Vamos: the Cruelest Word in the Spanish Language
Trip Start Apr 07, 2013
12Trip End Apr 21, 2013
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Now that we only had a measly three hours between us and civilization, we could relax
We'd been seeing massive butterflies for days, but never the caterpillars. Today, while jogging down a very steep descent, I reached out to a tree to slow myself down. One half of it was black, and I just assumed it was some kind of fungus. I did a double-take, and when I looked closer I discovered it was thousands of fuzzy black caterpillars! And now we know where all the butterflies come from. I'm just glad I didn't put my hand on the black part of the tree; it would've been covered in bug guts...
The indigenous people were much more active today, and we ran across them several times. I traded a protein bar for some pictures, and got to learn a little about their culture. In the pictures you'll see the kids wearing big bundles of beads around their necks. That's how they identify the girls. The boys where a single strap across their chest holding a bag at their hip. I was kind of relieved to learn a way to tell who was what. When they all wear the same clothes and all have long hair, it can be pretty hard to tell! We also learned that they really hate dogs and sometimes kill them. Apparently there were never dogs in this part of the country until the Spaniards came and used them to hunt down the Indians. They're still taking it out on the dogs. Talk about a long-standing grudge!
The final leg of the trail was tough, but I got a huge sense of accomplishment when I saw the information sign you pass at the start (I think Brittany just got a sense of relief). We looked it over and realized we had just finished hiking 29 miles. Whoa! Throw on that every inch of it was steep up or down and I think we've earned some bragging rights! La Ciudad Perdida will get added to the very long list of things I'm glad I did but will never do again. Brittany would probably hand me divorce papers if I tried :)
After our last lunch as a group and some celebratory beers we piled back into the Jeep
Against all odds and possibility, Brittany has a cold. How do you get a cold in the jungle??? I'm sure she's looking forward to the next few days at the beach; she really needs some down time. We picked up some pills to help her get through the night and then went back to Lulo for the best ceviche I've ever had. We really love that place! We decided to skip the crowds at Playa Blanca and head to Palomino on the Venezuelan border instead. It's supposed to be one of Colombia's best beaches, but the tourists haven't caught on yet. It's an hour and a half bus ride east, and we'll leave as soon as our laundry is done. Washing clothes in the sink only goes so far, and our clothes are in need of military-grade detergent in the hands of professionals. Let's face it, you can only flip your underwear inside-out four times before it starts to get gross ;)
Brittany's wheezing away, but at least she's in a warm bed now. The beach will be good for her. After the past five days, she deserves it.