Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostal El Dorado

Flag of Colombia  , Santander,
Friday, December 18, 2009

After another overnight bus ride, we arrived in the small town of San Gil, Colombia.  Although San Gil is earning a reputation fas an adventure city, our main activity here seems to be relaxing. 

On our first day in San Gil, we started the relaxation process with a nice long nap, and followed it up with a visit to the local botanical gardens.  After a nice walk through the trees, we found a small beach on the riverbank and sat and read a book for a while.  One of the hostels was organizing an evening BBQ at a local farm, so we went to enjoy that for a while as well.

On our second day in San Gil, we took a bus to the small nearby town of Barichara.  With a population of 4,000 this is a small, colonial village with some nice architecture and a nice church.  From here, we walked along a old trail for about 6 miles (downhill, though some very pretty areas) to reach the even smaller town of Guane, where we explored a bit and had lunch before returning to San Gil. 

Our third day in San Gil was meant to be just as relaxing as the first two.  We signed up for a tour through our hostel to visit a local river with some nice swimming areas, where you could rent an innertube and float around a bit.  Upon arrival at the river, we proceeded to walk along a rough trail about 30 minutes, where we encountered a nice pool with a roughly 4 meter high rock to jump off of.  Jumping into the water, we discovered that it was ICE cold -- brrr!  We hung around there for a bit, then set out on a longish hike further up the river to where we saw some nice viewpoints, and then scrambled down the slippery hillside to the riverbank.  We moved along the riverside, coming across a few more places to swim or slide down natural waterslides.  Eventually we made our way back to where we had started, and borrowed an innertube to go down one more waterslide.  Overall, it was nice but far more "adventureous" than a nice relaxing day at the pool!
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