I was really excited to leave the heat and humidity of the Caribbean, so I was frankly a little disappointed at the warm weather that greeted us in San Gil. Don’t get me wrong, it was a relief, but I guess I had imagined wearing my beanie and down jacket at night.. San Gil is the “adventure sports capital” of Colombia. This isn’t the first time we’ve stopped in such a “capital”, but it might have been the most disappointing. San Gil is built on the bank of the Rio Fonce with sloping streets in most every direction. It lacks the charm of Baños, Ecuador (not to mention the encebollado) and the access to wild nature of Pucon, Chile.
We celebrated Sheena’s birthday in San Gil. We asked for a recommendation for a nice restaurant to celebrate, so the hostel owner called up his wife. “Gringo Mike’s” she said. Guess he’s off the hook in the future… Turns out San Gil has a pretty significant hole in the medium- to high-range restaurant category. Luckily, Tuesday night was “tejo night” at the hostel – after eating pizza and treating ourselves with a banana split, we blew up gunpowder mechas at the local tejo court and drank a lot of cheap beer while we were at it.
One of the few activities we did while in town was to take a bus over to nearby Barichara and hike down an old stone path to Guane. Barichara is probably the most picturesque town in all of South America. Just my opinion. The stone streets and uniform rows of buildings are nearly perfect, but still feel real – lived in. This is in contrast to the walled section of Cartagena, which Sheena felt looked an awful lot like Disneyland – too polished.