25.02.2013 - 26.02.2013
What a difference a day makes!
The drive from Bucaramanga to San Gil was spec-tac-u-lar. Photos will be up soon on our Facebook pages.
We climbed and climbed into the Andes through a dry landscape full of cacti, agave, and cool scruffy, tough trees, with goats and cows beside (and in) the road. Rushing rivers and a small village were visible waaay down below in the canyon. Even at altitude, we saw 107 F, with intense sun. It is evident that we are getting close to the equator.
As the road made its way to the other-facing slope, the vegetation was more lush and green, including coffee farms, and the temp dropped to the 80s.
We reached a high of 2000 meters before dropping down into San Gil, a bustling little town with a feeling of stepping back in time. It is set on a hillside beside a river. We entered on the high side, and in finding our way to a hotel, were faced with some incredible descents. The sorts of streets that often appear in my nightmares, better suited to be steep staircases. The locals had a good time watching us negotiate the narrow streets--the Jeep always attracts a lot of attention.
We are staying in an OLD (18th century?) hotel. High ceilings, courtyard, window opening onto the street. Next to the town square and a cathedral whose nice bell rings every 15 minutes. And . . . our first hot water showers in South America!
Found a great place for breakfast. Killer coffee and huevos. And it seems to be the morning hangout for all the older men to come shoot the shit over coffee. They all loved the pups and made a fuss over them.