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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Funtimes in San Gil

From Bucaramanga I took a bus down to San Gil, which has a reputation as a mecca for adventure sport enthusiasts. It’s a cool little town with a lively backpackers’ scene, and although I did spend more time “out” than I had up until that point (as you do, traveling on your own), I still managed to get some good writing done at a shady picnic table on the hostel patio.

It’s the easiest thing just to book your rafting, kayaking, rappelling, paragliding, or what have you through your hostel or guesthouse. I stayed at Macondo and it’s excellent—helpful staff, very clean, comfortable common spaces, and attracts a friendly crowd. I also loved wandering through the indoor produce market in the center of town–picked up fresh fruit to nosh on, and a lot of the stalls offer juices and smoothies.


I rappelled down that waterfall in the background, and someone took this really awesome shot of me as I was doing it, but she never sent it to me. Oh well, you’ll just have to take my word for it.


I played tejo with a bunch of guys from the hostel. Really fun.


The other popular thing to do in the area is El Camino Real, a 200-year-old donkey track linking two quaint little colonial towns, Barichara and Guane. Rene and John and I took the bus from San Gil to Barichara, and walked around town for a bit before starting out on El Camino Real.

The postcard-pretty church on the Barichara town square.


We had no trouble finding the cute little vegetarian café mentioned in the guidebook, and sat down for a lovely meal.

These kids were SO OVERJOYED that school was out, it cracked me up. (You can also see how extremely quaint is Barichara!)


El Camino Real was my favorite part of my time in San Gil. Lovely hills and pastoral scenery and camouflaged butterflies.

This hairy hanging stuff is known as “old man’s beard.” (I wanted to call it “witches’ beard.” I think that would be way funnier, especially since the effect as you’re standing under it is a little eerie.)

On the outskirts of Guane, a four-legged local came over to greet us.


We were taking the local bus back to San Gil, so once we got to Guane it was time for a relaxing drink in a cafe courtyard.

Only one more Colombia post left!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.