November 9, 2013
Our taxi arrived at 7am and we had to scramble to get out the door, because they were early. The taxi took us to a supermarket, where we waited around for about 45 minutes for the driver or something. They loaded about 50 pineapples into our car. And we waited. We were driven to Taganga to pick up another hiker and to pay for the excursion. We then turned back around and drove back to Santa Marta. At this point Chandler and I were a little frustrated with the situated as it was 11am, we were back where we started, and we still had to pick up two other people.
After another hour of messing around, we had everyone in the car and were on our way to the trailhead. Things progressed smoothly once we were out of the car. We were given cold sandwiches while our guide packed up the horse and were soon on the trail to Ciudad Perdida, the once lost city.
We were going to be spending the next 5 days with three other hikers, Stephen from San Francisco and Atli and ‘Ashrum from Iceland. Our guides were Manuel and Basillo, local Wiwa indians. We made a good choice by going with the indigenous guide company because we had a wonderful group.
Our hike began by crossing a few shallow streams and then up a hill. At this point, the skies opened up, garbage bags were produced to keep our packs dry, and we were soaked within seconds.
The hill got steeper and steeper with water coursing down at our feet. I felt like we were hiking up a stream. I had no idea what the surrounding scenery looked like because I had to keep my head down to watch my footing the entire time. The day’s hike was only 2 hours, so we weren’t in the rain for too long. At the top of the hill was a house with an open kitchen and a large covered area filled with hammocks. The rain let up long enough for us to get a look at the view of the mountains and jungle.
We were given a hearty dinner loaded with rice and beans, with a delicious glass of fresh juice, before being encouraged to go to bed early, as we would be waking up at 5am! The rain comes pretty regularly each day during the rainy season, so as long as we were off the trail by 3pm or so, we’d stay dry.