Bring on the rafting!

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Flag of Colombia  , Santander Department,
Monday, January 28, 2013

Our travels to San Gil ended up being alot more difficult than originally planned. Firstly, we had to get a bus from Bogota to Trunja. As there were no onward buses after 6 in the evening, we were pretty much stuck here for the night. As soon we left the bus terminal, taxi drivers and even a drunk nutter were swarming around. We felt so uncomfortable as they were all laughing at the 6 of us and talking about us in Spanish. One guy practically forced us to look at a hostel which was such a dive. The mattresses were covered in stains and paper thin. We hopped in the nearest 2 taxis and went to the centre, where we found a budget hotel. The owners here warned us not to leave the building as the town was too dangerous for tourists. We were happy the next day to get on a 1 hour bus to a small town- Ville de Leyva, which had been highly recommended to us. This was a stop over on our way to San Gil. As we didn´t have much time here, we just grabbed breakfast, sat in the courtyard of the centre, had a drink or two and strolled around. It was a picturesque town surrounded by mountains. It would have been nice to stay here longer but we had a rafting tour booked in San Gil for the following morning. Although, we were led to believe that we only had to get 1 bus to get there, it ended up being 3 different buses. This was painful as the six of us had many bags to lug. The buses we were taking were really small so we worried alot about our luggage, especially on the buses where our luggage was strapped to the roof. Having arrived in San Gil, we were delighted. We checked into our hostel and went for food in a lovely restaurant called ¨Gringo Mikes¨. We all believed that it was one of the nicest meals we´ve had in South America. The next day, we took off at half ten for rafting. Myself and Eoin were in one boat with 3 others and the other 4 were in another boat in front of us. Everyone managed to stay in the boats except for Eoin. This was a great achievement as we passed over rapids ranging from grade 1 to 4+. What a laugh we had for the day! It was really hot but the water kept us refreshed. The river we rafted down is apparently the most dangerous in Colombia but you would never have guessed, being surrounded by such amazing rocks, trees and valleys. Rafting was by far the highlight of Colombia. After rafting, we got back to the hostel, showered, checked out and headed off to the bus terminal to catch our overnight bus to Medellin. Our 2 days up to this point were very rushed so the rest was well overdue.
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