Rain, rain go away!!
Trip Start Sep 22, 2010
25Trip End Ongoing
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One of the main things I wanted to try whilst I was in San Gil was the rafting which ranged from class 3 - 5. As soon as I had put my bags in my room I was keen to ask about the possibility of going the next day, unfortunately I found that there had been heavy rain in the last few days and the rafting had been suspended as a result. I decided with this in mind that the next day I would look around the colonial town of Barichara which was founded in the 18th century.
Up nice and early on Tuesday morning I walked to the local bus terminal and caught the local minibus to Barichara for the grand sum of 3500 pesos, the bus winds up through the hills giving you an aerial view of San Gil below. Pulling into the plaza of Barichara 45 minutes later, I begin to realise that most of the towns are centered around a plaza complete with a church, a sign of the occupation from Catholic Spain. I descend the steps of the bus and head across the plaza and past the chuch up the hill leading to a smaller church at the top of the hill. To the left of this church is situated a pretty garden which overlooks the breathtaking Suarez Canyon. If you follow the path through the garden it leads you to the old road to a smaller colonial town called Guane. I walked the path which is cut into the canyon wall for 1 1/2 hours before reaching Guane
The next morning the group of us set off on the local bus to CharalŠ, informing the driver we wanted to go to la cascadas (the waterfalls). Once again we paid 3500 pesos, guess thats a standard price around here. Departing the bus we could see the falls from the main road and headed through a gated field each paying a 5000 peso entrance which bought us the services of a young tour guide( I think the land to get to the falls is privately owned with a small holding on the land, this is where you pay your money). We worked our way through the jungle trails and across pools of water formed from the falls. Finally we climed up the side of several smaller falls until we reached the pool at the base of the main fall which was arond 60 metres, this is the place where you can also abseil and rappel, I was quite happy soaking in the near ice cold water! Once we had relaxed and swam a little we headed back through the jungle, just as we came through into the open the heavens opened up and we made across the field to the small holding. The owner of the building, a woman probably in her 50's showed the hospitable side of the Colombian people that you rarely hear about by making us all coffee and offering around a sweet local delicacy
We all decided we'd take the night bus to Santa Marta the next night so we thought that we would have a good knees up, 8 litre bottles of rum later we were stood on the street drinking rum with locals who were all driving, deciding we'd call it a night and thinking better of accepting a lift from the locals we took taxis back to the hostel. Jesus I think I may have found a match for my drinking!
Thursday was spent anticipating the 14 hour bus journey and trying to recover from the hangover. We all boarded the bus at 7, it was to be my first night bus and one that I wouldn't relish repeating!