San Gil was not originally in our travel plans but we had enough good things about Colombia’s “adventure capital” that we decided to head out to the East of the country to check it out.
Our hostel was located a fair way out of town and we had to endure a fairly bumpy and hazardous taxi drive along some washed out dirt roads before finally arriving.
The hostel had some great views out over the valley, a nice hammock to chill on and a Tarzan swing!! We settled in for the night and then the next day we were off paragliding.
We bused it up to the top of the Chicamocha canyon which was over 2,000m in depth. Things got off to a bit of a slow start with a take-off delayed due to bad weather. In true South American style a make shift soccer pitch was marked out (using the parachutes we would be gliding with as goals) and a game started! A couple hours later our guides finally decided the weather conditions were right, or that they had finally had enough after two hours of soccer, and it was time to take off.
We were strapped to our pilots, the parachutes went up and before we knew it we were soaring over the canyon! It was a very calm and relaxing flight spiralling up into the clouds. Jen and I both landed safely back at our take-off area but unfortunately one of the other members of the group got blown off course and ended up having to trek out of the canyon!
The next day it was off the Baricharra, “the prettiest town in Colombia”. We wandered through it’s streets paved with cobble stones, past whitewashed buildings with red-tiled roofs that gave the feeling that it hardly changed in the last 300 years. We did a short walk to nearby town of Guane before returning to San Gil.
Back in San Gil we tried to get a taxi back to our hostel but none of the taxi drivers wanted to take on the dodgy mountain road. Eventually we had to jump on the back of two motorbikes whose drivers were the only ones game enough to make the trip. Tristan’s driver, however, didn’t seem too concerned as he took out his mobile phone to text on as he sped along. To make matters worse Tristan only had one hand with which to hold on as he clutched Jen’s bottle of red in the other!