The Sweitzer Family: Colombia
The adventurous family with aspirations to travel the world is back with their first trip update. The Sweitzer’s, hailing from Missouri, have traveled across the US and visited many Utah National Parks, including Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and Arches National Park. Then they traveled even further west to the beaches of California. They left the US to explore the Mayan jungle ruins of Palenque, Mexico. They then headed further south to document the architecture and history of the Spanish Colonial City of Antigua, Guatemala. Finally, they continued to Columbia, where Steve updated us on their journey thus far.
Expedition SPS is 4 months into the journey and only upon reaching Colombia, South America, did we feel like we had really begun our adventure. I'm not discounting the first 4 months at all. I mean, come on, we hiked and photographed the gorgeous US National Parks of Utah, explored the Mayan jungle ruins of Palenque, Mexico and the Spanish Colonial City of Antigua, Guatemala among many others. But I think until we reached Colombia, we were just tourists trying to see as many sights as we could each day. We weren't accustomed to this way of living…yet. We had not left.
Colombia was a whole different story. We weren't prepared to like Bogota so much with it's welcoming vibe, or it's vibrant street art scene that rivals anywhere in the world. The remote beaches of Tayrona accessed on foot through the jungle or, by boat are worthy of a Jurassic Park sequel and we half-expected to see a Velociraptor at every turn. Exploring the mountain jungles of the Sierra Nevada range above Minca was a history lesson unto itself. Land where coca plantations and narcos once flourished now grow coffee and vegetables that supply customers far and wide. During our hikes we used the epix and fēnix 3 for GPS guidance, altitude, distance, and constant check of temps that exceeded 105 °Fin all locations.
We are now in Cartagena, The Walled City. Construction of the walls began in the 1500's to protect the port from pirates and unfriendly nations eager to plunder Colombia's vast treasures. While here, we hired a boat and sailed the Islands of Rosario for 3 days. It is a coral archipelago made up of 27 islands and islets 40 miles off the coast of Cartagena. During our sailing trip we realized that it was Colombia and its people who finally showed us how to transition from being tourists to being adventurers. And to the previous countries and wonderful people we've met prior to our arrival in South America, we can only say, it wasn't you, it was us.
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