Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rafting in Tobia

Many Bogota residents rarely venture beyond the mountains and hills that surround the capital. Today was my first day to see the Colombian countryside. I traveled over an hour by bus with about 20 fellow-English teachers and friends to the small town of Tobia. I enjoyed looking at the tall, pointy green mountains and deep valleys along the way. It reminded me of the Sierra Maestras in Cuba or the mountains in southern Italy. The bus was moving too fast to capture any good photos so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

It was an all-day trip that everyone seemed to enjoy. My bosses, Adrianna and Oscar, were nice enough to arrange the trip. It wasn’t the type of trip for people who hate getting wet and dirty. A sixteen-year-old local girl guided us up a river, literally. She was quite the guide and had the biggest pair of feet I’ve ever seen on a female. They looked bigger than mine. Anyhow, she tied knots around trees on the sides of a few rock cliffs and aided us as we pulled on the rope up an otherwise untraversable slope. On the river we hopped from one rock to the next. Along the way we swam across a desolate pool of murky water, jumped off the side of a cliff into a water hole, and slid down a smooth rock slide. The hot sun beat down on the warm water.

In early afternoon we walked down a dirt road to another river. As we walked, it began to rain. By the time we put on our life-jackets and helmets, it was pouring and cold. Six people rode with a guide in each big inflatable raft. Everyone had one paddle and one Spanish-English translator. Granted the directions weren’t difficult to translate: forward; back; stop; team. The weather suddenly changed just a little way down the river and it sun shone again. We were the slowest rowers, but no one cared. Well, no one but our skinny, 17-year-old guide. A few times he yelled above us as we conversed in English, not paying attention to his instructions. I liked looking at the steep green mountains and a few woman washing their clothes in the river as we passed by. As we paddled under a bridge, two young boys jumped off, a good 25 feet or so. Other small children swam in the water. One guy on our raft said how he thought it would be fun as a child growing up in Tobia. I had to agree. There were so many outdoor activities and the locals, like most people in the country, lived a low-key and relaxed life. The only activity I saw that we didn’t do was repel along a cable wire high, high above the river, from one mountain peak to the other. We finished the day with a good home-cooked meal by the pool-side where we first arrived. This day only reminded me of how much more I want to see and do in Colombia.


Anonymous said...

Hi Brett, you actually were posing next to Aristides Gomez, a well known Tobiano old-timer. It's good to read that you had a great time in Tobia. I actually was born and grew up there, and can attest that indeed I had lots of fun growing up in Tobia and interacting so closely with the environment and mother nature. Many a times, I swam in the Rivers that drain the region, and actually pioneered the rafting activity by using car tire tubes and daring the rapids down the river with other kids my age. I hope you can go back to visit!

Qing Cai said...

cheap michael kors handbags,
coach outlet store
lebron shoes
abercrombie and fitch
new orleans saints jerseys
new york giants jerseys
air jordan 13
coach outlet online
basketball shoes,basketball sneakers,lebron james shoes,sports shoes,kobe bryant shoes,kobe sneakers,nike basketball shoes,running shoes,mens sport shoes,nike shoes
kate spade outlet
mlb jerseys
new york jets jerseys
louis vuitton handbags
air force 1 shoes
oakley sunglasses,
oakley sunglasses outlet
ghd hair straighteners,
oakley sunglasses,
longchamp outlet
michael kors outlet
iphone 6 cases
ralph lauren uk,
air max 2015
cheap soccer jerseys
chicago blackhawks jersey
oklahoma city thunder jerseys
hollister shirts
mont blanc
nike free 5.0

chenlina said...

true religion outlet
michael kors canada
coach outlet
seahawks jerseys
the north face
broncos jerseys
timberland boots uk
burberry outlet
louis vuitton outlet
tommy hilfiger outlet

Jian Zhuo said...

fitflops sale
polo ralph lauren outlet
true religion jeans outlet
kate spade outlet online
adidas sneakers
yankees jerseys
michael kors outlet store
burberry sale
tory burch sale
dolce and gabbana outlet online

Bilibili said...

Jordan 11
Jordan Retro 11
Kyrie Shoes
Pandora Jewelry Outlet
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Jordan 4
Jordan 11
Pandora Jewelry Official Site
Jordan 11

PalaPala said...

Air Jordan 11
Jordan 4
Red Bottom Shoes For Women
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Jordan Retro
Pandora Jewelry Outlet
Kyrie Shoes
Nike Air Max 270
Air Jordan 9

PalaPala said...

Jordan Retro
Yeezy boost
Nike Air Max 270
Jordan 4
Nike 270
Pandora Outlet
Jordan Retro
Red Bottom Shoes For Women
Pandora Jewelry Official Site