Saturday, January 2, 2016

Tarzan Cliff Dives in the Colombian Jungle (Minca, Colombia)

a thicket of bamboo in the jungle

A taxi winds its way for 45 minutes up the windy mountain road, finally reaching the small town of Minca. Immediately we sett out on the jungle trail. Despite the area being in a major drought, the forest is still a pristine green with waters flowing through it we can only dream of in the desert of Southern California.
jungle flower
Bright jungle flowers greet us with their brilliance, toucans squawk, though remaining elusive, flying away when they spot our movement on the ground below. Leaf-cutter ants transport their cargo to their massive nests, sometimes totaling 8 million individuals, where they farm the harvested leaves for the fungus used to feed their young. Scientists believe new strains of antibiotics will soon be derived from these jungle dwelling ants. 
Termite nests grow around tree trunks, looking out of place, like a bloated brown tumor in the forest.  Like many jungle dwellers, this intrepid explorer decides to make termites part of his nutritious breakfast. (see video)
termite nest
eating Termites straight off the jungle floor- yummy- watch video

Continuing through la selva, I suddenly yell, "Stop!" My watchful eyes have spotted a venomous snake. Wanting harm to come to no one, I dutifully clear the path the only way I know how. 

Indiana Jones hates snakes! 

We soon arrive at some Tarzan like vines. Testing their strength, I determine them suitable transport atop the forest canopy. Watch as I swing to freedom from a group of blood thirsty cannibals.

Tarzan Rich swings to safety over a dangerous valley

the small jungle rio
Alighting from the tree-tops safely by the river, we follow it downstream til we arrive at a gorgeous natural swimming pool being fed by waterfalls. Immediately Tarzan Rich decides to cool off by jumping off the stone ledges into the waiting water below. The lower jump poses no problems, but as I climb to the higher ledge, my heart beats faster as I look below. Not only am I twenty feet above the water, but the cliff juts out at angle into the water, meaning that a slip and fall means anywhere from profound injury to death. 
getting ready to jump! The beautiful waterfall area of Minca
I wind up for the broad-jump, insuring I get maximum horizontal distance away from the rock while decreasing the likelihood of slippage. Tarzan clears the rocks, but not by much. 

Refreshed, and feeling the adrenaline from the daring leap, we hike back through the jungle, spotting a giant toucan from paleolithic times, fossilized high in the trees. Hoping he not wake for an afternoon snack, we hurriedly continue through the forest, thoroughly enjoying our excursion.
fossilized toucan?
flowers for scale

Highlights of the Colombian jungle- portion clips of above videos are in here as well + new


  1. I really enjoyed it...Im glad because Ive read ur latest article .Thanks for posting!

  2. Did you worry about safety much while you were in Colombia?

    1. Hi again Amanda, I really didn't worry too much about safety, but you are constantly reminded of Colombia's past with all the soldiers on the streets with machine guns. Then again, you see me diving from a 20 foot cliff in the video above, so safety is never a really big issue for me anyways :)


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