An enthralling journey down Colombia’s great Río Magdalena braiding an ancient past and culture into the wondrous story of a people and country finding healing and rebirth after decades of conflict and war, cocaine cartels and drug lords such as Pablo Escobar. At once an absorbing, intrepid narrative and an inspiring, powerful story of hope and redemption, it is a hymn to a mythic place: the Magdalena, the artery of Colombia. The great river has driven the nation’s life, its stories, its history and trade, its shamanistic traditions, and is at the heart of its literature and music. Yet, as the country suffered through decades of violence in the 20th century, the great river suffered too, becoming the graveyard of the nation, an environmental catastrophe and a human dumping ground for all sides of the conflict. In 2015, Wade returned to the secretive place he had explored as a young ethnobotanist, to lead the first of several expeditions along the giant river; we discover with him the violent, sorrow-filled past and a new present as Colombia embarks on what had previously seemed to the world an impossible change: a life-affirming healing, spiritually and politically, alongside its Indigenous peoples; heart-warming portraits of unforgettable people; the beauty of forests, the power of the river. This is the magnificent, definitive story of Colombia itself, from the conquistadors to the corruption of the 20th century to the new years of long-hoped for peace and stability.