Team Not Just Travel take on the Lost City
50 members of Not Just Travel took on a 5 day challenge trek to the Lost City in Colombia, we set out to raise as much money as possible for Mind and made lifelong memories as we did so.
Alarms set for 4:15 am, we were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we handed over our luggage to store at our hotel for the next 5 days with only our essentials in our trekking backpack.
We were split into 3 jeeps, backpacks strapped to the top, and headed off for a 2 and half hour drive into the jungle to the base where we began our first day of trekking! We faced 14km of hiking, with the majority being an uphill battle of uneven terrain.
After a midday lunch stop, mudslides galore appeared around the corner. At first a fun highlight that had everyone sliding all over the place, it soon became an ongoing battle as the night drew in and the light became minimal from our head torches or flashes of lightning.
After a hearty meal and a quick cold-water shower, we bunked down for the night – bedbug spray at the ready!
We awoke at 4:30 am ready to face day 2. Our boots still wet from the night before, we crossed a small river straight after camp and stopped at a local Kogi village to get an understanding of their way of life in their small communities.
After crossing a bridge with some great ‘I’m a celebrity’ style photos, we had a quick pit stop before facing our hardest conquest of the day – an uphill battle with the promise of watermelon at the top! Taking a moment away from the fact you were climbing on your hands and knee’s, there were amazing photo opportunities with mountains lining the landscape for miles, and a serene calmness that made you forget every ache and pain your body was feeling.
Following the riverbed allowed us to have quick cooling stops to soak our hats in water to keep us refreshed and cool. We then reached Teyuna Paraiso Camp, which as its name says, was paradise to us.
Set beside the river, it provided an oasis to swim out in and sit around while catching the last of the sun. We set our clothes out to dry and battled the prehistoric sized spiders to have a welcome cold shower and grab some dinner.
The day we had all been waiting for – The Lost City! The only thing that separated us was a waist-high river crossing, and 1,200 steps – although we were advised it may be a few more…
Once at the entrance, we were invited to take part in a ritual with our Wiwa guide, welcoming us to leave our negative thoughts behind and cleanse ourselves before we explored the once-forgotten City. Only an estimated 10% of this site has been ‘discovered’.
We took time out to take in the spectacular views and reflect on ourselves personally, it really was a life-changing experience and the ritual beforehand allowed you to focus on your surroundings even more.
Today we faced our nemesis from day 1, except this time we got to see it in the daylight! A completely different experience left us shocked at the sheer drops we had narrowly missed in the darkness of day 1.
Known locally as vista hermosa, we sat down and admired the views and enjoyed our first leisure time. Sitting slightly above the clouds, we filled the afternoon with games of Uno and card tricks, allowing us to catch the sunsets that aren’t to be missed! A final wrap up of wounded feet and aching knees, before a chorus of our ‘Jungle Playlist’ we settled into our bunk beds for one final night, a feeling we had grown to love.
Our final morning was bittersweet, we enjoyed our final Colombian coffee taking in the last of the sunrise views.
We made it to the bottom with plenty of time to spare and took time to relax in the river giving our tired legs a soak and bask in the sun.
It was the trip of a lifetime, and we raised a lot of much needed funds for MIND.
Ready to go?
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