Mochileros y Gringos

462-mochileros-y-gringosMochileros are backpackers in Spanish, i.e. these who travel with one rucksack only and seek new adventures. They are usually welcomed by being called gringos (or foreigners) by natives in South America. It’s not an insult to be called a gringo on the New Continent, just on the opposite – guests and visitors to the countries should feel flattered. And what does one mochilero-gringo visit in Colombia? Have you ever been interested in this?

There is one particular place which is known as the liquid rainbow where the Guayabero River is coloured in various colours. It is goes through Caño Cristales (or the Crystal Canyon) and it’s renown as the most beautiful river in the world owing to the five colours that change one after another from July through November – yellow, green, blue, black and red. For this reason it’s also called the River of Five Colours.

In the second place, the Las Lajas Sanctuary is among the most attractive holy buildings in the world. There are two reasons for this. The place where it was built is amazingly picturesque with a river flowing underneath and a bridge above while the legend related to it is really very thrilling. The sanctuary is situated in the canyon of the Guáitara River. The legend says that a mother and her deaf daughter found a shelter in a cave during a very strong storm. The child started talking to her mother at that very place and said that Holy Mary appeared in front of her. The mother told the story to the local priest and they together decided to have a holy building built namely inside the cave. The construction began and stopped several times while at the beginning of 1900 money was collected from the locals from the nearby settlements and it was finished in 1949. The name Las Lajas comes from the stones on which the sanctuary was built. They were used by the villagers to erect their own houses. Namely these stones represent the eastern wall of the sanctuary.

If you are a fan of westerns you should definitely go to the Tatacoa Desert where you have to struggle to find the right way through labyrinths and enormous sand dunes. You miss the rain and you are stroked by extremely high temperatures and merciless heat. At that very moment you only long for some hours spent on a beach …. let’s say these beaches along the Rio Claro. The river’s name (Clear River) shows exactly what you can expect from this place. It’s a small private natural reserve that’s hidden on the road between Medellin and Bogota. The place offers various activities like swimming and diving into the crystal clear water, caving and bird-watching, kayaking and rafting.

Now it’s high time for some mysteries like la Piedra Del Peñol which is located near the too colourful and vivid resort-town of Guatapé. The giant granite rock is of unknown origin and nobody knows how it appeared there. Scientists say it was formed as a result of volcanic activities but there are no volcanoes around. So, it’s simply impossible. That’s why this rock is so mysterious. Apart from mysteries, there are some hundred steps which lead you to the top from where you are absolutely amazed with the beauty of the surroundings.

Mentioning volcanoes, it’s just impossible not to mention one very interesting place in Colombia where you dive into mud instead of lava. This is El Totumo Mud Volcano near Cartagena. It’s located at the sea level, at the sea coast, in a small bay. Actually, there is a small pool of mud where you can relax while enjoying a massage. After having taken your doze of relax, you go out and you can have a bath and head off to …

Cartagena is a town at the Caribbean Sea. This place with over 1 million inhabitants has been declared UNESCO Heritage site. Leaving this fact apart, this a very tourist place where salsa, reggaeton and rumba are all around 24/7.

Speaking about the Caribbeans, the Tayrona National Natural Park shouldn’t be omitted at all. Everything is collected there at one and the same place. You laze down on virgin beaches, walk in the jungle, see a variety of animals, and meet antique people. And your life is full of quietness and joy. Just imagine a small fishermen’s village with a long beach which ends in turquoise water … like being at the end of the world. Local women make pretty bracelets and bags while men go fishing. There are no beds, no electricity, no water but only hammocks suspended between two cocoa trees. You are lying in one of them,  drinking coconut milk while the gentle sea breeze is petting your skin and you’re gazing at the horizon where blue (sea), yellow (sand) and green (palms  and vegetation) say hello to one another … Oh, Jesus … 🙂

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