Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pretty teeth in Colombia

Here's something you may not have known about Colombia: everyone has great teeth. Shiny, straight, white, beautiful teeth. For those of you who know me, and know how obsessed I am with straight, white teeth, you can imagine how much I am enjoying this discovery.

Apparently, dental work is very affordable here, and those who don't yet have perfect teeth have braces. In fact, I have seen more adults with braces in the past week than I have in my lifetime. Turns out it's only about $100 to have the metal put on, and about $25 per tightening once a month. This is outrageous! As you can imagine, I have already heard stories of budget travelers planning on getting their wisdom teeth pulled and fillings replaced while in Medellin. Maybe I should get some work done as well??

Rumor has it that Medellin is also the place to go for plastic surgery. Lots of fake everything. I will be in that city sometime next week; I promise to report back.

For now, I remain in beautiful San Gil, about ready to set off for the long journey to the northern coast. San Gil really is an adventurer's paradise, like Lake Tahoe or Colorado in the summertime: every mountain and river sport imaginable is on offer here. And everything is very affordable, so how could I refuse?

Paragliding yesterday was fun if not a little bit barfy. A group of us went up to a ledge overlooking the canyon of Curiti, and waited for the wind to be just right. Finallly it was my turn to fly.

Strapped tight to my trusty pilot, Jaime, we set off just as it began to rain, and a gorgeous rainbow appeared in the distance. Floating high above the valley far, far below was an amazing experience. Crazy Jaime was all too keen to freak me out though, with tricks and flips and turns and gliding down so close to the trees inside the canyon that my shoe actually brushed some leaves. I was terrified but loved it. As I said, it was a little barfy. But really fun.

And today - again, simply because I am here and it's THE thing to do in San Gil - I went river rafting with two couples from Bogota. Now, it is a universal rule that to be a rafting guide, you must be hot. Our guide Jason was no exception. So don't feel sorry for me, the lone female traveler sounding like a 5th oar. Quite the contrary: cruising the river with a gorgeous rafting guide and his perfect Colombian teeth.... Well, I was just fine.

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