Colombia Update #3: Return from the Trek

Our group has returned to civilization from their five day jungle trek!  A few photos and a brief overview of their journey have made it to North America, with student-generated narratives to follow in the next few days as Internet access allows.
Kiira writes:
photo[8]We awoke Sunday morning buzzing with anticipation for our Ciudad Perdida trek. After a breakfast of fruit and coffee on the rooftop of our Santa Marta hostel, we packed our bags and headed over to Turcol, our guide company, to meet Marco and Edwin and begin our adventure.
The group pared down their packs and left anything not absolutely needed for our jungle days behind — we packed light, knowing that bunks and good food were waiting for us at each camp.
We traveled in style to the trailhead, in an open-air jeep decorated in full color!  The jeep ride took us 2.5 hours out to the trail head at Mamay. Edwin and Marco were ready to show us the path to the lost city, and share with us along the way their insights as to why this place is so special.
Walking with packs is something Explorations students do well.  They know how to hike, how to support each other, and how to reach a common goal.  In this case the common goal was the ancient ruins of the Tayrona people, dating back to 650 a.d. The difference here was the fantastic new environment. From oropendula nests hanging from high trees, to mariposas of all kinds, to burros careening up the trail with enough goods for all the hikers, walking to Ciudad Perdida was unlike anything these students had experienced before.  Add in a layer of thick, tropical heat, and bugs to make even the wariest traveler pull out her Deet, and we have the perfect combination of travel and adventure!
For most of the journey, we kept to our Colombian routine of hard work in the morning, followed by siestas, classes, and dinners to round out the day. In addition to Edwin’s robust knowledge (his family has been involved with the lost city since it was first discovered by looters, his father being one of them), we were also lucky enough to be able to visit with the local Kogi people whose ancestors built the ruins we were so keen on seeing, and whose villages we regularly passed through during our trek.
On our fourth day, we reached the ruins of Ciudad Perdida.  There, we spent the morning feeling the magic of the place… We laid on the terraces that were the foundations of this ancient city, and felt grateful for the ability to visit such a wild and holy place.
The return to civilization was relatively quick, owing to a shorter exit from the jungle.  After five days of trekking, students returned to the town of Santa Marta, and were in good spirits after showers and dinner.  Tomorrow the group will spend a day on the water in Tayrona National Park before heading to Cartagena and our service project there.
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One Comment on “Colombia Update #3: Return from the Trek”

  1. Jane Virro Says:

    Following this fantastic experience! Hugs and kisses to my dear niece Sonya! Can’t wait to see photos and hear stories! Watching the updates every day! Xoxo

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