Exciting work news was upon us. We had to make our way to Neiva, a smaller and even hotter town about 3 hours south from Ibagué, for a conference and training session. At the point the only thing I had heard of Neiva is that in 2010 and 2011 the town had several bombing incidents and that extreme caution was advised (well done Wikipedia,more of that). So since being a tourist here was not an option, a bunch of us suffered throught training at roughly 35C heat, grabbed our bags and were off for a magical night of camping in the Tatacoa Desert, an arid area of land an hour away. There wasn’t a whole lot of information about Tatacoa, and we really didnt know what sleeping/eating/showering arrangements we will get, if any. We gambled and around 8pm the colectivo dropped us off in darkness at out camping ground. Turns out, the desert has it all- nice hammocks, food and showers (granted the water presssure is as if someone is slowly drooling on you but lets face it, no one showers when they camp).
Our night was spent stargazing, me trying to take decent photos of the night sky and all of us getting freaked out by seeing a white figure slowly coming towards us in the distance. Our guesses ranged from the spirit of a colonial woman to a ghost of a cactus, however in the end it turned out to be an elderly man wearing a white jacket who was going for an evening stroll before bed. We hope he didn’t understand English as our conversation echoed in the emptiness of the night.
The morning had been dedicated to horse riding around the orcher coloured desert. I forgot how much I love horse riding and also how much my bum and legs ache after galloping around for 4 hours. Regardless, one of the most fun weekends so far.