Without any of those long weekends we teachers love so much happening in September, I was feeling the itch to travel a bit. Thankfully, others felt the same! In the past two years, Kelsi and I have attempted to go to a place named San Cipriano on a variety of occasions, yet never successfully for a variety of reasons. Most of these reasons related back to us feeling like the process of getting there was just too much to deal with (2.5 hours on a city bus one-way, then hailing a passing bus for the ride home) and we had no desire to stay overnight in a place that had only been described to us as "rustic".
This time around we managed to get 11 coworkers on board for the day trip, so I organized a charter bus to take us there and back. Miracle of miracles, the whole thing went off without a hitch and only ended up costing about $10,000 pesos ($5 USD) more per person than if we had taken the public bus. WIN!
On the bus and ready to go with a great mix of old and new co-workers!
Next we piled out of the van and onto the brujitas. What is a brujita? Possibly the most ridiculous/ingenious form of transportation ever, but then again nothing in Colombia really surprises me anymore. Basically it is a motorcycle hooked up to a wooden platform with benches on it for riders to sit on. If there are more than about 5 riders a second platform is put in front of the first and the motorcycle just pushes that one along in front. I don't think words will do it justice, but hopefully you get an idea from the picture.
Boarding the brujita...
A brujita without an extra platform in front...you get the idea.
Looking ahead down the tracks! This part was scenic, but going over the bridges made me a bit nervous!
Once we were actually in San Cipriano we paid a small fee to get into the area where the river is and then found ourselves a place to rent tubes as well as order lunch for post-floating nourishment. We grabbed our tubes, loaded up the cooler and walked upstream about 45 minutes. From there we put in our tubes and off we went! The sun was shining, the river was clean and clear and the company was great! We took our time floating down river, taking time to talk, explore natural pools, ride down some of the rapids and just enjoy the day. At one point we took a serious pit-stop near a rope swing! I love rope swings into rivers and this one did not disappoint! Since the rope itself was located high above the river I found it easy to stay well above the water - long enough for Kelsi to snap a sweet picture!
Ready to go and waiting for the boys to get the cooler situation under control.
The boys finish packing the cooler...
Por fin! They are ready to go!
Into the river!
Loving it already :)
Naturally the cooler needed its own tube.
Rope swings are the best things ever!
After the river we enjoyed a traditional lunch of rice, platanos (smashed plantains), fish and salad before getting back on the bus to Cali. Shockingly, both the man to take us on the brujita and the man driving our bus were waiting for us at the designated places/times. Which worked out great for us, but as I told Kelsi later, probably wasn't the most accurate introduction for the new people to what travel in Colombia is actually like! We were home by 7:30 PM, in time to watch some TV and go to bed exhausted by 9 PM after a day of sun and adventures...
Cannot wait to go again soon!!