The Lost City Trek
This was what we were really looking forward
to. We had our
2 original guides (with us throughout) and 2 new ones.
As our new guide explained, the mountains we could see were off limits, a place of refuge for those persecuted during Spanish colonisation. We were allowed to the Lost City, which is closed to all but locals during September only. September is a time for cleansing and restoring the sacredness of the Lost City.
Other conditions apply to any Lost City visit: no archaeology or anthropology ar eallowed. Originally, sacred graves were disturbed and gold and other artefacts removed. Now all is to remain, maintaining the Lost City ambience.
The people hidden in the Sierra Nevada de
mountains have recently emerged from their centuries (since
isolation to help the world in its time of need. From the BBC
Baker article, ‘The younger brother is damaging the world. He is
on the path of
destruction. He must understand and change his ways or the world
In 1990 the Kogi, who ‘will mainly avoid your eyes and never speak to you’, reluctantly contacted the outside world via their mamos and made the film, ‘From the heart of the world: The elder brothers’ warning’. Two decades later, as the rest of the world accelerates the destruction of the world they made a sequel, ‘Aluna’.
The Kogi beliefs and world knowledge is staggering and it is not surprising they avoid contact with us.
Day one of the trek was a day of adjustment as we started walking in heat and humidity with the cold of the mountains long forgotten. Numerous fruit stops and water stops ease the burden as we trek up and down towards camp two. Lunchtime involves a swim in one of many stunning natural pools. Cool and totally refreshed we sit and ready ourselves for the next leg to camp. We had already seen a lovely parrot snake and we, like everyone else photographed this angry little snake, mouth wide open. Caroline spotted a bird of prey with a long thin piece of meat in its mouth, seconds later realising it was carrying another snake. Sadly, too quick for a photograph but according to our guide Balthasar it is really good luck for Caroline. So the morning was beautiful sunshine, butterflies and birds.
The afternoon was torrential rain and sticky deep mud; much harder walking. Still we made good time and arrived at a very full camp. The beds are single mattresses, in a cot system with full mosquito nets but no walls or privacy. We called this tour the anti-marriage, anti-sex tour. Still, a day of walking put us to sleep readily enough.