by Danielle Robles
Day 2 was much less eventful than day 1. Less action, more napping. And watching Netflix. And eating pizza. And sitting wrapped in a comforting blanket. The events of night 1 still remain a mystery to me but one thing’s for sure…they hurt so good. It was somewhere between the Hunger Games: Catching Fire and dozing off for the 6th time that I decided perhaps Bogota was too much for me -- so I hit up the Aussie bloke I had met the night before and agreed to skip town. Well, it was actually more like a self-invitation but details, details…
I woke up day 3 feeling revitalized and ready for yet another adventure. Destination: San Gil, Colombia’s adventure capital. After a short local bus ride we arrived at the terminal. Steaming with exhaust, boisterous street vendors, and an impressive mega market. We grabbed a six-pack and were ushered to an impressive line of mega buses -- men yelling random destinations as we walked by in awe. Between the two of us (Guy and I) we managed to make out enough Spanish to locate our bus route, so we sat on the curb and cracked open a few beers. The bus was massive, much larger than I expected -- air-con, bathrooms and American movies playing on the TVs. As I reclined my large cushy chair, I gazed out the window, watching the concrete jungle slowly fade away into lush greenery, quaint villages and cobblestone streets. Now this is the Colombia I was looking for.
The bus ride ran smoothly, with the exception of the policía stopping us for a passport check half-way in, and the creeper that followed me into the women’s bathroom when we stopped for a meal break, whispering “silencio” in my ear. Nonetheless we arrived in San Gil one six-pack and 7 hours later, with just enough time to check out our digs before settling in.
San Gil was illuminating at dusk. Bright red bricks topped the tiny buildings that trickled along the hillsides. Dudes on motorbikes congregated in the town square and the air was filled with laughter and the smell of smoking street meat. I knew in an instant that this was the place I was supposed to be.
We wandered around the city center for a bit, grabbed a carne asada kebab and a bottle of aguardiente and headed to our hostel.
Never having stepped foot in a hostel before, I hardly knew what to expect, but Macondo was like a little slice of heaven. A boutique hostel hidden away amongst the hilly streets of San Gil, equipped with a gorgeous kitchen, hot tub and hammocks galore. I immediately felt right at home. Guy and I were shown to our cozy 3-bed suite (shared with a cute doctor from NYC, ooh la la!) and were greeted by 2 rowdy Brits and a bottle of rum. The only problem presented now was never wanting to leave.