Published: August 29th 2008August 28th 2008
Ended up having to stay in Cartagena even longer than planned as my debit card wasnt working so had to wait a few days for that! Finally left at 5am on Friday and got a 4 hour bus to Santa Marta and then a taxi to Taganga! An American girl recommended a hostel to me which I went to - soooo nice! Pool, amazing breakfast, hammocks, free internet etc! :o) Was looking forward to trying to get a tan by the pool that afternoon but unfortunately it rained so just went for lunch with some Finnish guys, read and played cards! That night we had a massive BBQ in the hostel which was really nice and a good opportunity to meet people!
Left for Tyrona National Park the next morning, leaving most of my stuff at the hostel so i wouldnt need to carry as much! The Finnish guys were supposed to be coming too but then decided they didnt have enough time so off i trotted on my own! Spent forever in Santa Marta walking through the dirtiest, smelliest markets, looking for a cash mashine as there are no atms in Tyrona! Finally found one and
got on the bus! You can get a boat straight from Taganga which drops you off on the beach in Tyrona (meaning you dont have to walk for hours through the jungle where the bus drops you off) but apparantly its a tiny bit illegal as you then dont pay the admission fee to the park - unfortunately my conscience got the better of me and i got the bus! The police spent ages searching EVERYTHING in my bag at the park entrance, it took ages - they literally opened everything that could be opened - mascara, pack of cards case, sunglassses case, everything! Then they both spent a while trying to persuade me (in Spanish) to marry them which was quite embarrasing so i quickly ran away! I asked the woman at the desk if there was a jeep leaving soon as that takes you part of the way, and she said the walk was only an hour so i decided id just walk! Turns out the jeep only takes you to the point from which you then have to walk for 2 hours! So 3 hours later i finally got the beach overjoyed that i was finally there
- until i saw a map, found the beach where i was going to stay and then saw the "you are here" arrow on the opposite end of the map! Was soooo tired and boiling and then had to traipse all the way along the beaches until i finally got to the beach i was staying! It was soooo worth it though - it was beautiful!
I stayed in a little hut looking over the beach in a hammock! Was so pretty! Ended up in a hammock next to a girl i met in Rio, the only person ive met travelling so far who i have really NOT liked! Typical! She had obviously been there a while and seemed to know everyone so i hid in my hammock for a while until i decided it was ridiculous and it was her problem not mine and i wasnt going to let her ruin my stay! So i started chatting to her and the others, she was quite rude to me but i just pretended not to notice! All the others were English too and really nice! That night at dinner I sat with a German girl who was staying in
our hut, an English guy and a big group of Americans, New Zealanders and Australians which was really really fun! We had dinner, a few drinks and then ended up singing on the beach (NZ guy had a guitar)! It was so much fun, especially as there was a huge thunderstorm (it wasnt raining though, just amazing lightning)! I said as a joke oh wouldnt it be soo cool if we all went skinny dipping, suddenly Brett (Australian guy) was running into sea, Esther (NZ girl) and I followed and suddenly at least 10 of us were in the sea giggling like children! :o) Luckily it was very dark apart from the occasional flashes of lightning which we luckily timed quite well getting in and out! :o) About 1am we borrowed a torch from someone and headed up to our hut! Didnt sleep very well though as it was sooo cold and windy up there at night and i had stupidly left my jumper with Esther! Was very cool though waking up there in the morning - beautiful!
There was no toilet or anything in our "hostel" - there were a few toilets and outdoor showers behind the camping
area and restaurant which was a bit of a pain as it was quite a trek from our hostel especially as our hostel was on top of the rocks so getting up and down was a bit tricky but we got used to it! :o) There was only one restaurant on the beach so it was a bit expensive but nice and everyone chatted to everyone which was really nice!
Spent pretty much all of the next day on the beach with Esther and her boyfriend, Steve (im travelling with both of them at the moment) and Brett! Rented a snorkel and did some snorkelling in the afternoon which was really nice and saw lots of big colourful fish! The next evening we had a much earlier night, especially as my tonsilitus came back, seems Paolas squeezing out the infection only worked temporarily so i gave up and started taking antibiotics and its better now! :o) The next day we were beach bums again although it rained quite a bit so read in our hammocks most of the afternoon! That evening had dinner again together along with an English couple and had a few drinks to celebrate Esthers birthday!
Esther and Steve were supposed to be leaving that day as they had run out of money but i lent them some so they could stay an extra night as Esther wanted to wake up there on her birthday! The next day we spent the morning on the beach and then left after lunch! The walk was a lot nicer this time as i had some company, and we got a jeep to the bus stop so only had to walk for 2 hours this time! :o)
I told Esther and Steve how cool my hostel was so they have come to stay in my hostel now! That night after dinner we had a late night swim, finally had a proper shower and got ready to go out! Yesterday we were just lazy and hung around the pool and booked our Lost City tour and then went out last night with lots of people we met in Tyrona which was really fun! There are a lot of stray dogs here, most of which are really skinny and there was one hanging around the bar last night and i felt so sorry for it that i decided i needed to
feed it somehow! I asked the barman where i could find some food to feed the dog and he told me he would go and get some! Esther thought maybe he knew a butcher who would have left over food although it was really late! The dog left a few times and i had to go and find him and bring him back and then eventually the guy came back with a hot dog, creatively covered in lots of sauces etc., i thought he had made quite a lot of effort with it considering it was for a dog but didnt think too much of it, thanked him, turned around fed it to the dog! I watched the dog happily for a while and when i turned around the barman was still standing there, staring at me with his mouth open and asked me sadly if i didnt like it!!! ooops!! turned out he thought the hot dog was for me and was quite offended when i turned around and gave it to the dog! hehe! i guess i need to work on my accent as he must have thought i said hot dog instead of food for the dog!
We leave for the Lost City tomorrow and it takes 6 days! We bargained a good price and are really excited!!We trek there for 3 days, spend 2 days in the Lost City and then one day back! Once you get to the bottom of the lost city you have to climb up 2000 steps!! Esther and I are hoping to be as think as Victoria Beckham by the time we get back hehe! :o) Just not looknig forward to the mosquitos - you can tell who around here has been on the trek as their legs are just covered in bites! Went into town today to buy some shorts and a few other bits and bobs for the hike so we are all ready to go now! We´re quite a big group - think theres about 10 of us going, i know 4 of the people, apparantly there are 2 French guys and not sure who the others are but sure it will be a fun group! Really excited although a bit apprehensive as people have told us that its really really challenging and makes the Inca trail look easy! Uh oh! :o) Luckily we can leave
our big bags at the hostel so are just taking a small rucksack which will make it a bit easier! We have to leave a lot earlier (7am) than planned now because it has been thunderstorming and torrential rain all evening which means all the roads here are flooded and crossing the rivers tomorrow (wading with our bags over our heads hehe!) will be more difficult! Think the whole thing is going to be a bit of an adventure! :o)
Right im going to upload some photos and then get packing for tomorrow! :o)
Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxx
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