...in both the literal and eco-friendly sense.
28.03.2009 22 °C
It seems that our string of visitors to Bogota has finally come to an end. Your visits were essential to surviving February and March. No joke. Steph and Aaron, Beth and Shelby, you guys should know how thankflul I (we) are you were able to come. I think if I had to teach one more modal verb or explain the difference between zero and first conditional one more time without you and a beer on the other end, I would have clawed out my eyes. So, in short, thanks!
Our adventures with visitors kept taking us further and further from Bogota (I'm not complaining). Our latest excursion was the capstone to a wonderful week of relaxing and green beer. Shelby dedicated her whole spring break to an extended St. Patty's day in Bogota. After hitting up a few requisite tourist sites, we grocery shopped for all the makings for corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, biscuits and of course, green beer. Wednesday was dedicated to getting just the right amount of green food coloring in our homemade verdant concoction and then comparing it to the one served to us at the one and only Irish Pub in Bogota. After waiting in line, seeing some Colombian guys play Brazilian beats at the Irish pub, and listening to slurred but elated "Happy St. Patrick's Day" shout-outs from those lucky enough to be inside the pub, we made it in! You know the drill from here.
The next morning came far too soon. We were scheduled to work a immersion program with the Y and were up before anyone with that much green beer in their system should have been. What is worse, we were headed to Osolandia (bear land, can you just imagine 3 adults getting into a cab being like, "Take me to Osolandia please." It would be like saying take me to McDonald's playland. Yeah, that cool!). Thankfully, we survived only to head home and collapse in sorry, hungover and mostly tired heaps.
We made much better use of the rest of Shelby's visit. We had visited the nearby adventure sport town of Suesca earlier that week only to get the itch to do something adventurous. With a 3-day weekend coming up we decided to hit up Colombia's up and coming extreme sports town called San Gil. Bright and early Saturday we headed up with enough time to walk through Parque Gallineral on the riverfront. We had been briefed on all San Gil had to offer the adventurous types and had decided on rafting and rappelling down a waterfall (called Torrentismo here). Thanks to the rain we were able to add in Spelunking (through and underground cave completely filled with water at some points). The insanity of it all is chronicled much better on the picture site, but here are a couple of videos of our rafting excursion.
[Just a little taste of San Gil. These were taken on the Rio Fonce, one of the 3 rivers running through and near to the town of San Gil (about 7 hours north of Bogota).]
Rafting I was totally game for. It took a patient boyfriend with very comforting words and a fearless friend to get me to jump off a cliff only to rappel down the face of a 300ft waterfall, all the while being pelted with gallons and gallons of chilly mountain runoff. Turns out, its pretty awesome!
Heading back from San Gil proved to be another adventure. We were hoping for some rest on the bus after our sleepless night before due to a 3am start of a Quincenera outside our hostal (marking the transition from my college days of thinking quiet hour laws were bogus to today where they now make the top 10 list of laws I will always uphold). Unfortunately the Colombians love for their dear Cumbia and Vallenato music with a little Reggaeton mixed in makes sleep not an option.
We did make it home, tired, but all in one piece to an apartment with a constantly running toilet that can't even be masked by the sweet little song the washing machine sings when its done eating and stretching out your wardrobe. The running toilet however, holds no flame to the persistent drunk singers that seem to camp outside our place from about 11pm to 3am any given night. Colombian music isn't better when you sing it louder or drunker.
Thankfully we will get a reprieve from the delight of living in a huge city apartment complex when we take off on Saturday to hike to the Lost City (3 days out, 1 day at the ruins, 2 days back) in the Colombian Jungle up near Santa Marta. After that, I am very much looking forward to a week with Marty's family in Cartagena and Santa Marta for some lovely vitamin D (aka Caribbean sunburn).
Back in mid-April for 1 more month of work and then off to travel before home in late June!