During my 9 months in Colombia, I had many adventurous experiences. Too many to count but these 3 experiences crossed over to the craziest/scariest territory. The kind of experiences when your heartbeat starts racing, survival instinct kicks in, your life flashes before your eyes. There’s a fine line between being adventurous and being stupid and I crossed(almost) that line on these below 3 occasions. I think I am addicted to adventure and I don’t feel fulfilled until and unless something adventurous doesn’t happen during my travels haha. So here’s my 3 crazy travel experiences in Colombia. Read on!
CRAZY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES STORY 1: A NIGHT OUT
In the first crazy travel experience in Colombia, I am going to talk about my Couchsurfing experience in a city that shall remain nameless. This city has nothing to offer as far as tourism is concerned but I was still looking forward to visiting the city because of my Couchsurfing host. My Couchsurfing request was accepted by a teenager who has been hosting for several years now. I have never been hosted by such a young individual and he has good references too. I love meeting all kinds of people because I truly believe that one can learn something from each and every one. My host is pursuing law and politically active. He doesn’t have parents and lives with an eccentric artist. I guess that goes without saying since all artists are eccentric. I reached late at night at my host’s place. He and his friends welcomed me, They are in the 18-20 age group. They were doing some sort of experiment with glass bottles. When I asked one of his friends. He said they are making “Bomba”. Just so I don’t misinterpret it. I asked “Do you mean “Bomb” and he nodded. I just looked at him and tried to unheard what I just heard. I asked my host and he explained. There was a protest happening in the city against police brutality and these college students are going to held a protest against the police. They have been preparing themselves in the worst-case scenario with bottle bombs. So we even went to a small ground nearby to test one of those bottle bombs. I was just following and observing them like a journalist. These young lads had such high-level energy that I was so overpowered by it. These bottle bombs were not just for the protest which I find out later. After doing our little experiment, My host invited me to tag along with them to a place where I am going to see something really interesting. I just went with the flow. We were 6 people. A couple, me, my host and 2 guys. It was after midnight. After walking for good 90 minutes we reached a spot where my host explained the dynamics. So he instructed me to be with the couple from the group and if the police asked me anything I should not speak a word in Spanish and let them handle it. Okay so I had only one question “Where the hell police came into the picture?” So he explained to me further that I and the couple are going to maintain a good long distance from the other 3 guys including my host and we all will meet them at a designated spot which the couple knows and then we will take a taxi back home. Okay, so it checked all the boxes of sounding like a heist. While the 3 guys went away, I have been filled with the rest of the details by the couple. They pointed me towards a big banner with a political figure. The huge banner was partially burnt. When they asked me “Can you guess who burnt that banner”. I understood their plans. They are going to complete their previously incomplete job with the help of bottles bombs. I was too excited to think about it logically. For me, it felt like I was a part of some kind of revolution even though I had a very faint idea about this political figure and Colombian politics in general. Shortly, I saw the flames were burning the poster. It was such a striking sight. We met the guys at the designated spot and we took a taxi back home. The guys were not happy since their little operation did not quite hit the mark. The guys were disappointed but not hopeless. They were already planning to return and complete the job. I feel I was lucky to be able to experience the energy and the thought process of these young lads. Surely a crazy travel experience!
CRAZY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES STORY 2: DEADLY(ALMOST) TREK
My next crazy travel experience in Colombia. It is one of the toughest treks of my life. Scratch that. The toughest trek of my life! Not because it was difficult neither it was long but still it felt like “It is the last day of my life”. Here’s what happened. So I was doing the Barichara- Guane- Villanueva- Jordan- Los Santos trek. I was on the second day of my trek. I spent a night at Villanueva after hiking from Barichara. My plan was to reach Jordan and if I had ample energy then even went all the way to Los Santos and stay a night there. So I left for Jordan early in the morning. The way is not at all difficult and after walking for more than a couple of hours I reached a viewpoint. From this viewpoint, one can see the beautiful view of Chicamocha Canyon. I was so hypnotised by the view that I lost track of the time and something else. I finally left from there to continue my journey to Jordan. I had to climb down the mountain to reach Jordan. Simple, Right? It was such a hot and humid afternoon. Under the scorching sun, I started my descend. It is a desert mountain with no plants or trees. Just some shrubs and a lot of cactus! After 20 minutes, I had the strong urge to drink water and it turned out I forgot my water bottle at the viewpoint. I decided to continue my journey anyway. After another 20 minutes, I couldn’t able to take the heat anymore. I removed some clothes from my bag and wrap them around my head to save myself from the heat. My throat was literally going numb. I just continued walking without thinking too much. I don’t know when but at a certain point it felt like I lost control of my body and it is just walking to survive. The survival instinct was so strong that it has overpowered my body. I knew if I don’t get water soon. I was going to faint. All sorts of thoughts were crossing my mind. Is this the end of me? Am I going to see my family and my country again? It was nothing short of a nightmare. After walking for around two and half hours from the viewpoint. I finally made it to flat land. I was desperately searching for a human being which I didn’t find but I do find a small stream of water. I literally pushed my head into the water. I didn’t care a damn about what kind of water it was. I drank and drank and drank. For me, that spot, at that point in time was nothing short of heaven and the best part was I was not dead haha. After getting my life back, I hitchhiked to the town of Jordan and eat a lot of food. I mean a lot! I felt like I got a new lease on life. After resting for a while, I decided to end my adventure and head back to Barichara. I took public transport back to Barichara and skipped going to Los Santos town. Another crazy travel experience comes to an end.
CRAZY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES STORY 3: A DESERTED PARK
The third crazy travel experience in Colombia: At the end of my post-quarantine travel in Colombia, I booked a ticket to Mexico City from Medellin. I deliberately booked a ticket from Medellin because I wanted to visit the city before leaving the country where I spend almost 6 months of my life in Quarantine. One day, I planned to meet my Turkish friend who was also stuck with me in Medellin during the quarantine period. I told him to meet me near El Volador Hill. It was my second last day in Colombia. Several of my friends from Medellin warned me about going to El Volador Hill in the afternoon but I chose to neglect their warnings. I have been to this park before during the quarantine period but I was unable to explore the park back then as It was closed for the public. I met my Turkish friend and we had tea before going to the El Volador Hill National park. Turkish people and Tea are like synonyms haha. El Volador Hill is the largest park in Medellin. After reaching the entrance(more like a backdoor entrance) of the park, we saw a couple who seems to be choosing not to go inside the park and we chose to ignore them too! So we finally entered the park while reminiscing about our time in Medellin during quarantine and how the city feels so different now after the quarantine. We saw a guy inside the park going in the opposite direction. We were happy to see another human being and our conversation diverted to “how people exaggerate things”. While we were on this topic, we saw another guy. He was a homeless-looking guy but it didn’t bother us. Our conversation diverted again to the homeless guy we befriended during the quarantine period whom we used to talk to almost every day from our hostel’s balcony. We kept going towards the homeless guy in El Volador Hill park. When we were at the safe distance from him, He removed a rather big knife from his pocket. Yep! And the survival instinct kicks in. We just ran in the opposite direction. The Turkish guy was too fast. He was leading me. We saw the same guy whom we saw before and he was coming towards in our direction. I was like “Sh*t we are trapped”. The logical explanation was these two guys are together and now they had us trapped but the Turkish guy ran past him and the guy didn’t do anything. I was so relieved. When I was about to cross him, I warned him about the homeless guy but used the wrong word. I said “Cuchara(Spoon)” instead of “Cuchillo(Knife)” and the guy was clearly confused. I corrected myself immediately and he ran too haha. Then something crossed my mind and I asked both the guys to not go in that direction instead we take the middle path and go downhill towards the main road. They followed me and we made it to the main road. We had a good laugh after reaching the main road but we kept running away (as far as possible) from the park. When we ponder over the incident, we came to the conclusion that the guy wanted to scare us with a knife and get something out of us. He was too weak to run and follow us. My 9 months in Colombia surely came to an end with a rather scary and crazy travel experience!