My days in Colombia are counted, so it is kind of difficult to decide where to go and what more I actually have to visit. Time and money limits as always. I’m still studying and since the university is like school, I don’t have too many possibilities to travel far distances in Colombia. I just wait until the end of my semester.
On a Sunday I had the chance to go with a good friend of mine to Tobia. My friend is a guide of adventure trips and so the plan was to do some canoeing and rafting there in Tobia.
We went to Tobia by bus, which took around 2 hours or a bit more. It is amazing how fast the landscape is changing in Colombia. You only drive out Bogota and then you find another climate and landscape. So we actually ended up in Tobia in a smooth temperature of 25 degrees. I should mention here, that nowadays the “winter” came back to Bogota. So it is raining all the time here. For that reason Tobia was the best choice.
First of all my friend gave an introduction to his group about his activity, safety rule and how to put on the climbing gear. This we would need to do the rap off in the waterfall there.
After the introduction and the great breakfast, we were going to leave to get to the waterfall. Only in this moment another 3 persons of the activity group arrived. It is amazing that they were so relaxed while being late more than an hour. But everything was fine, they could participate. From there we went a short way with a really small and cute train to the start point of our walk. The trail was going along a big and dirty river, which is called “rio negro” (the black river). This river was really deep black and didn’t invite at all to take a swim there. More over the current was really strong, so you better stay out of the river at all. The plan was to do rafting in the afternoon, but unfortunately we didn’t find enough persons to participate. So it was only the canoeing.
Back to this story:
To get to the waterfall, we had to do a walking trip through a ditch which was great and relaxing. This walking trip was really funny because everyone was getting really wet all over. Only the two guides and I stayed dry because we were jumping from rock to rock. But in the end we were wet as well, because the rapping off in the waterfalls you can’t really avoid the water and moreover, for entering the waterfalls we were actually there. The rappel wasn’t that exciting because the waterfall didn’t offer lots of water, but still it is a good kind of adventure and I think with more water in it, it can be really exciting. During the rappel you have to change rope because there were two stations. To get to the last station has to jump from the rocks into the water and swim or dive to the last station. This was good fun.
But in the afternoon we were all happy to get some warm lunch and the possibility to change clothes. Back to Bogota I thought I will be freezing to dead because the climate change Tobia –Bogota was that big, but after a good night sleep, my body was adopted to this climate here in Bogota again.
On a Sunday I went with two friends of mine to the Lake Guatavita, which is located around 40 km north of Bogotá. I always wanted to go there because I saw many fascinating pictures in the internet and furthermore the Lake Guatavita offers as well an interesting history.
The Lake Guatavita was one time honored by the Muisca, indigenes like the Incas. It is said that there the legend “El dorado” took place. In short words – the legend “El dorado” says that the king of the Muisca was ritually covered with gold dust at a religious festival held in the Lake Guatavita.
For that reason there were many attempts made to find gold in the Lake Guatavita. But none of the results were really successfully. Nowadays you can visit the Lake Guatavita as a tourist attraction. So you have to pay an entrance fee and then you can walk a small piece at the side of the lake. But before it became such a tourist place you could actually walk around the whole lake and spend the weekend there. It is a bit of a shame that you only have a small bit to walk next to the lake nowadays.
We started our tour from the “Portal de Norte” to the village of Guatavita. From there you can catch a van which brings you up to the entrance of the Laguna.
There you follow a solid and visible way to the exit. The walking way takes around 45min. It is indeed really short, but the view on the lake is great indeed.
From the exit you can as well take a van, which brings you back, or you just walk, what we just did because the climate this day was really great.
The village Guatavita is really worth visiting as well. The tourist center is really cute with all the white and nice houses.
The old village of Guatavita was submerged in the waters of the Tominé Reservoir and was rebuilt on higher ground again. The Tominé Reservoir, a big lake, is an important water supply and it is used as well for water sports and other water-related events. Moreove the people of the village or of other place nearby go there to relax and to spend the day at the Reservoir. It is a nice recreation from the city of Bogotá.
One weekend I went with my new friends to Tocaima. It was a “Goodbye-Party” because one of them is heading to Italy to study there for 2 years. We all went with Bus to the place. Normally it takes 3hours, but because the traffic was really bad, we only arrived 5hours later. But during the busride I really enjoyed the view. It was really interesting and I wanted to leave the bus every few minutes to take some pictures, but of course this wasn’t possible. Instead one woman tried to earn some money during the ride. She introduced us to her singing skills. Her personality was kind of impressive but not her singing talent, so I didn’t pay for that entertainment. Moreover we lost a lot of altitude. I think the “finca”, village and other words, is only a few hundred meters high. So the climate change was immense.
When we finally got to our hostel, the first thing we did was to change clothes 😉 It was really, really hot and humid. So after lunch we just spent the day in the swimming pool and afterwards we walked to the village Tociama, which is really sweet :). Some impressions of the day:
Afterwards we celebrated in our hostel….drinking & dancing until night time. At 3am there was a really heavy storm so that we didn’t have any electricity in the morning. In the morning it was a bit colder but that changed really fast when the sun was out fully. A friend and me we walked for a little while after the breakfast. Very strange: soup for with potatoes and meat for breakfast. But that is really in common in this kind of villages. Moreover, besides the soup, it had scrambled eggs, hot chocolate and some pan. Except of the soup it was really good. But back to our walk on the side of the main street….loads of people were out, enjoyed the sun, had beer or were just sitting there ;). We tried some fruits of the trees and enjoyed the warm weather. But after a while, we only wanted to get in the pool ;). Really sticky the climate outside Bogotá and it has obviously a lot more insects…but it was a enjoyable trip and I really looking forward to my time at the coast, the Caribbean 🙂 .
Last Sunday (14th august of 2011) we did a trip to the Mina de Sal de Nemocón.
It is a town of Colombia in the department of Cundinamarca. It is one hour with the bus outside of Bogota (north). We were all in all six persons and we had a lot of fun. The trip in the bus was an adventure trip itself because it is just really uncomfortable and in a way like in a Jeep over every countryside…Bus was shaking all the time, especially the last 20minutes near Neomcón.
In Neomcón we were walking around, visiting the mina de Sal and ate traditional food there, which is called “Picada”.