Sailing Around The World

Out Of Colombian Jungle and Off to Panama!

Our Truck to the Jungle

Our Truck to the Jungle

The Team, From top left to right Rich, Mickey, Tom, Phoebe, Graham, From Left to right bottom Jacques, Simon, Romana, Matt

The Team, From top left to right Rich, Mickey, Tom, Phoebe, Graham, From Left to right bottom Jacques, Simon, Romana, Matt

I survived the South American Columbia Jungle and I am now sailing to Panama for the next 2.5 days. I have to say that the trip to Columbia was the best decision so far on our voyage. My trek into the Jungle started 5 days ago in Santa Marta. I arrived at Magic Tours and was greeted by two English men Simon and Rich who booked the same 5 day trip to the Lost City. I was glad that Simon new a lot of Spanish and could understand what was being said. We took a trip by taxi to the city limits and were joined by the rest of our new team to trek into the Jungle. All 9 of us, plus the drive stuffed ourselves into our new clown car which was a small Toyota truck and spent the next 2 hours on the road driving deep into the Jungle.

Jungle Road

Jungle Road

We finally arrived at the Jungle National Park and were met by armed government grads with machine guns and full camo. They granted us access to the Jungle two track road and we headed into the Jungle Mountains on a muddy path that twisted along the edge of mountains inches from the canyons below. The road was covered in mud, rock, and we crossed through streams to arrive in a mountain village.

Our Start

Our Start

We had a quick lunch provide by our 2 new guides and cook. We then started our 4 hour hike into the Jungle which started out by hiking through a mix of Jungle and ranchers farmers as we climbed higher and higher to our camp for the first night. The terrain was a mix of streams, and steep muddy paths that had cross traffic of local ranchers moving supplies by horse through the mountain. We finally arrived 4 hours later at our campsite number one. The campsite was rustic, but included a hammock with an insect net for sleeping. We enjoyed a great meal of pasta and fruit from the jungle. We then enjoyed talking to one another about our travels and places we have been. We played cards and most of group went to bed. But a few of us wanted to play one more game in the candle light. As we played 100’s of insects started to cover the table around the candle light and soon our playing cards where covered with bugs. We had to shack the cards every time to get the bugs off so we could play. We quickly decided that after the king of hearts started to walk away by itself that the game should end and we went to bed. But our guide told us to use our flashlights and make sure we looked at the ground as we walked for poison snakes, and scorpions.  I crawled into my hammock and found it very uncomfortable because my legs kept going to sleep. I soon found out that no matter what you always slid down in the hammock and the blood rushed to my head. Even though I was uncomfortable I was soon asleep as the jungle came alive with millions of new noises that I have never heard but was very soothing.

Campsite 1

Campsite 1

The Trail day one

The Trail day one

Photo of me

Photo of me

Photo From the Trail

Photo From the Trail

The Jungle

The Jungle

We all awoke early the next day excited to hike deeper into the Jungle. Our breakfast was simple eggs, toast, fresh fruit, and juice. I filled my bottles with fresh boiled smoked water and put on my backpack. We hiked for 4 hours again and arrived in the afternoon at campsite 2. We all took a swim in the river that was next to the camp and enjoyed cooling off from the intense humid heat of the jungle. The water was cool and clean. Once again I enjoyed conversation between my new friends about American and English politics. We talked about our occupations, and the standards of vacation time, pay, typical working hours and so on. I found it interesting that other than the amount of time off we get we all work way to much and the world is getting too fast and out of control. As we continued to talk the rain started to dump down and the noise of the rain hitting the tin roof reminded us that we were really in the deep jungle of Columbia. As the sun went down we all went to our bunk beds this time and listened to the rain, and all the jungle things sing us to sleep.

our Swimming Hole

our Swimming Hole

Camp 2

Camp 2

Me in the Jungle

Me in the Jungle

The normal muddy Trail

The normal muddy Trail

hiking into the jungle

hiking into the jungle

In the Jungle

In the Jungle

View from the Trail

View from the Trail

Horse coming through look out!

Horse coming through look out!

One of many pigs

One of many pigs

View from the path

View from the path

Camp 2

Camp 2

We woke up again with eggs and toast, packed our bags, and slipped into our day old wet cloths. We all decided that there was no point in wearing fresh dry cloths because within 10 minutes you where wet to the bone for the rest of the day. The jungle was very hot and wet this 3rd day. I could not tell if I was sweating or drenched with the thick hot mist of the jungle as we climbed high up into the mountains. Sometimes the trail was so steep that we had to use our hands to pull ourselves up the trail. After being covered in mud, wet, and sweaty we arrived in camp 3. We were glad that it had bunk beds. Once again we played cards, learned more about each other’s cultural difference and had a great time. We had a great dinner but the steak we ate was not beef. The English folks thought it was Alpaca and I thought horse, not sure, anyway it all tasted great.

The group hiking along the trail

The group hiking along the trail

Phoebe hiking up the Trial

Phoebe hiking up the Trial

Matt on the Muddy Trail

Matt on the Muddy Trail

Climbing up the mountain

Climbing up the mountain

Tom way above me on a switch back

Tom way above me on a switch back

The trail is very steep and muddy

The trail is very steep and muddy

River is high now! Can t wait to cross it

River is high now! Can t wait to cross it

Camp 3

Camp 3

Crossing one of many streams

Crossing one of many streams

Climbing through the Jungle

Climbing through the Jungle

More Climbing

More Climbing

Simon Climbing up the rock face

Simon Climbing up the rock face

Looking down at Ramana from the trail switch back

Looking down at Ramana from the trail switch back

One of many water falls

One of many water falls

Camp 3

Camp 3

Day 4 we headed out to the lost city without our packs and hiked along the river for one 1km. We had to cross the river which after 3 days of heavy rain was moving very fast. We all made it safely across and where greeted by the 1800 steps that went straight up to the lost city. It took about 30 minutes of none stop stepping to get to the top at the lost city where the weather was very cold and wet. Our guide explained to us not to walk in the stone circle as these where sacred areas and that we were not allowed to enter so we didn’t. I could not believe the craftsmanship of the structures. I was told that what we could see was only about 10% of the city and the Indians would not allow the archeologist to dig anymore of the city up. The city was found by the cocaine ranchers about 15 years ago and looted the city of its gold, and jewels. Most of treasure has not been found but what has is now in Bogotá and England museums. The night before we got to the Lost City we talked with a local Kogi Indian about the lost city. The Kogi have lived in this region for thousands of years and to this day still live as they did then. They don’t believe in material things and believe in mother earth and everything that it gives. Matt one of our team members asked if they have noticed any climate change in the last few years. The Indian indicated that in the last three years 3 local plants have disappeared from the region. Also the rain and dry seasons have been very extreme and have never been so bad.

Crossing the River From the Lost City

Crossing the River From the Lost City

River Crossing at Lost City

River Crossing at Lost City

Group Crossing the river

Group Crossing the river

Climbing

Climbing

Still climbing

Still climbing

Climbing Climbing

Climbing Climbing

lots of Lost City Steps

lots of Lost City Steps

Climbing the very steep 1800 steps

Climbing the very steep 1800 steps

Climbing up to the second level of the lost city

Climbing up to the second level of the lost city

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

Lost City

More Climbing

More Climbing

Colombian Army Watching Us

Colombian Army Watching Us

Me "Jacques" at the top of the Lost City. Made It!

Me “Jacques” at the top of the Lost City. Made It!

The Dog named Dollar because he follows the the teams up and down the trail like the value of the dollar up and down.

The Dog named Dollar because he follows the the teams up and down the trail like the value of the dollar up and down.

After visiting the lost city we trekked back down the 1800 wet steps and crossed the rivers and hiked back to camp 2, ate dinner and enjoyed conversations with other hikers from Germany, Australia, and many other countries. We woke up and trekked through muddy mountains, and crossed deep streams and made it back to the village. We all thought the trip was great and where ready to be dry for more than a few hours. As we drove out of the mountains the rain had been so bad the driver got us stuck in the muddy ruts. We tried to explain how to drive through the mud but he was hell bent on putting the petal to the floor and letting the wheels spin. This Columbia drive was a Jack ass bottom line and because we could not drive the truck we got to push it out of the mud as he laughed. O well it made for a good story. Sadly we all had to part ways and continue on our own adventures and I hope that one day I will get to see all the people I hiked in the Jungle with. They are the best people I have every come across traveling and I wish them the best of luck.

More river Crossing

More river Crossing

From the Trail

From the Trail

The River is crazy fast now

The River is crazy fast now

Trail high above the river

Trail high above the river

Our muddy return path

Our muddy return path

The View

The View

Stuck in the Mud

Stuck in the Mud

Me and Tom pushing us out of the Mud. Mickey too but he was not muddy LOL

Me and Tom pushing us out of the Mud. Mickey too but he was not muddy LOL

Coming into Santa Marta

Coming into Santa Marta

Thanks,

Jacques

Some Video

12 responses

  1. Bill Reynolds

    Great report on your trek. Spent last evening with your fathers two cousins at their hunting camp (Pierre and Andre.) We have had no melting of snow and are forcast for another foot or so in the next three days. Everyone up here in Houghton and Hancock seems to be sick of snow. Winter is hanging on.
    Cheers,

    March 18, 2013 at 12:05 am

    • Yeah, I wish I could have seen the snow! Its very hot here and we are on our way to Panama.

      On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 6:05 AM, dragonsbanevoyage

      March 18, 2013 at 12:19 am

  2. Bonjour Jacques.. I met your Dad in Cartagena and he told me about your trip… I must say it was something I wish I had done and from your pics it was an awesome trip. All the best as you sail forward and tell your Dad it was great spending time with him in the old city. You have a very cool and interesting father…

    March 18, 2013 at 12:12 am

  3. Sro

    Sounds like an awesome trip. I’m pretty jealous, I’ve always found things like the Lost City really interesting. Glad you didn’t run into any drug cartels. Happy St. Patties. Cheers.

    -Sro

    March 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

  4. Graham

    Enjoyed reading your account of the trek. We had a great time and think you are one cool guy! We will add our photos soon. If you make it to England make sure you look us up. Best of luck with Panama.

    Graham and Phoebe

    March 18, 2013 at 1:36 am

    • I will look you up for sure! I enjoyed talking and hanging out with you both. I wish you both lots of luck in your future together.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  5. tom

    It sounds like you had a great trek Jacques! Great pigs and good to hear your safe and sound and back with your dad

    March 18, 2013 at 1:40 am

  6. Brienne

    glad the jungle was awesome! great pics and footage. happy st.paddy’s day! hope somewhere somehow you get that green beer! the boys have been going stong for about 9h now, lol! safe travels to panama. the countdown is on now for your journey to get much more interesting…

    March 18, 2013 at 2:05 am

    • Thanks, I am looking forward to having the added help on this trip!

      March 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

  7. Thanks everybody for thinking of me out in the jungle. It was very interesting and I think one of the best hiking trips I have been on in a long time. Look forward to Pacific. I am heading out to sea in about hour. I will try and post out at sea through our SSB! Take care everybody

    March 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

  8. Maggie

    Loved reading about this amazing adventure! Glad you made it back in one piece!

    March 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm

  9. aimee

    absolutely amazing.

    March 19, 2013 at 3:56 am