Our last day in the mountains was beautiful, we woke to sunny skies and warm temps. The hike out of Laguna Verde was mellow as we climbed the grassy ridge manicured by all the grazing sheep. The thought of food and touching base with our loved ones had us anxious to get back to the small town of Cocuy.
What we thought was going to be a quick short day turned into an all day slog, we crested the last pass and could see the road we need to walk out on bellow us; which would take us to a hacienda were we could call a 4x4 from town to pic us up. We reached the road and around every bend was more road for as far as the eye could see, each corner was a kick in the balls. We split our last can of tuna 4 ways and divide up a hand full of crackers for lunch and walked on.
Along the way we crossed paths with several groups of indigenous people on horseback making there way back into the mountains, a couple days prior had been a huge festival in town and everyone we came across looked like they had partied pretty hard.
The first sight of the hacienda in the distance was a huge relief, by now the sun was getting low and we knew we did not have much time left to get a lift. The caretakers were super nice and made some calls which had us bouncing back to Cucoy in an old Mitsubishi trooper as the sun set.
Our time in the mountains of Colombia will be cherished for the rest of our lives, meeting Ana and Miguel was increadible, it felt like we have know each other for our whole lives. They live lives that we aspire too, keeping things simple and living healthy with little dependency on outside services. The local people we met in the mountains were the nicest we encountered so far on the trip, to think that the areas we explored were off limits and war zones only 10 years ago was humbling, we have never felt more welcomed and safe than we did in the high sierras.
We were sad to leave but warmer temps were calling us, Ana and Miguel had recommended some water falls and hiking deep in the southern corner of Colombia outside of a town called Mocoa. We rode in the rain for the better part of two days before reaching Macoa, it was a hectic little town with millions of motorcycles buzzing around, we found a nice hostel and suited up for some waterfall swimming.
About an hour into the hike I had what felt like a rock stuck in my boot eating away at my heal, I put if off stubbornly but once I started getting bad itches and sweats I knew something was up, I have some severe allergies to bug bites and sure enough there was an ant tearing apart my foot. I forgot to bring my Epi Pen with me and by now was deep in the jungle about to have a full reaction. All we could do was start running hoping to get back to the hostel before it got real bad, we made it to the trail head and caught a ride in a truck just as my entire body was swelling with hives. I took some benadril hoping not to use my Epi Pen since I only had one with me. Jordan left for a minute only to return and find me passed out on the floor with a used Epi Pen and the sink full of vomit. I had never had that bad of a reaction and got lucky, crazy to think how a tiny bug can take you down so easily.
I fell asleep for a solid 20 hours and jordan caught up on laundry and family, we had commitments to be in Cusco in a couple weeks to spend some time with Jordans dad and sister so we had to hit the road, leaving the jungle explorations behind for another time.