My Colombian adventure is just about over. Mr. Crab has been traveling for nearly a month and I hit the northernmost and southernmost parts of the country. The highlights of my trip: paragliding in San Gil; swimming under a waterfall in Villa de Leyva, eating Fillet Mignon smothered with ant sauce (yes...ants) in Barichara, spending two days on my deathbed with a cold in Bucaramanga, climbing part of a 5,000-meter (16,404) tall mountain in Parque Nacional El Cocuy, staying a luxurious 200-year-old mansion in El Cocuy for less than $7.40 per night, canoeing on the Amazon River, getting attacked by a monkey in Puerto Narino, drinking cheap beer in Santa Rosa, Peru; getting completely lost in Tabatinga, Brazil; meeting great new friends in hostels, freezing my arse on a 12-hour overnight bus ride, exploring the Botero museum in Bogota, breaking down and eating at McDonalds for the first time in over a year because everything else was closed on Sunday, falling asleep to the sound of raindrops hitting the tin roof of a treehouse hotel in Puerto Narino, stuffing toilet paper in the soles of my shoes for three weeks because my stupid cheap REI hikers fell apart one week into this trip, sweating to death in Leticia, freezing to death in Guican, drinking gallons of Juan Valdez coffee, mastering Bogota's TransMilenio public transportation system, sleeping in a hammock in Bucaramanga, eating way too many carne asadas (grilled meat) and arepas (sweet corn cakes filled with cheese) and running out of money in Pamplona because none of the three ATMs in town worked. Next stop: Washington, DC!
Greetings from San Gil. It's been a busy week so haven't had a chance to blog at all. But basically since I started in Bogota and have worked my way north through Tunja, Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Barichara and Guane. Currently Mr. Crab is staying in a wonderful little hostel in San Gil, the outdoor capital of Colombia. The main adventure sports here include paragliding (photos to come!), white-water rafting, rappelling, caving, hiking, biking, horseback riding, you name it.
I've met tons of backpackers on this trip, the majority of them European. I've only met two Americans on this entire trip. Why? For some reasons, we Yanks just can't drop our stereotype negative images of Colombia. Just take a look at the U.S. State Department travel advisory's for Colombia. Or even Australia's! You'd think this country was a warzone when in fact 90% or more of this country is completely safe.
I've found Colombians to be among the warmest, most hospitable people I've met in the world. Hence Colombia's new tourism slogan: "Colombia: The only risk is wanting to stay!"