San Gil had been recommended to us by our coffee tour guide Juan as I asked him if there was anywhere we could stop on our way north. He told us of San Gil and explained that it was quite the adventure place where you could raft, paraglide, trek and mountain bike. It sounded like Colombia's version of Banos. So we thought why not?
We had been rattling through Colombia; San Gil was our fourth Colombian city / town within the week. It was approaching the end of Earl's trip so we wanted to get as much done and see as many places as possible; this often meant we were getting a night bus then in a city for one night and then a night bus again. It worked quite well though as it gave us pretty much two full days in each place. I understand getting no sympathy when I say this but travelling at that speed can take it out of you we were up early every morning and doing stuff, so I was glad when we hit San Gil and I could relax. Through my travels across Asia, South America and Australia I had done the majority of the extreme sports on offer around the town so I wanted to take this opportunity to chill by the hostel pool, try and get rid of my t-shirt tan and finish Clash of Kings.
The bus to the small Colombian town was good, we were back without plug sockets but I didn't mind as I had loads of leg room and my seat reclined more than any other seat I have had on the South American tour and it didn't automatically come forward with me if I sat up like all the others had done recently. The one tragedy of the trip though was me losing the button off my travel shorts. I didn't realise until we were walking to the hostel and my shorts kept sliding down, a first I thought wow Adi you must be losing wait, good lad, then I realised that my shorts must be undone but as I went to fasten them I realised the button was missing. Luckily I managed to make the hostel without my kegs dropping around my ankles exposing my banana boxer shorts to all of San Gil. The hostel was nice. When looking for a hostel there wasn't many to choose from but this Sam's VIP Hostel had drawn us in because of the swimming pool I planned to relax by for the next two days. The picture was pretty deceptive as when we got to the hostel the roof top pool turned out to be nothing more than a massive Jacuzzi but it would still suit my needs of chilling in San Gil's soaring heat. A trip to the supermarket to stack on supplies was needed first and I was most shocked that the big supermarket we visited didn't sell eggs, which was my plan for breakfast, luckily the butchers next door did. On our walk to the supermarket we got to see Santa Cruz cathedral and Parque El Libertad. Then it was time to put my plan into effect as I made my way to the pool and read about the escapades of Arya, Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon Snow in the boiling Colombian sun.
Google told me the weather for the day would hit a high of 28 degrees. I'm not so sure they were right though as upon the roof it felt like it was the sun. Reading 100 more pages and dipping in and out of the pool to cool down I retreated downstairs for a Cheese, lettuce and tomato sarnie. It turned out though the few hours I had in the sun had burnt all of my body to a crisp, well all of me apart from the bits covered by my arms reading the book. I looked pinker than Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. Retreating to my room I read a little more only to wake up once the sun had set, to be honest it was probably wise that I didn't go out in the blistering heat again. I'm not sure if it was the sun that had got to me but for tea I decided to be a tad healthy and prepare myself a salad consisting of red onion, tomato, carrots, lettuce, sausage and mayonnaise. It was pretty decent, it may have lacked a cucumber but all the ones at the supermarket were huge and more reminiscent of donkey's genitals. The night was petty child out and productive, I booked some flights which were a great weight off my mind I was looking for a plan for a while and finally I had one in place. I won't spoil the surprise though for you blog readers. I also managed to update the dream team competition, read a chapter of Clash of Kings and watch the first episode of season 2.
Check-out wasn't until 2pm, so for the first time in ages we got chance of a lie-in something Earl took full effect of not waking up until gone midday. I was up at a more reasonable hour of 10am, and after a fried egg sandwich and assessing my sun burn I opted to chill out and trudge more some more pages of Clash of Kings. This time as I read about the Starks, Lannisters and Greyjoys I avoided the sun as much as possible. It wasn't as hot as the previous day and in truth a tad overcast but my body was still as pink as the Pink Panther so I hugged the shade around the pool. By mid-afternoon and after a cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwich lunch I had read the final pages of Clash of Kings and finished the 969 page novel. Though pleased to have finished the book it left me in the same pickle I had found myself in after finishing the first - needing to find a book exchange with the third instalment - A Storm of Swords. I did though have the second season to watch to cure my Game of Thrones fix, which I started as soon as I returned from the supermarket run for bus snacks later on that evening.
After an episode or two of the popular TV series and my left over salad from the previous night, it was time to head to the bus station where we would travel north and I would be the closest to home I had been in a long way. We would be going to Santa Marta on the north tip of Colombia.
So until next time stay safe and take care