Ciudad Perdida – A tale of sweat and glory (Chapter 2)

This modern fairytale tells you the story of 2 Belgian wannabe explorers on their first quest for a lost city. Will they find it? Will they make it?
- Written, edited, and published by LVS and CC

Chapter 2: The Donkeys of Doom

– Ft. Christiana Jones and Laura Croft

5AM, the morning sun rises. Time to get up and ready for a second day of extreme sweating and awful stinking. As our two friends were so clever to wash their clothes in the river the day before, they were happy to find them just as wet and smelly as they had left them in the evening. Because Christiana Jones is used to wearing only one shirt per week, he forbade Laura Croft to bring more clothes as well, as he would be the one wearing the slightly bigger backpack, and “the less weight the better” as he kept saying. So they both put on their wet clothes again, knowing that after 10 minutes of hiking, you wouldn’t be able to see or smell the difference with a dry shirt anyway. Except for Christiana Jones’ shirt. It smelled so bad, that Laura Croft asked herself whether she should proceed this quest with or without him. But she pushed through and kept going. His smell however, got so bad that she started to walk faster and faster and without knowing, left Christiana Jones and his smell behind her. Of course, he blamed his slowness to the heavy backpack, but we all know better. He was just chilling and looking for rare birds!

Chrissy bird watching
Looking for birds that aren’t there

It didn’t take long until Christiana Jones secured his favorite position at the back of the expedition again with his 120 kg backpack (including Laura Crofts wet clothes and her fresh water supplies). Around 9 AM, they came across a village of the so called indigenous people who claimed to ascend from the once mighty Tayrona tribe. They dressed rather odd to prove their point and with this same claim they managed to be the only ones in the country, authorized by the Colombian government, to grow coca plants. After the indigenous women pluck and dry the coca leaves, the men chew on them the entire day. Whilst chewing they add ground seashells that they keep in a phallus-shaped pumpkin. This ‘Poporo’ is an important part of the indigenous culture but it goes beyond Christiana’s mind who ever came up with the entire concept. As these local people weren’t very hospitable and didn’t even invite them for tea, they soon left the village behind and continued their quest for the Lost City. 

At 10AM they arrived at Camp 2, where they could enjoy some river swimming and a heavy lunch soup. As they proceeded their hike, they discovered many wild animals like donkeys, pigs, alive goats and one dead goat. But to Christiana Jones’ disappointment he saw no fancy birds except for the common ugly vulture. After a barefoot river crossing, Christiana Jones was fed up with the hike and arrived at camp 3 (last again) with shivering knees.

The entire quest was full of challenges, riddles and dangers but nothing Laura Croft and Christiana Jones couldn’t handle. The most dangerous of challenges by far were the numerous encounters with the fearsome jungle donkeys. These anarchistic animals listen to no one but themselves and abide neither man nor law. Common traffic courtesy is unknown to them and often could usually be found chewing tropic plants in the middle of a narrow mountain path, blocking passage for Laura and Christiana. Our two heroes tried everything to pass, from logical reasoning, angry shouting, emotional begging to the occasional spank on the donkey butt with a walking stick, but nothing could move the fearless creatures. It was not uncommon then to see the two adventurers swinging around a donkey on a liana, hurling like Tarzan but with a higher pitched voice. This wasn’t all. These ruthless donkeys (who apparently remembered the trail to the Lost City, long forgotten by mankind) had left their excrement all over the Lost City trail. Unfortunately this pertinent smell of donkey poo soon penetrated Laura Crofts outfit and quickly became known to the entire expedition, as Laura’s very own jungle perfume (aka Laura’s N°2).

Laura Croft running for her life after an encounter with a hungry jungle donkey on a narrow mountain path..

At camp 3 it slowly became clear that their expedition team wasn’t the only one looking for the Lost City. With 60 people waiting in line for showers and toilets, they had to alter their expectations and they nearly started thinking that this Lost City expedition is actually a commercial walk in the jungle park, luring naive backpacking tourists with a promise of gold and adventure. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a cozy evening with a candle light dinner (nope, they still don’t have electricity in the jungle). 7PM, time for bed. What will happen tomorrow?

Camp2 Candle light dinner
Waiting for dinner by candle light, while being stung by a thousand mosquitos underneath the table. Cozy!

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I am passionate about writing, connection (not wifi, the human one), discovering life to its full glory, and dancing my ass off to Champeta beats.

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