How to have a gluten-free trekking holiday (like the one in Cosmopolitan)

September 24, 2019

I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar sight in this month's Cosmopolitan magazine. Was it an old friend? Well, sort of. It was Ciudad Perdida in Colombia, otherwise known as The Lost City, and it's where I went on honeymoon.


You might wonder why a coeliac would go to a remote area where the food might not be gluten-free. I don't speak Spanish and many locals don't speak English. Plus, it's not exactly the place for good mobile phone reception when you need Google Translate. But hey, what the heck! A honeymoon's only meant to be the best holiday of your life, right?


And it looked like it would be exciting. Who doesn't want to discover a lost city in 4 days? (N.B. You can choose a longer time to do it in but then you'd miss those lovely 5am starts.)


So if you're considering an adventure holiday (ahem, not honeymoon - more on this later) and you've got to keep things gluten-free then keep reading. You might just be pleasantly surprised (on the diet front, that is). The trekking part is another matter...


 This is me attempting to trudge through a river without getting wet (I was unsuccessful).


So here I am wading through water. Given the fact I'm already wearing a hairband, it's probably already the second day of the trek. (The water that came out of the showers was brown. Unsurprisingly, I chose not to wash my hair.)


Then came the local wildlife. Here is what I can only describe as a rather annoying chicken.


 The chicken in the loo. Yep, he's watching.


But no matter! What's a chicken in a loo when you've got a lost city to find?!


Ah, that's better! An exciting bridge to cross.


So onwards we all trekked (note that's ALL of us and not just the two us - we wouldn't dream of being so romantic on a honeymoon as to be alone). Let's just take a look at the accommodation, shall we?


 This is me fighting to get comfy. I wish I could tell you it worked.


This photo shows a rather damp hammock and mosquito net, which were meant to form my bed for the night. I must have managed to sleep because at one point I got woken up by a wild boar brushing underneath me as it wandered through the place. Good times.



 This path looks easy. Who said this was difficult?


Once again, more trekking. And I bet you're wondering what I did for food. Well, let's just say that plain and simple fayre was available and it was naturally gluten-free. Oh all right, not all of it, but some very salty fish and boiled rice was on offer, which I washed down with a can of Coke because I didn't trust the local brown water (although I guess it must have been used to cook the rice, so I probably shouldn't have cared). 



I don't think I minded my shorts had got soaked in a river at this point. But I do think I began to realise it wasn't my dream honeymoon. That rather steep incline went on for a bit more than once.


I will enjoy myself. I will. I will!


There's nothing like a spot of rain to liven up a honeymoon! That backdrop is amazing, though.


And if you're wondering what on earth possessed me to do this trek, given I could have been on a beach sunbathing, then maybe this photo will persuade you. Yep, it's the place we'd been waiting for all along...



And here I am at the wall...



Of course, one cannot remain at the beautiful place for long so we trekked back to relative normality. But as you can see from the next photo, I didn't seem too bothered.