Friday, December 30, 2011

San Gil to the Xtreme, and Flying Blind (by Juli)

After a short morning flight to Bucamangara and a sweaty 3 hour bus ride, we arrived in the town of San Gil, which originally attracted our interest as it is known as the capital of adventure sports in Colombia. San Gil most definitely did not dissappoint, and on our second night there Juli and I were both talking about how much we loved this town and even wanted to invest in some kind of business there!

The only downside is that Juli set her phone down on the bus in the frantic need to get off the bus at the right stop. A minute later when she realized it was still on the bus, it was gone. Not surprising. Unfortunately, we had already become acustomed to having a "computer" with us, the phone had our guide books, translation app, and access to Julis work email. And every hotel seemed to have free wifi. I think Juli almost had a panic attack about losing access to her work email.

After that drama, we headed to San Gil´s central plaza/park, which is where everybody hangs out from morning until night, sipping on beers from the corner store and people watching. We definitely partook in the action and were able to observe from the balcony of our hotel, Sam´s VIP.

On our first night in town we met a couple from New Mexico who were scouting out rivers & partnership opportunities for their rafting company, Global Descents. Together we decided to partake in Colombia´s national sport, Tejo, which is essentially like horseshoes with fireworks.

The Tejo ´facility´in San Gil allows you to play for free as long as you buy beers, making it our kind of deal. Towards the end of our 12-pack we finally got on a hot streak and started hitting the little pink targets, which causes them to explode in a little fireball. Everyone, except Juli. Her luck still hadnt turned.

According to Matt & Wendy, rafting the Rio Suarez was a must-do in San Gil. While Juli was fired up, Todd was a bit nervous as this had been billed as a Class 5 river; Matt reassured us that the local rafting company we were considering for the trip was top notch and very safe. The river had in recent days been running too high to be safe, but we reserved a spot for the next day in the event the water came down. The next morning we found out that although the water did come down enough to make it raftable, however there was not enough people to make the trip (only one other had reserved, they needed two more). So we rolled our reservation over to the next day and commenced with the primary activity that had originally caught our eye, rappelling down a 180 foot waterfall.

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