Friday, December 3, 2010

Return of Adventure girl! San Gil Colombia

No more pissing around and slacking off adventure girl is back! Well somewhat...

While waiting for my bus at the terminal in Bucaramanga I got the ssssst sssst from one of the workers there which usually I would just ignore but they sometimes use this cat call to get your attention as well so I went over to him and he gave me a bracelet. It was a black ribbon style bracelet that said X-tremo Santander 2010. It was quite fitting since I was going to the capital of Extreme sports in Colombia San Gil and Santander is the region in which San Gil is in.

I had planned on just relaxing in Santa Marta and enjoying the beach after working hard all summer but it is a bit uninspiring and my writing tends to slack while I am soaking up the sun. After Bucaramanga I decided to go to San Gil. Previously I wasn’t too interested in San Gil. I got the impression it was really touristic with people on every corner trying to sell you some adventure tour or white water rafting. I thought it was going to be like the hassle of Cusco, Peru or Banos, Ecuador jam packed with hostels and travellers. I was delightfully surprised.

San Gil is a smaller town with a busy square. My taxi dropped me off at Hotel Aleman where the Swiss guys who I shared a cab with were staying. I walked on myself to El Dorado hostel which was recommended to me by friends I met in Santa Marta. As I walked around the town discovering it I didn’t see another tourist at all. The square was buzzing with activity but it was all locals going about their business. This was not what I had imagined at all. I finally found other travellers in my hostel an American guy with massive tattoos across his back, chest and arm. My first impression of him was what a waste of money. I could only imagine how much all that would have cost him. He turned out to be quite a nice guy despite his money spending habits and had been in the city for almost a week. He introduced me to some people in another hostel and their local drinking hole which was a spot in the square in front of three liquor stores where you can buy a large beer in a plastic cup for 1800pesos.The American had done the same caving cannoning and rappelling tour my English friends told me about and said it was well worth the money. I had wanted to do it but was on my own and my hostel was empty. I felt a bit strange the following morning sitting around by myself not knowing what to do. The hostel owner then asked me if I wanted to do the trip and told me there were 6 people going on it. I was in! It turns out it was tattoo American guy and the people from the other hostel. He was doing it again with the group.

I normally pride myself on being adventurous daring and outdoorsy. I will try anything once so I was up for the challenge! Bring on the Cliff jumping! Bring on the rappelling! I will show them. I will be the cool tough girl who will do all the daring things guys can do! Or so I thought.

The first part we hiked through a cave and crawled through tight bits. I don’t like the idea of being somewhere closed in without a way of getting out but I wouldn’t say I am claustrophobic. I was a bit wary but it was easy. Caving, done no problem I was ready for the next challenge, jumping off a cliff into murky muddy water that isn’t deep at all. The Tattooed American jumped first and survived so it was now or never for me. I like to go first in these types of situations, the more you think about it the worse off you are. I have jumped off many cliffs and bridges plus I am tough adventure girl so I ran and jumped the whole way down yelling, “Ooooooh Fuuuucccckkkk!”

I have to admit I was quite happy that I was the only girl in our group to jump off. Although that was the end of Adventure girl’s reign, then returned Tracy the klutz. It’s best not to be so cocky when you are jumping on wet slippery rocks. I slipped and scrapped both my legs as a rock wedged itself in my crotch. One of the moments I was very thankful to be a girl. Alright just a minor clumsy set back. We then got to the waterfall where we were to do the repelling. I was one of the last do go and figured after watching 7 other people I knew what I was doing and was going to be amazing. I was pretty much pro by that time. I saw what they all did wrong and the correct way to do it. Also I wasn’t going to be afraid at all I mean you are hanging by a rope what is the worst that can happen? Again I was being too cocky. First I slipped and banged off the rock not really what I had planned but I got down alright once I was over the edge and hanging. The next spot I was sure I was going to show all them how sporty I was. I was third down and the only one to slip and dangle upside down from the cliff. Back to my question of what is the worst thing that could happen? Right that would be dangling upside down from a cliff in a waterfall. I eventually pulled myself back up and got back into position to lower myself down but I felt like a right idiot, plus the other two girls did it fine. Everyone asked if I was ok which I was I didn’t hurt myself at all except perhaps my pride.

So in the end after caving, cannoning, cliff jumping and rappelling I quite prefer jumping off of things into water without a rope attached to me as strange as it may sound. It does scare me but I love the adrenaline it makes you feel alive. This is way I love traveling because you push yourself past your limits doing things you wouldn’t normally do at home. Every day you feel alive.

The guys at the El Dorado hostel do fantastic tours just like this one and I highly recommend it!

For more information on the El Dorado International Hostel and its expeditions check out my next blog posting!


  1. That sounds like my kind of adventure! Don't worry about being a klutz it just makes the story that much better! Love it! Amazing group photo by the falls.

  2. ha ha notice my pose compared to everyone else he he he!


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