We made it!
(now just got to get home again...all the way back the same way)
Well at last I get around to writing a bit about finding the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida). After finding out that the temperature in Santa Marta had hit 44 degrees I was a bit dubious about my ability to trek to the Lost City for five days but from talking to those who had done it we were curious to see it for ourselves. We headed off in a Jeep for the two hour drive to where the trek began. We had been told that there would be seven, max. ten in our group. There were fourteen and another group of ten just behind us! Day one was pretty full on with mainly walking up hill in the crazy heat.
Luckily we got have a swim in the river to cool us down. When we arrived in camp, I was a bit taken aback by our sleeping quarters. We slept in hammocks, which is a bit of an art. They were not that comfortable and due to numbers we were pretty much lying on top of one another. You moved if the person beside you moved. The shower facility was a plastic workman’s hat in a tank of water, which doubled as the toilet flushing device! Once you got used to it, it was actually quite refreshing.
Views, views and more views!
Began to settle into it on day two taking in amazing panoramic views of the mountains and enjoying the company of the good bunch of people we were walking with. Did a bit of down hill mud surfing and found out that it rains a lot in the rainforest; surprisingly! More hammocks, but smaller than the day before. We were discovering that nothing dried so we were having to put on wet clothes every morning.
Lots of scrambling over rocks and crossing rivers on the third day, needed to get a bit of help from the thirteen year old guide who seemed to be leading us for quite a bit.
He only looked about eight! His dad was one of the other guides somewhere behind us. We encountered indigenous indians (Kogis) and passed through some villages on the way, with the indians in traditional dress, mainly simple white one piece garment. There was a lot of military presence throughout the trek and they seemed to become more friendly as we approached the Lost City. We were told they were there for the protection of the tourists. We crossed the river for the last time, scrambled up the bank and climbed the 1000+ steps to the Lost City. It was quite mystical as we were up in the clouds.
Food stop by the river
Day four, we had a tour of the City ‘en Espanol’, which was kindly translated by one of our group.
Quite amazing that a whole city was lost when the Tayronas (ancestors of the Kogi) went to fight the Spanish Conquistadors. (They lost.) The city was never found by the Spanish until some farmers came across it in 1968. After a bit of secret grave robbing, the government eventually heard of it, took control and it was opened to the public in 1975. We were also brought up to meet the military, which Talan enjoyed as you can see from the photos. Then we made our way back across the river and through the jungle with more breaks for swimming and lots of pineapple eating.
Series of building platforms.
Day five we retraced our steps back to our jeep pick up (squeezing two days walking into one). We were smelly, dirty, hungry, tired, devoured by mosquitoes but quietly satisfied. Recommended!