I forgot to mention that in Ipiales we went to Las Lajas Cathedral. It is the most beautiful church I have ever seen. It is like this castle nestled in the mountainside beside huge waterfalls that is it built around, over a river. The Virgin Mary appeared to many here. She has healed many of the sick here too. It is beautiful. You can climb right down to the river below and have a swim by the waterfall if you wanted to. I lit a candle for Nanny here amongst the rock where rainbows of endless wax has run down before. Then I said a prayer for her. And for little Cheebie too. I love you both so much. And I miss the hell out of you.
Also in Ipiales Ryan and I climbed to the top of a meadow to have a seat with a view for a couple hours. It was the best spot we could've chosen. The grass was so so soft and thick. So we began to look for big pieces. Before you know it we were rippin on the grass kazoo's. It felt like childhood. A group of young local kids were also hanging in the grass at the bottom of the hill. We kept seeing little heads popping up. And curious glances. As we jammed on at full force, they came over one by one. Till we were surrounded by all of them. And one by one we taught each of them how to put the grass between your thumbs. Eventually we were all picking handfuls to find the big ones and we were all a band of sqeaky noises. It was amazing. They were so cute. I am pretty sure a grass fight instilled shortly after. It was a fun afternoon.
Once we arrived in Salento after a lot of bussing I was absolutely thrilled. It was so beautiful. The famous Colombian coffee zone is in the countryside . Nestled amongst mountains and rainforest. Lots of farming is in this tiny village, so to pull up beside a horse and buggy is not out of the ordinary. The clip clop of horses feet is always near , especially on the cobblestone. The Camino Real street of artesianal shops, cafés, and restaurants is painted white and multicolours. It reminds me of something Norwegian or even Newfoundlandish. The beautiful local artists chime this strip in the evening with their musical serenades, only adding to the quaint and comfortable vibe of this town. Don't even get me staaaaaarted on the food here. .......MOM?! YOU WOULD LOOOOOVE THIS TOWN!!! I thought of you the whole time.
In Salento we hiked the Corcorra Valley from 9:30-5:30. It's a 5 hour hike. We missed the turn around and climbed MUCH deeper and higher then we were supposed to. Haha like 12km straight up the mountain in the wrong direction. We were definitely lost in the jungle. The map the hostel gave us was completely a joke. And false. We found a real map at the top of the mountain. When we realized how friggin far outta the way we were!!! Taking a picture of this gave us guidance and hope that we would not be stuck under a rock all night while the rainforest poured on us, listening to wild animals hunt. Lol phew! The valley is the home of Colombias national tree. The wax palm trees. They are SO tall and skinny and loom so high above you. The mist and clouds are always moving and shifting so quickly it makes for constant jaw dropping scenery. There were also many very rickety suspension bridges wired together, over waterfalls. Best hike so far. We also took a looooong walk to the Finca of Don Elias. It is a fair trade organic coffee production farm. They show you from plant to fruit to bean to roast to grind to cup. This coffee was delicious let me tell you. Wow. And Mom ? Again, you woulda loved the coffee ,.......and the Don ;) lmao.
From Salento we took a gruelling 2 buses through Bogota to San Gil. It is also nestled in a mountainous region. On a river. Due to it's surrounding of national parks, there is lots of adventure here. Tonnes to do. We arc staying at Hostel Santander Aleman and have met great people here. We had an amazing night ! Everybody had muchos bebidas and many hookah flavours. I had never tried Jasmine before and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks Paola and Andres. You two are amazingly talented. We all put our musical talents on display this night. I sang and rapped . Ryan rapped. A few played the guitar and sang and Andres blew to top off of the ENTIRE jam with his contribution. He didn't tell us he was an INSANE opera singer. He stood up to a classical instrumental and showed us. His chest is a speaker box. I am still in shock. Unbelievable. Thanks everyone for an unforgettable night.
The next day, Ryan and I went paragliding. I went twice. The first flight we flew over the Chicamocha Canyon!!! Like soooo high up in the clouds. And just cruised around. It was absolutely AMAZING. I would do that all damn day . No questions asked. The second one I did was over the valley with a view of the Canyon where the wind was high speed. Here I did some air acrobatics. It was intensely awesome!!! These paracute pilots have the best job in the world!!! Wow. Your just floating n zippin n steering through the sky all day. Everything is a good view from that high up!!! Ya reallllly gotta know how to manipulate the wind though or your done. Lol that's the beauty of it though. There's no hurting yourself . Haha it's all or nothing. So free. Free as a bird. We are currently in San Gil being lazy and awaiting tomorrows events. Waterfall trip and pool chillin will be the answer I am sure. Because it's vey hot here.