, about 10 miles), but we didn't realize just how difficult it would be in places. Part of this was the heat and part of it was the constant uphills and downhills. Luckily, as you get higher in the mountains it cools down a little bit. The hills never stop though (strange, when you're hiking to the top of a mountain that it requires a lot of uphill walking). In addition, a lot of the terrain isn't flat, so you're constantly walking up or down rocks or paths that are all mud.

    However, as difficult as it was, we made it all 46kms in 4 days. The first day we started walking after lunch, and walked about 8kms in 3 hours to the first camp. You spend the night in these camps that provide bunk beds, bathrooms, and cold showers. The tour company also provides all meals and snacks along the way. The second day we were up at 5am so we could start walking by 6am. This day was the hardest day, and included a 2-3 hour walk in the morning, then a break from about 9:30 - 11:30 or so (with lunch at 10:30). Then we walked again from about 11:30-3 to get to the camp for that day. Luckily we had a long afternoon to relax and recover from the 16km hike.

    The third day is the most exciting one, because this is when you actually get to see the Lost City (pictures in another post). We woke up at 4:30 so we could leave camp around 5:30. There's a half hour hike over some difficult terrain, and then a walk up 1200 steps to the Lost City itself. After spending a few hours here, we hiked back to where we slept, ate lunch and relaxed for a bit at the camp, then went back the way we came from and hiked 8kms back to where we had lunch the day before.

    Day 4 is another early morning, getting on the trail by 6am and hiking 2-3 hours to a resting point. Instead of getting a full rest like on day 2, we just relaxed for about 20 minutes before heading off again to make it to the starting point of El Mamey. After another 2-3 hours, we reached El Mamey, where we were able to relax and eat lunch. By this point, everyone was exhausted and covered in blisters.

    While the hiking was grueling and exhausting, the Lost City was pretty spectacular and the views along the hike are amazing.
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  • Day4

    Santa Marta, Colombia

    October 7, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

    Santa Marta isn't much of a tourist town, though tourism is starting to pick up. We only spent one evening here, which was plenty. The main touristy area is pleasant, but the city itself is huge and sprawling. After wandering around and eating dinner, Nick and I repacked our bags because the next stop was 4 days of trekking through the Sierra Nevada mountains so we were only taking small bags.Read more

  • Day1

    Cartagena, Colombia

    October 4, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After a full day of travel, we arrived in Cartagena in the evening. We found our hotel, went out to dinner, then came back and slept for a solid 12 hours.

    Cartagena is a beautiful city with lots of brightly colored Caribbean style houses and streets. We wandered around the old town looking at fortresses, palaces, and old colonial style buildings. We also ate a lot of really good food. All around town you can find restaurants that serve a "meal of the day" which generally consists of some type of meat (many varieties, almost all delicious), rice (or even better, coconut rice), salad, and plantains or french fries. Some come with beans as well.

    We also went to this crazy communist themed restaurant/bar called KGB. Don't really understand it. It was strange.
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  • Day0

    Vancouver, BC

    October 3, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    After excessive questioning and being sent to additional security (apparently quitting your job, traveling with only one small suitcase, and making your first stop Colombia for an unknown period of time makes Canadian border officials suspicious) we made it to Vancouver, the first stop on our trip!

    We didn't have much time in Vancouver, so we walked around Stanley Park, multiple neighborhoods in the downtown area, ate breakfast on a beach, and had delicious sushi and Chinese food.

    Our original flight to Colombia was cancelled due to a pilot strike, so we were rebooked to additional flights that made the trip quite a bit longer and less comfortable, but after a full day of travel we arrived in Colombia to really start the trip!
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