San Gil, Colombia

Day 1:

We arrived in San Gil from Bogota at 4:00am, luckily as soon as we got to the hostel we were allowed to sleep – which we all much appreciated. As we had spent most of the morning sleeping, we decided in the afternoon to go for a hike. We had been recommended one by the hostel between two local villages, Barichara and Guane, so decided to give it a go.

When we arrived at the first village, it was so pretty and CLEAN. Really like a holiday destination. And the view was amazing…

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Really, pictures just don’t do it justice.

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Luckily, the walk between this village and the next was all downhill, which was nice as it was really hot as well – a definite change from chilly Bogota!

When we arrived in Guane around an hour later, it was very similar to Barichara, just as pretty and well kept.

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We had a wander around the village, grabbed a Coca-Cola and checked out the local church.

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Before heading back up to the first village to catch the bus back to San Gil. Luckily the whole walk was pretty flat – but we were still absolutely boiling! We headed back to the hostel for some dinner and a relaxed evening.

 

Day 2:

Today we were going white water rafting! We were all really excited as this had been highly recommended to us and it was up to grade 5 rapids – which are pretty strong (which we later found out).

We were picked up from our hostel at 10am and headed for the river Suarez where we would be rafting. Unfortunately this day will be very lacking in pictures as I only took one of the river – however, a guy in our group brought his Go Pro with him, so hopefully will be able to update with more pictures once I get them!

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Before we got onto the water, we had a practice on land in our positions. Me and Annabel were at the front “the captains”, then the guide would shout commands to us. Even on land it was really hard to remember basic things like left and right!!

Finally we made it onto the water, and after some more practicing on the water we set off down the river (but not before we all had to jump in and be “saved” by someone else in the boat).

The whole thing was so much fun, every time we went down a rapid everyone was being thrown about all over the place, whilst still trying to follow the commands of our guide! Of course, myself, Annabel and Vicky were the only ones of our group to fall in. I started the ball rolling, by falling in first on one of the grade 3/4 rapids (I’m still sure Annabel pushed me in), to be shortly followed by Vicky and Annabel falling in. However, when they fell in it was on the grade 5 rapids, and they said they were being dragged under and thought they were going to drown…. luckily they were both wearing life jackets!! I’m glad I fell out on a more tame one!

Once we had saved them both and pulled them back into the raft, we headed down stream a bit further before ending the session. I can honestly say it was the best thing I did in Colombia, and a real peak of the trip! I would definitely recommend to anyone going to San Gil!

 

Day 3:

The plan for today was to go paragliding! It was really cheap through our hostel and we all wanted to try it, so this was the perfect opportunity. We opted to go for the shorter session, as it was our first time, and cheaper, so we had the morning to relax before heading out in the afternoon.

When we got there we had to wait to go in an order decided by the company. Luckily it was quite a nice day, so we didn’t mind waiting and watching the other people flying first. It was a really nice spot, with so much scenery.

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Finally it was my turn.

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I was strapped in to my harness and ready to go.

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It was so amazing to be flying over all the trees and green below, and we even did some loops, which literally felt like being a rollercoaster!

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You can see in the above picture I look horizontal! It was quite scary staring straight down at the ground below!

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As we had only gone for the shorter session, it finished a lot quicker than I would have liked – but once again another definite recommendation for anyone visiting San Gil!

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