December 29, 2013
After a somewhat late start spent having a leisurely breakfast and lounging around the hammocks of Hostal Campobello, we drove to Sylvia, a small town about an hour away from Popayan through spectacular mountain scenery. Sylvia is in Guambino country, an indigenous population that live a traditional lifestyle as they have for centuries.
We walked around Sylvia for about half an hour (it’s quite small), had lunch and then split up. My husband courageously took four girls ages 8 to 12 horseback riding through the surrounding countryside, while the three remaining adults (our friends and I) took Saige, our 3 year old into the heart of the Guambino reservation by jeep over unpaved roads. The scenery was breathtaking (as is becoming normal on this trip) and we enjoyed mingling with the locals and admiring their traditional clothing.
As much as I enjoy learning about indigenous cultures, I have to admit that the highlight of this day was fulfilling a wish I had since this trip started – to ride hanging off the back of the jeep holding on for dear life as I have seen local men do. The locals stopped and stared as our jeep sped through unpaved mountain roads with a crazy gringa hanging off the back. The ledge that I was standing on was rusty and cracked and I worried about falling off at various junctures but I loved every minute of it. The feeling of freedom was intoxicating! You only get to live once.