A short trip to Minca and a reprieve from the heat and humidity in Santa Marta.
|Somehow we talked our way into the officers club at the local base. We had a great day enjoying their facilities including the pool. And yes, those are swim caps. We've found lots of municipal pools in South America require caps.|
|just hanging around|
|We found the elusive chocolate milkshake. Happy kid!|
|Porter and Ana riding on the back of a moto taxi. Yup, same parent that doesn't even let them ride their skateboards in the driveway without helmets.|
|Crossing a rainforest stream. My babies on back of the bike!|
We’ve basically been hot and sweaty since we crossed the Atlantic back in May (with a short break when we traveled back to the states). It is definitely the price of living in the tropics and while I will take it any day over cold and rain, believe it or not, it does get tiresome. So, when Mike and Zander decided to do the trek inland to the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City), we decided to also escape and head inland, albeit on a much shorter, less exhausting expedition. We took a collectivo to the small town of Minca and in just 600 meters in elevation and 20 kilometers inland the weather changed dramatically. The temperature lowered, the vegetation was considerably greener, and the rain fell every afternoon. For the first time we needed blankets at night and I think I once heard Ana say the words “I’m cold”. Minca only recently became open to outsiders. Relatively recently the Government cleared the area of paramilitary types, and it has become somewhat of a mecca for backpackers. The town itself is just a few dozen businesses and a church located at a crossroads that could be anywhere in the vast rainforest of Colombia. The colorful houses cling to the steep slopes and many only have access via stairway or trail. There aren’t really any true hotels in the area so we stayed in a hostel that claimed to be at the highest elevation in town and true to its claim, we had a fantastic view. We rented a private treehouse of sorts with a beautiful little deck that looked out over the valley and rainforest. While it wasn’t luxurious, it definitely appealed to my inner 12 year old Swiss family Robisnon treehouse fantasy. Although, in my dream there weren’t any big hairy spiders crawling through the thatch above us as we slept, and I’m pretty sure there weren’t squirrel droppings on the bed. We tried not to think about what was in the open air room with us and just put up the mosquito netting, tuck it into the bed and hope nothing could get through. Beyond the alternative digs, we took moto taxis (rode on the back of motorcycles) to some waterfalls and we also did some great hiking. As I mentioned, it rains every afternoon so the rives are swollen and there is cascading water everywhere. Normally we would have taken a swim in one of the many pools, but Porter is still on meds for an ear infection, so it the fast moving waters I was content to take my shoes off and just soak my feet. We hiked through coffee plantations and saw colorful flowers and hanging epiphytes. It was a fun excursion away from the boat.