Australian Cogswell visits South America

Claire Cogswell, from Australia, with a companion is visiting four continents in 365 days.  So far, she has been visiting in South America, including Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Columbia.  At first her blog, Cogs Watch, was mainly about the food, but recently have become more interesting.  Recently she trekked in to and out of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta’s ‘Ciudad Perdida’, or ‘Lost City’ in Columbia.  She traded the Havianas for walking shoes and set off with Miguel and his brother Diego, two local guys working for Sierra Tours.  It took three days and about six somewhat challenging river crossings to get to the site, and then you turn around and do it all again, this time in two days.  The only signs of civilization are a few indigenous-used huts, and a group of machine gun clad soldiers, stationed there for two months to protect the site against looters.  Apart from the ruins themselves, the Colombian scenery was again at its best. Each time we huffed and puffed our way to the top of a hill we were rewarded with stunning views of the lush jungle below, or with a dip in a natural waterfall. What was also quite remarkable was how intact the indigenous lifestyle is. We saw plenty of seemingly thriving communities, large families, most in the traditional white dress, living off the land. Interestingly, it appears the government has given the indigenous communities some say as to the monitoring of tourists on the trail. At one point our guide was required to provide a list of names and nationalities at a community check point.  In the middle of all the beauty, a real-life cocaine factory where tourists can "learn" about the nasties that go into cocaine production.  Shown below are Claire (not sure which is which) and her companion with two local children.  Also Miguel, one of the guides, on a river crossing.

About mcogswell2

I am a retired minister of the United Church of Canada. I am currently Editor of the Cogswell Courier, the newsletter of the Cogswell Family Association.
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