After a very relaxing 3 weeks in Taganga, it was time to get some adrenaline back in the system so we headed down to a small place called San Gil. San Gil is touted as the adventure sport capital of Colombia. It wasnt quite in the same league as Queenstown, but it was pretty cool.
We checked into a new hostel which was run by two brothers who had lived in England (but were Colombian) and they were very cool dudes. The hostel was quite small so we spent heaps of time talking to them, they took us on trips to waterfalls and showed us round and generally made our time there really fun.
The first day, we went and did caving and canyoning. The caving was a bit scary - i am not claustrophobic, but there were some pretty tight squeezes, including going through water with only enough room for your head between the water level and the ceiling. We were certainly crossing fingers for no flash floods!
The canyoning part of the trip involved abseiling down some pretty substantial waterfalls which was a lot of fun, jumping across boulders and jumping off large ledges into natural pools to get down to the bottom of a canyon.
The next day we went rafting on the swares river, which is a grade 5 river and had been closed the previous few days as there had been a lot of rain. Our raft got flipped on the first rapid (which was only a grade 3), but the raft flipped sideways and the guy sitting opposite me flew across and landed on me. When I was underwater, I tried to swim to the top but realised he was sitting on me. I was reaching up, but only feeling his legs holding me down. Luckily, I pushed away and got to the surface, howver, whilst I was under, everyone had made their way to the ends of the raft so the guide could flip it over. I came up just in time to look up and see a raft flipping over and landing on me, so I went back under but got back up in the end. We went to the side and gathered our breath - I think I drank about half the river! One girl in our boat was a mess afterwards and wanted out, but she had to stick it out but just sat there and did nothing the whole time. Sometimes in the big rapids i would look behind me and just see two dinner plate sized eyes staring forward - not a happy rafter We managed to stay in the raft the rest of the time and it was heaps of fun! The rapids were enormous and it certainly got the heart rate up which was what we were looking for.
We had a few days of relaxing and I actually started to write a CV, 5 months into the trip! Our last activity, besides a few nights out, was a kayaking course, where Nato and I got a two on one tutorial on how to do an eskimo roll (what you do when your kayak flips in rapids to get upright) and then had the afternoon hitting some rapids. Admittedly, the rapids were only grade 1 and 2, not the grade 5 big boys from the rafting, but that was plenty for our limited kayaking ability.
All in all, San Gil was a pretty cool place, made all the better by the brothers who ran our hostel. They were really passionate about Colombia, spoke perfect English and were hilarious dudes as well. If anyone goes to San Gil, you should go and see them at El Dorado. They also gave us heaps of good contacts for Bogota and Villa de Leyva which was very appreciated.
We had two very low key nights at a place called Villa de Leyva on the way to Bogota which were very enjoyable, but do not justify a septate enty, so intead it gets a fleeting mention here.