Saturday, 15 February 2014

San Gil - home of extreme sports.......

                               and yet we managed to do 2 of the most serene activities ever! 

Paragliding: despite the inelegant take off cause by high winds & a 25kg weight hung from my lap, the flight was smooth, tranquil and not remotely adrenaline fuelled. Figure of 8s made me feel weightless and did that strange stomach thing (like going over big drops on a roller coaster), and did slightly ruin the ambiance by making me cackle like a loon. All in all a really relaxed way of seeing some stunning scenery and I wished I could've stayed airborne for hours

White water rafting: grade 3 rapids we were told. Grade 1 or 2 at best I think. 2 hours of rafting down a gently meandering river with the odd bit of rapid action was boring.  Our guide tried his best to make it feel edgy by doing back flips off the raft, threatening to capsize us and making us bash oars together (a bit like a really lame group high-5) for the bank side photographer but it was really tame. 

I (Chris) took on some difficult downhill mountain biking - which was more tailored to real mountain bikers than my amateurish efforts but still a really fun challenging day which left me exhausted (due to some unexpected up-hills!) and more than a little dusty.  It was another activity that was somewhat made by the spectacular views that Colombia has on tap.

The town itself was at a quiet point in the season so we had a sedate time outside of our (in)extreme activities, Gayle is finding it hard to locate decent veggy fair, so is begrudgingly alternating between the local trout and a cheese sandwich if she can find someone to make one.

Next stop Villa de Leyva.... see what the countryside looks like, and it is quiet.  The local square (the biggest of all town squares) was the central attraction at night for gangs of well-off teenagers and less well-off local dogs.  We had a good people/dog watch over a few choice beers outside an off license, their off licenses have a couple of tables and seem to take up the role of the great British pub or Le grande cafe Francaise - but it's hard to ignore that you are sat next to a sweet stand as you drink.  We quite like it.

During the day we visited a site of great archeological significance, it was a site with stones in phallic shapes aligned to the summer solstice in order to grant great harvests a millennia or so past.  Yes, it's a field full of dicks - and we sniggered appropriately like we were 6.

Next, back on an array of buses once more to rejoin civilisation in the capital: Bogota.

A note on the buses: most of them are not made for the likes of me.  The big coaches are better, but all buses assume the passengers are 5'6" or less (knee caps are often sore from enthusiastic reclining from the traveller infront).  The smaller buses are also made for people a lot narrower than me too, this tends to mean I arrive at places lacking sleep and walking in a less than symmetrical fashion, a bit like Egor.

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