Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Horse Track - Tayrona

The horse track - we had been told - was by far the speediest method of arriving at Cabo de San Juan, the cape located at the northern peak of Colombia's most famous national park: Tayrona.

Unfortunately, on the way there we had mistakenly taken the 2.5 hour hike. While the long route was scenic and stunning, we arrived with the sun in a glowing twilight and millions of mosquitoes screaming in our ears.This is a tale, however, of the much more pleasant horse track trail we took after spending the night in a steaming hot tent.

Cabo de San Juan and the jungle behind
The 'proper' path back to the entrance of the national park was marked decisively by a trail of horse manure, which led the way at the many forks and turns in the road. Measuring about one meter wide with walls of dirt surrounding on either side, the track had to by taken in single file. The hike was through a miraculous jungle, seething with life due to the friendly nature of humans in the area. This was in stark contrast to the previous jungle (The Amazon - see this post) which I had been in, where fearful animals were shy and frightened by the often present hunter humans. The cicadas sang, the mosquitoes buzzed and the air was sodden. Due to the small size of my group the wildlife spotting was close to as good as it had been in the Amazon. There were vultures and bush pigs, but most impressively there was a rare species of monkey, only sighted in that part of Colombia, directly above our heads. These monkeys did not see us as a threat. They played with us. They dropped bark from huge trees and engaged us in long staring matches. Their calls were fierce and piercing. Their energy was fearsome, as they launched from tree to trunk to branch.

We moved on with difficulty, as the sun was once again coming down. The end of the path was near and after only one hour. The horse track - so it went - was definitely the fastest method of arriving at Cabo de San Juan

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