Published: January 26th 2010January 25th 2010
After a few more days relaxing and taking in Medellins nightlife and eating lots of Arepas (for those who no not of arepas they are a cross between bread and a crumpet and very hard - served with everything in Colombia and usually come with a fried egg or grated smelly cheese) it was time for a move so we took the bull by the horns and vamoosed on a night bus to Cartagena ….the first stop on the Caribbean coast!! My word this was heat!!! 50 + C and hard to do anything!!! There was a nearby mud volcano so we took the obligatory tour to go to that, you get in with another 20 tourists have a massage by a Caribbean man get very muddy then climb up the ladder and wander down to the lake to wash off, afterward they took us to a remote beach for lunch and you could swim but had already got clean so didn't fancy it, we also visited a fort called it was very interesting you could go deep underground and the walls were 20 mtrs thick in places built to fend off Sir Frances Drake! The next stop was Taganga a
sleepy fishing village on the coast where I got “travelers sickness”....great …..so managed not to eat for 2 days whilst I tried to get the bug out of my system and spent all my time trying not to get hot which was hard in these climates!!! we were going to head to San Gil next which is back in the countryside an overnight bus away but on our last day spotted a poster for a surfing beach an hour away so decided to give it a go as we were all the way up here, after taking the hottest bus of my life with plastic seats and shorts on was not pleasant then it blooming broke down ( well actually the clutch went but the driver and a box of old nuts and bolts fixed it in an hour) which meant we would arrive in the dark, we were hoping to camp but when we got there no more tents available so took a cabana (similar to my Dads shed but smaller!!) and it was an extortionate £20 a night!! had to eat there aswell and although the food was nice ….expensive!! got slightly addicted to Coconut rice which comes
with everything and I savored the most tastiest fish I have ever eaten! Poor Darren with his Chicken and rice....for the millionth day in a row! Shame though that the surf was pummeling and you'd have to have a death wish to go in those waters! Saying that spotted some nice birds and saw some vultures tucking into what was wither a dogs carcass or goat, could quite tell from the angle I was at! After 1 expensive day we then decided to take the night bus to San Gil, was more pleasant than the last one we went on and only got woken up properly once bus there was a lad sat on the floor next to me who must have kept brushing my arm with his head when he nodded off! San Gil is famous in Colombia for being the Adrenaline Junkie capital, and n our first day did some white water rafting! Disappointingly after negotiating the price of a photographer, he wasn't available so no pics of our adventure but it was really cool, we were with a Colombian couple and the guide, on the second rapid the other Colombian guy fell out the boat! But we
managed to rescue him easily enough. As the river is so low at the moment so its the dry season there weren't as many rapids as usual but this made for more river swimming we played games like standing on the top of the raft holding hands jumping up and down to see who would fall out! Spotted a couple of huge iguanas one was swimming in the river and you could only see its head they were about 4ft long, then we came across a pack of vultures there must have been 50 of them and as our guide Jamie told us - a dead animal nearby! The next day we decided on a bit more action so went paragliding what absolute fun that was I loved every second we had wonderful views of a huge canyon and I enjoyed a well versed conversation in Spanish with my instructor! Darrens instructor asked if he wanted to do some acrobatics which he obliged and I saw them doing this corkscrew maneuver whizzing around 6 or 7 times it was definatley an experience we will never forget. The next day was an 8 hour day bus to Bogota arriving at 6pm
and without a hostel the first place we tried was full but the friendly Colombian there took us to a new hostel around the corner which has only been open for 2 months, had to stay in a dorm again for the 2nd time on this trip but we were the only people in that room so was OK. That night we went back to the original hostel for their Colombian barbeque, very nice and headed in to the Zona Rosa for a few drinks. We met some more friendly Colombians 3 of which had studied English Bournemouth, what a small world. After numerous English/Spanish conversations and a few Salsa dances it was time to head home after a really fun night. The next morning I was making coffee in the hostels kitchen when a Colombian man from the travel agency next door came over for a chat, he was interested in where we were from and you guessed it, he had been to Poole and camped on Brownsea island last winter when we had the snow, incredibly small world. We booked Flights to Leticia in the Amazon basin after working out the prices to get back to Lima it
made financial sense to fly right in to he heart of the Amazon, take the boat down the Amazon into Iquitos Peru and fly onto Lima so it worked out very well for us! That evening we went to one of the famous clubs in Bogota called “the End” it often has English/ Europen DJ's next week Mauro Picotto is playing there and Tim Westwood was there last year its situated on the 40th floor of a building with incredible views.
On Sundays in Bogota there is a really good flea market so we went to have a look lots of really interesting items which would have loved to have bought but very expensive to send things home (35USD a kilo) saw Bamboo Saxophones, old barbers chairs, and lots of old tools cassettes and records was a fun way to spend the afternoon.
Today we have been exploring the town searching for books but to no avail English language books are incredibly hard to come by in south America normally they are really old and very expensive but today we didn't even find anything! Tonight will be spent packing and getting excited about our first flight since arriving and tomorrow
catching our fist glimpses of the Amazon river, Bruce Parry eat your heart out!
Hope everyone is well
There are more photos below