… “have you seen Narcos”? This is the most frequent question when I mentioned visiting Colombia. Though this is a country working hard to dispel the violent and drug-riddled image left by one Mr Pablo Escobar*, and it is slowly succeeding.
I have to say outright I absolutely loved Colombia. The sheer variety of things to do and see, as well as unbelievably friendly people made this country a joy to visit. Yes getting a bus ticket was a challenge, yes Bogota felt ropey, and yes there was an exponential increase in the number mangy stray dogs after crossing the border from Ecuador. But wow was it worth it!
The scenery is breath taking, each bus journey opens up new vistas across the mountain ranges including the Andes, and wide sweeping rivers. The Amazon rainforest encroaches into Colombian territory, and there are beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coast.
The pinnacle of my trip was doing a four day, intense 44km trek to Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) high in the Sierra Nevada. This stunning walk through land previous claimed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), entails steep ascents and descents. It also throws in several cold water crossings, no bridges here and note that river depth is seasonal! This of course is all traversed in the sweltering jungle heat.
On arrival at Ciudad Perdida there is very little left of the city which was formed around 800AD. Only a series of terraced platforms, several of them hidden in the dense wilderness, remain. It’s eerily silent sitting on the platform looking out across the jungle stretching far below. So beautiful.
I have much more to write about Colombia, a place I really want to share with you. So stay tuned for the next blog instalment.
*for those not familiar with Pablo Escobar he was an infamous drug lord. In true high profile fugitive style Pablo was shot dead whilst fleeing across the rooftops of his home city, following an intensive manhunt. And no, I have not seen Narcos!