Another transport update

By Oren:

As we’ve mentioned, transport here is very different from England and we are always trying out new ways of getting around. During our last few weeks in Colombia we have done a lot of travelling as we are trying to explore the country as much as possible before we leave. This means that we have lots of updates about modes of transport to tell you about!

transport2When we went to Parque Tayrona, one morning we went on an hour-long walk through the jungle to get breakfast.
We had discussed it the day before and we had decided that we would walk there and then ride on a horse back again! When we got to the horse stable we hired four horses and we set off. My mum had a female horse and her one had a foal who was only two months old. transport2-2Part of the journey it followed us and pranced around in front of my horse. Mine and Brae’s horses were very confident so they always kept on galloping off so we had to pull the reins to stop them. The track involved some really steep hills between huge boulders but the horses knew what to do because they had done it a lot so we felt safe.

From four legs to four wheels…

When we were in a region near Bogotá called Boyaca, we got to go on quad-bikes through the mountains. Before we went on them we asked if I was big enough to drive them and I was! transport2-3My mum tried it first to find out the controls and then I got to drive it. transport2-7I felt so amazed that I was driving I almost forgot to steer and my mum helped me until I got over the shock. We were sharing the adventure with our friend Diana, her husband Ernesto and her brother, Luis fernando. After a while my mum and I swapped with Diana and Ernesto into a buggy and I was allowed to drive that too.

One of the least well planned parts of our trip was our journey to a place called Guatapé. There is a slight pattern to our modes of transport on the way there (after the taxi bit)  – see if you can spot it. First we flew from Bogotá to Medellín but from Medellín airport we hadn’t decided where to go next or how to get there, so we asked a taxi driver how to get to Guatapé. He told us he would take us somewhere to get a bus there so this sounded good to us and we set off. The craziest thing was the place that he left us because he just pulled in on the side of the motorway in the hard shoulder and told us: “Here you go. If you see a bus with Guatapé written on the front wave your hand at it”! So, there we all were on the side of the motorway with all our suitcases and back packs. We waved wildly at the first bus that came by but sadly, it whooshed past. We had more luck with the next bus and it swerved into the hard shoulder and we got on. I had the nearest seat to the door and the driver forgot to shut it for a little bit so there I was next to an open door on the motorway! When we got to a little town quite a long way from Guatapé the bus driver told us to get off the bus because he wasn’t going any further. He pointed over at some old jeeps across the road and told us to take one of those instead! In the end we got into a jeep, put our luggage on the roof and then loads more people got in and it was such a squish that one of the people had to sit with his leg hanging over the side, but finally the jeep pulled into Guatapé. But our journey wasn’t over because we still had to get all our heavy luggage to our hotel, so the driver of the jeep called us a tuk tuk transport2-6(which is basically a motorbike with a carriage stuck on top of it). I couldn’t imagine how we would all fit in but, as we’re getting used to things in Colombia now (often you have 8 or 9 people in a small car) we just piled ourselves and our bags in a big heap until we arrived at our hostel! Did you notice the pattern? Our transport just kept getting smaller and smaller and we were pleased we’d arrived as otherwise we thought the next thing might have been a skateboard!

Now it’s from land to air, because from Medellín we flew to a city called Pereira in the coffee region. The airport in Medellin was closed the day we went there because of hazy weather so we only just got through. When we finally got to our gate we saw our plane and almost laughed.transport2-8 It was a tiny plane with only thirty seats! Luckily it was only a short journey and we didn’t feel cramped, although the take off and landing were a bit strange because the wind blew the plane around (this also kept with our pattern of going in smaller and smaller vehicles).

transport2-4Bogotá also had its own crazy transport. When we went to Montserrate to get chocolate and cheese, we rode up in a cable car and down in the funicular. Just look how steep it is!

I loved all these forms of transport because they were so adventurous and fun, but I will finish this post by telling you about a slightly calmer thing we did because after all that excitement I think it was time for a rest! Take a look at this picture of Brae floating down the river in a tyre again, watching the wildlife, in Rio Don Diego. Half way along the river Brae got hot so we used the umbrella the guide had given us and floated with that on. That day the transport was a bit more chilled – phew!

don diego-7

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