participants tell their story
Last Sunday, three
Hikanbykers, Joan Friedman, Marty Rosson, and myself, Claudia Gerst,
along with four other non-Hikanbykers, returned from our 16-day
Adventure in Colombia, exhausted but very happy with our adventurous
It was led by an excellent
tour guide from Ecuador, Henry Sisa Moya, who frequently leads tours
to Colombia and is extremely knowledgeable about the natural
environment (he’s available to Hikanbyke members for exclusive tours
to Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. You can contact Claudia
Gerst to get his information).
After ascending a winding
road through the majestic Andes, we descended into the fertile
valley of Armenia, the famous coffee region of Colombia, where we
stayed at a beautiful Coffee Farm/Hacienda. In jeeps they refer to
as Willys, we drove to a coffee farm, picked coffee, learned the
traditional coffee harvest dance, had “tipico” meals, and were
serenaded at night with romantic music and aguardiente, the famous
Colombian fire drink.
Then we hiked in the
awesome hills of the Cocorra Valley, the home of the world’s largest
Wax Palm, followed by three nights in the old City of Cartagena by
the Caribbean, touring at night in a Chiva (party bus) with the
happy rhythmic Vallenato music, plied with rum, and dancing at the
edge of the walled city as the Caribbean winds cooled us.
Then we hiked into the
exquisite Tayrona National Park, slept in hammocks on the top of a
hill arrested by cold early morning winds; the following day,
jostled in a 4-wheel drive, we wound torturously up a deeply grooved
road into the Santa Marta Mountains to a remote indigenous Arhuaco
village, ending with a meeting with their shaman and a school visit
with gifts of much-needed school supplies. This last visit provided
a lasting memory of the childrens’ innocent faces betraying the
harsh life of a people who have chosen to remain distant from and
virtually unaffected by their surrounding modern world.
It was an eventful, fun,
enriching, unforgettable 16-day journey!