Rimming the Chicamocha Canyon and Sauntering the 150 Year Old Camino Real
Overland from Bucaramanga we rode in a van for 2.5 hours to San Gil with breathtaking views from the winding hairpin curved 2-laned road above the incredible Chicamocha Canyon, staring down several thousand feet at the muddy Rio Chicamocha, eventually moving into areas of blue-green cacti, rich red soil, and lush thick grasses being grazed on by horses and fat cows.
At dusk, we taxied to our new home in Barichara, accompanied by sheets of lightning along with bolts of the same, arriving at Posada Suenos de Antonio, in the dark.
The next morning, in the courtyard off the beautiful rock garden, which was host to potted plants, hanging baskets, mango trees, bird feeders, cacti, all under the open skies, we dined on delicious fresh fruit, hot chocolate, strong coffee, toast and eggs, all the time watching small grey/blue tanagers at the feeding stations.
Following breakfast, we began our 2 hour saunter down the 150 year old Camino Real path to the pueblo of Guane. The rocky, uneven nature required our total attention, trying to avoid stumbling and turning an ankle. We were bordered on our left by a continuous stone wall with lichen coverings, seven rocks high, lined by trees laden with a soft billowy moss. To our right, pastures with cows, goats and some dwellings set back behind gates. We were also regaled by some previous hiker’s whimsy, taking advantage of available rocks to create a Gollum-like character.
Upon arrival in sleepy Guane, we sat at a small corner hideaway, Guayubi, hydrating before the Contrasangil bus arrived to take us back up to Barichara.
We dined later at Don Juan’s: Cabro Provenzal (goat), and Hormigas Culones (fat-bottomed ants, a local delicacy), basking in the night breezes, lightning flashes in the distance, smelling the weather.