We arrive in the Bogota airport wary of the "world`s most dangerous drug", the one where captors blow it into your face, rendering you so placid you help them rob yourself, harm other people, rob banks with candy bars and frozen loafs of bread, etc. and wake in the morning or even days later without any recollection.
In fact, it´s clean, just as the Nicaragua airport was clean, and we have no trouble at all. The people are nice. The signs are easily read. The cocaine is fabulous (just kidding, you´d think the entire country was made of one big white sandcastle, but alas, that is a myth). So we start in the mountains and there is a dewy mist, cloud forest, a long walk in the cold with our sweaters bundled but our backs sticky from the journey, stray dogs follow us, we have water but nothing else, we arrive in a national park that is most treacherous, no signs, nowhere to go (down to the valley and other towns, up to the summit where no one lives, what kind of park is this anyway!!), we climb through thick jungle for hours, lamenting, wishing we had machetes, peeing in bushes and scared of animals biting our bare white butts, complaining, should we have turned left or right, was it your fault or mine, God will we be alive come nightfall? Where did the path go, where did our minds go, the visibility is less than 3 feet in any direction and any grab to a tree is a potential snake´s lair. We are dirty, tired, scared, and finally hours later come upon a sign that doesn´t mean what it says, but there are ducks and turkeys gobbling and llamas and a nice farmer who points us up the summit, says three more kilometers and we will be safe.
We descend upon a lodge, we eat fried dough and try to catch our breath, we`re served lemonade with no sugar, it`s merely lemon juice, and the llamas start eating other people`s picnics and we jump on the strongest horses in the world who slip up a forty-five degree angle slick with moss, somehow, someway we get on a van to a bus to a collectivo to a long walk home and that´s before the craze Jafakian (that`s Fake Jamacain) kicks my traveling partner because he won't follow him to buy a knife or drugs or whatever the hell he is trying to sell and I shout his name and we run in the other direction, but we aren`t scared, we are happy and safe and sleep in our sweaters because these are the misty mountains and this is Bogota and we will be spending New Year`s in a neon street party in Cartegena on the coast and have booked a sailboat which will stop on islands on our way to Panama and my sunburn has just begun.
There are many stories to tell, and even more to make...I hope you are having a Happy New Year and I will write soon!