On the morning of 27 March I set out to do a 5 day trek to Ciudad Perdida (“Lost City”) in the north of Colombia. I have heard from quite a few people that they really liked the trek and some of my friends whom I met during my travel all said I should do it. So just one day before the trek I signed up since I was debating “should I should I not should I” –as a result from my stay in Tayrona National Park and my completely eaten-up legs (by mosquitoes of course). Now in hindsight I am really happy I did it. We were a great group of 10 people from Slovenia, NZ, Australia, Colombia, Germany, US and Austria and had a good guide and his little 11 year old nephew as a helper with him, a great lively and super-helpful boy. Ciudad Perdida is believed to have been founded around 600-800 AD, so it is much older than Machu Picchu. It might not be as impressive as famous Machu Picchu, but what certainly made up for it was the fact that it was only our group that had the whole sight to ourselves at 8 a.m. in the morning on 30 March. After climbing 1200 steps in the humid temperature (and me having been struck that night for the 3rd time by Montezuma’s revenge since I had been in South America which made it even tougher to handle the last 2 long days of hiking) we reached the many stone terraces and it was truly magical. Peaceful. A 360 degree view of the beautiful jungle. Only us. And about 45 military guys guarding the site. It was kind of awkward to see those camouflage-wearing young boys everywhere. On the site, on the way down the path, and literally behind every other bush (which made a loo behind a bush quite difficult because as soon as you wanted to pull down your pants you suddenly heard a “buenas” (short form for “buenas dias”) coming from right behind or beside you. You just couldn’t spot them!:))
But there are a few things I learnt on that trek (I heard and read from other bloggers about them and they are a 100% true):
- A 400-600 meter ascent per day sounds ridiculous but when you do it in the jungle it is a whole different story! The humidity makes hiking a far more challenging thing. Which brings me to point 2.
- The humidity is close to a 100%, meaning that your clothes are constantly wet and you sweat like a skunk. The only time when you have a chance to dry your t-shirt is when you tie it on your backpack in the blazing hot sun. which means sweating again. Go figure.
- Not only you sweat but everyone else too. So that means that everyone stinks and that again means that no one cares because everyone smells the same.
- You appreciate the most simple things in life when you are challenged. A (reasonably) dry shirt at the end of the day is THE highlight!
- Sleeping in hammocks IS possible (I didn’t think I would ever manage) but it took me about 10 minutes to turn around when sleeping diagonally (yes, that is also possible, if you are a member of Circe du Soleil or extremely skillful (which I am both NOT).
All in all it was a great experience, staying covered on mosquito spray 24/7 helped me to keep my extremities without any major losses and feeling the jungle with its beautiful flora and its many pretty rivers and meeting some people of the Kogi tribe people who live in this area o was a great experience I would recommend to anyone who heads up to the north of Colombia!