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Little Green Boat
Spruce left New Zealand at the end of May 2014. We had a memorable time in NZ, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. We are now in Australia at the end of October 2014.
23/Jul/2012

...and the mules laden with the food ...

News & Updates
23/Jul/2012

Glowing red hot logs, ends burning in the clay ovens: sooty sided pans heating soup, water and coffee. A traditional open sided cook-house. No electricity, nor gas to fuel stoves. Our first Cabana, on the trail to La Ciudad Perdida, nestled in the foothills of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Thirty walkers recovering after a hard day's hike and ready for a good meal. Our party numbered seventeen for the first day, tomorrow four would peel off early to do the trip in four days, leaving thirteen together for most of the trail. Later a decision could be made whether to complete the route in five or six days. The two yachties of the party had already made the decision on the extra day, enabling a more leisurely finish with only one major climb each day.

News & Updates
23/Jul/2012

The main building was rather like a large shed with no walls. The wooden beams and struts supported two long rows of hammocks, each cloaked in a mosquito net, a single blanket draped over the ropes. Long tables with bench seats along each side clustered at one end of the building. Some of the hikers were on their way home, the Lost City visited in the past couple of days. Others still had the bulk of the trek and the final objective ahead of them.
Cockerels began their competitive chorus early, no light yet visible in the sky, the sounds of light snoring, grunts and the creak of beams as sleepers moved to ease backs into more comfortable curves. When one person lurched the resulting shudder of the supporting structure above wobbled several hammocks nearby, the motion rippling along the row. The night was restless for most, unaccustomed to suspension in a hammock, frequent rainfall pinging on the corrugated roof and noises from the forest combined to fragment sleep into fitful spells of slumber.

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23/Jul/2012

The first glimmers of daylight were accompanied by the clunking and muffled clattering from the kitchen crew beginning work; fires to be lit, dough to be made; hungry mouths not yet awake unaware of the hive of activity close by. Steaming hot chocolate or coffee thrust into the hands of those early risers lurking beside the cookhouse. Large bowls of fruit topped with granola, eggs and arepa provided hearty fare to pack in calories for today's toil. Uphill, definitely the case, but surely not as steep at yesterday afternoon's hard trek upwards in blazing sun while carrying packs. The hike would have been difficult in temperate latitudes but tropical humidity added another gruelling dimension.
Rays of sunlight streamed over the peaks and began the impossible task of drying clothes left hanging the previous evening. As if a stage were being illuminated to a carefully choreographed script the trees glowed, wreaths of mist draped over lush green foliage, still dripping from the overnight precipitation. Birds chirped in chorus. Mules stood patiently tethered to trees flicking their tails to ward off the gathering insects; no doubt pondering the coming day of toil hauling our food stores onwards to the next Cabana. Staggering under loads diligently packed into sacks and tied to the wooden X-frames lashed on their backs, mounds of sacking providing cushioning against the weight; hooves carefully picking a safe passage among the stones and rocks as they zig-zag upwards and downwards on impossibly steep routes.

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23/Jul/2012 | Thomas
Great blog and very nice writing!
best regards
23/Jul/2012

Cattle lowed in a nearby farmstead. No Friesians, Herefords or Angus beasts here. Angular shaped animals, looking strange with their large humps behind their hanging heads. Apparently a species imported from Africa and much better suited to hot humid conditions and survival in the tropics.
Breakfast in our bellies, packs on our backs and we set off for the day's hike to Cabana 2. More upwards travel and most disappointingly a significant amount of down, losing height grudgingly gained all too quickly.....(More to follow later)...

News & Updates
Preparation for Next Foray
Andy & Sue
15/Jul/2012, Santa Marta - Colombia

Another early morning walk to stretch the legs. This time in preparation for a hike to "The Lost City", . (La Ciudad Perdida)....

It will be a six day trip with overnight stops sleeping in hammocks beneath mosquito nets. Only about 45 kilometers but with some steep sections and the tropical heat to contend with. Hopefully the higher altitude will mitigate the temperature a little and on most days we should be able to do most of the walking before midday. There won't be any internet in the Sierra Nevada so we'll upload some pictures when we return.


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