San Gil Travel Blog› entry 68 of 123 › view all entries
I only stayed in Bucarramanga to break up my journey and suitably refreshed I continued on towards San Gil the next day ($CP15,000). The journey up through the Andres is spectacular, beautiful scenery. It took a little longer than expected, due to...yes, more roadworks! They have a strange way of dealing with them - they have the old fashioned ´stop and go´men, but they seem to have set times, so rather than letting traffic flow steadily either way, they let one way go for, like, half an hour - really frustrating! I got chatting to Dan & Rachel (Cairns, Aus) on the bus and they had a reservation for Macondo hostel, so jumped in a cab there as it was only $CP3,000 between us. I checked in and had a little wander round the town which is unremarkable enough.
While waiting I went out for a day with Kate & Matt (London, UK) to see nearby Barichara. We caught the bus out there ($CP3,500/GBP1.00), which wound round some lovely mountain scenery. Barichara is a beautiful little town, untouchec by time with superb whitewashed buildings and narrow little streets. We decided to do the walk to nearby Guane and went on the old Camino Real, which is a small hike with fantastic views of the mountains.
Finally we had a group for rafting on Friday, but the previous night there had been a big storm and Shawn (owner of Macondo) doubted whether we´d be able to go because the river might be too high.
It was just a brilliant experience, the rapids were high and we got to go down both grades 4 & 5, which was cool! I managed to keep myself in the raft (more by luck than judgement me thinks), but Adrian did find himself dunked outside when we hit a whirlpool on one of the grade 5´s...although he blamed Andreas for elbowing him out!! I think I am now a convert and I cannot wait to do some more rafting. We had a great group, great guides and the 3 hours or so went so fast, we all wanted to carry on and do it again. We celebrated with a night out in San Gil...once again my salsa wasn´t up to stratch, although the copious amounts of ron may have contributed to that!