500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Six miles in the Colombian jungle

Yesterday, we signed up for a guided tour to a waterfall done through the Buga Hostel where we're staying. There is a local guy, Pipo who runs inexpensive tours to several nearby locations.

There was one other couple who went with us, Courtney and Joel from Florida. The five of us met in the lobby here and then walked a few blocks to take a local bus into the countryside.

We were on the bus only about 20 minutes.

Colombian countryside from the bus window.

When we got off the bus, we started out on a country lane.

You can't tell from this picture, but this man looked really old.

It wasn't long, and we were in the jungle!

We were headed for the Cascada de los Milagros (Waterfall of Miracles). We weren't sure how far it was going to be, but we had read that the whole experience would last between 4-6 hours.

Beautiful scenery, but we were surprised once again that there wasn't much bird life.

Another rickety old bridge to cross.

I know I say this every day, but everything is so green!

Yep, this is the jungle.

Roadblock.

We were getting close to the falls when we were stopped by a roadblock. A big tree had fallen and of course taken a lot of vines and other stuff down with it and had completely blocked the trail. The jungle is very thick and you would need a machete to cut your way through it all. Plus, you have to be careful of which plants you touch because some of them are poisonous. We found a way to climb over the tree itself, but it wasn't easy. I should have taken a video of that...you all would have thought we were crazy! Maybe we are.

After about an hour and a half in the jungle, we arrived at the falls. I took several pictures, but it's hard to fit it all in, so we'll show you this short video instead....


The others decided to get wet. They said the water was cold, and the force of it coming down was painful. Sorry, that's not for us!

Our guide Pipo, standing under the waterfall!

This cute little fellow started walking with us near the beginning of the trail and stayed with us the whole hike.

We did see some wildlife though...

This pretty butterfly has see through wings!

Butterfly on a flower.

I think the look on this bird's face is funny,

A hummingbird.

It was a good day. We ended up doing a total of 10 kms (6 miles) in the Colombian jungle. Pipo was a good tour guide. We paid 15,000 pesos ($7.15 CAD) each for the tour.

When we got back to town it was about 3:30pm. We had spotted a lunch place the other day that advertised lunch for 5,000 pesos ($2.40 CAD) each. We were a bit late, (lunch here is typically served between 1-3pm) but the lady said that was fine. She said she had one serving of pork left and one serving of beef. We said that was fine, and sat down.

She brought out a big jug of juice...enough for two glasses each. Then, she brought out a big bowl of soup. We finished that off, and she brought out the meals. A big plate with rice, beans, the meat, and some kind of strange pickled banana thing. We were stuffed! I went to pay the bill, and sure enough it was 5,000 pesos ($2.40 CAD) each! 

Sure, grocery prices are cheap here, but we're still amazed by the restaurant prices.

Travel day today! We're going on a four hour bus ride to the city of Popayan. Have a great Friday!

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And in Canada...




28 comments:

  1. Love the trip through the jungle, do not think I would want to stand under the waterfall either, fun to watch others. Good price on meals, why stay in at that price.

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    1. Enjoyed the hike and watching both Pipo and Joel stand under the waterfall. Pipo did the best but said the water definitely hurt and was cold. That part just didn't sound fun to us, we may be crazy but not that crazy! ;-)

      We agree, it's just not worth it to make a meal when one can be made fore you at that price.

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  2. Wow. What an amazing hike. The video is awesome. You two crazy...no...😎

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    1. Yes, we really enjoyed the hike but we would have loved to have seen the howler monkeys and more birds but I guess it wasn't in the cards for us. At least we weren't crazy enough to go stand under the waterfall. ;-)

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  3. What an awesome day you had again !
    Great pictures.

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    1. That's George, we really did have fun.

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  4. What a great jungle day! The bridge reminds us of our covered bridges. Love the foliage, stream, waterfall, wildlife, and just enjoying nature - so peaceful. Top it off with a great meal. I'd say JACKPOT!

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    1. Yes, the bridge reminded me of the covered bridges back in Canada and the US. I guess they covered it to help preserve the wood longer and to help keep it dry so that it doesn't get slick from all the dampness there.

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  5. Great trip:) I think I would have worried more about snakes than the plants when getting over the road block. I suspect that the dog was hoping to be adopted:)

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    1. Haven't seen any live snakes at all on this trip. We have seen a few smaller ones that we saw dead on the road but to be totally honest when we have gone hiking we haven't even thought about them. Have thought about spiders a bit though!

      I think the dog was doing quite well with his home, he just liked to tag along on the hike. As soon as we got back to his house he didn't continue on with us to the main road and bus.

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  6. Fabulous butterfly header shot. It certainly is green.

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    1. Thanks Contessa, all the green is due to all the rain! Luckily the rain seems to start whenever we get back from being out and about, so it really hasn't affected any of our plans much.

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes it was but it would have been even better if we had seen some howler monkeys that live in that area.

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  8. Fantastic! Love the video and the butterfly with the see though wings. Can't decide if I would have gone up under the waterfall. As much as I love them I might have. Those are some really fine restaurant prices and what a meal for two for $5. I might never cook again.

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    1. We loved that butterfly too, it reminded me of ones I used to make in primary school with oiled tissue paper.

      You love the water lots so I could see you doing it. Apparently the force of the water is pretty powerful and is quite painful, even Pipo didn't stand under there for long.

      The price of the meal is great but it doesn't take long before they all taste the same, plus we miss our own cooking. Still it is hard to beat those prices.

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  9. Replies
    1. Yep, he was a sweet little thing.

      Lots of butterflies here, to bad they can't settle down long enough for us to get a picture of them. We saw one HUGE blue one on the same day but it just keep on fluttering by.

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  10. Love the butterflies! The one in your header photo looks like a species we may have seen in Belize. The jungle is amazing, isn't it? Love that you had a canine hiking companion!

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    1. I think we may have seen one similar to this one in Mexico too. W enjoy the jungle too, just wish we could see even more wildlife.

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  11. That big black bird is a Bare-faced Ibis.

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    1. Thank you Elaine. I tried to see if I could find out what it was but I was trying egret not ibis and nothing was coming up, never thought of Ibis.

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  12. We think the hummingbird is a Rufous-tailed.

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  13. The dogs do that here in Costa Rica too. They love to accompany anyone going on a hike!
    Good thing we don't mind rice and beans, we're eating lots of it...served with various types of meat. :-)

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    1. Same with Mexico too! We love the company. :-)

      Yep, that is the basic meal here as well, just wish that they had some salsa to add to the meal. The food is good but it is bland.

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  14. Wonder where the birds are? Different part of the jungle, maybe? I always think a hike is more interesting if birds and other critters can be spotted. Oh well, not every hike has critters. I bet the video (if you'd taken one) of going up 'n over the downed tree would be hilarious! No insect bites? That's what always gets me :- (

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    1. The birds are probably there but are just well hidden. Maybe if we sat around for a while we might have seen some. Apparently they are normally better in the morning or in the evening. We were told that there were howler monkeys in the area but unfortunately not while we were there. The video, I am sure would have been funny had Kevin thought to take one. Nope, no insect bites!

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