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Ash’s Travel Diary

Monday, 03 Dec 2007

Location: Taganga, Colombia

MapNo more bloody trekking for me I tell thee.

Mud, rain, mossies, deep burn of the calves and a throat infection... I loved it.

After my glands became the size of golf balls the day before, I debated whether going into the middle of the jungle with no insurance cover (thanks to the hypocritical British foreign office) was a wise idea. However, after a chat with our guide, Castro, some anti biotics from the pharmacist who said I had to `stop kissing dirty girls,` I went ahead with it.

First day was a bit knackering, feeling rough, getting caught in a storm & constantly falling in the mud. After that I was in full swing enjoying it.

It felt like a real adventure, with very few other trekkers, climbing over rocks, drinking from streams, sleeping in hammocks & crossing several flowing rivers.

I loved interacting with people along the way. I quite often got chatting to the young soldiers guarding the site who were basically just bored cowboys. I even cheekily got a few photos with them, played with their AK47`s & stole one of their caps for a souvenir. One night, a group of them slept in hammocks next to us & just left all their loaded rifles & grenades underneath the hammocks!

Other people along the way were the indigenous Kogis who still live quite primitively & were interesting to learn a bit about.

2nd day, a Coca farmer took a few of us to cocaine cookery school which was an experience! We basically helped him make some coke from scratch & some of the ingredients weren`t too appetising! I.e. Gasoline, magnesium & sulphuric acid. He let us keep what we cooked up so it ended up being a cheap demonstration!

As for the Lost City, it definitely wasn`t as grand as Macchu Picchu (60% of which has been rebuilt), but I definitely got more of a feeling for the place as it hasn`t lost it`s natural allure. Trekking high up into the jungle for 3 days just showed how remote it was & being the only ones wondering around made it a great experience.

Sure there`s other things worth mentioning but they`re not coming to my head so I`ll leave it there for the trek.

Got back into town on Saturday & after 6 days in the wilderness, it was off out on the booze into Santa Marta with some of my trekking group.

Ended up being a late one as I ended up away from my group celebrating a Venezuelan girl`s birthday with a few of her mates, into Sunday morning.

I`d obviously mentioned where I was staying cos they rocked up to my room again yesterday, interrupting a much needed siesta.

In no rush to leave Taganga despite time ticking away & a long trip back to Ecuador ahead. It`s a really friendly, relaxed place with cloudless days on the beach. I absolutely love the Columbians, whether it`s the lady making my maracuya juice, the laundry man or the girls who patiently try to teach me to rumba, they`re all extremely friendly and just want to chat without any alterior motives.