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Published: September 2nd 2012
This ones going to be a biggy, as we've been a bit lazy and not updated you since we were in copacabana, Bolivia. We are now in northern Colombia sippin a couple of Aguila, and listening to some g bar hits, which our current hostel host is banging out.
So back to travel fun, following lake titticaca, we headed over to Peru in order to skip hop and jump right up to Colombia. This however turned out to be a little difficult, as our attempt to leave Bolivia failed hugely as we mounted the wrong bus and went back on ourselves. Oops. Not our fault of course, some crazy guy with beautifully long shiny hair took our bags in a huge hurry, and when I asked if this was the bus for puna in Peru he enthusiastically shouted yes, then vamos! So on we got..... 2 hours later the bus drivers assistant whilst checking the tickets, realised he had two rogue passengers onboard, and politely kicked us off, and sent us back to Copacabana where we had to buy another ticket to puna, and yay! We eventually left Bolivia. Moral of story. Men with boss hair simply can't be trusted.
Puna, well, puna was not great, we had to stay due to our accidental u turn loosing us a few hours, and the hostel we were taken to was like a flash back to faulty towers. Dodgy swan decor, green algae ensuite tiles and electric shock shower with soap tray and open fuse box incorporated into one.
Andy however hadn't showered for a while so I made him get in.. He got a little shock, but what doesn't kill him, can only make him cleaner 😊 (germs cannot survive passed 40 degrees, or 250 watts hehe!) clean webby sigh*
Webby here...As G has mentioned puno was weak. We arrived quite late, and the streets were quintessentially south American ghetto...Nervy times. Alas our hostel was screening lock stock and two smoking barrels, a quite apt film considering our surroundings...
We awoke the next day, showered/electrocuted, packed and left for the bus. Arriving with an hour to spare, feeling good (as our pre and post feelings on puno had changed, due to boss food and non ghetto streets), we waited at the station...and waited, Georgi ate lots of nerds (90's sweets still popular over here) and waited some more...2 hours. Turns out Peru is an hourin behind Bolivia, nobody told us...we need telling.
On the bus, off to Lima, as G has mentioned we've been a bit lazy so I can't actually remember what this one was like, I'm assuming fine, as all the other bad journeys have burned a traumatic mental scar onto my cerebral membrane, like the eyes of a tribal warrior who stares at the sun to prove his masculinity...
Lima was never on our plans. All we've heard is bad words about the place...however, as the greatest lesson iv learned on this trip, don't judge a book by its cover! We headed to Mirafloris, a more upmarket, bohemian suburb on the beach... What a grand place! Vibrant, colourful, booming with arts, graffiti, cafes, culture and people of a like, or certainly similar, mind set... Checked into the hostel, quick beer and head out. Wow. Dominos. Western indulgence. Relapse. South american food can be amazing, but on average, it's poor, stodgy, high carb, high starch food...we needed release, so we ate high starch, high carb western food... Small difference, but still, a difference...
We hung around Lima for about 2 days, pretty mellow, drinking beers and meeting fellow travellers, our most far out moment was a couple of pre planned tattoos, we both got a different design of pachamama, the south American version of mother nature after our jungle exploits with the tropica potion of ayahuasca...both turning out really well, done by good artists in a cool studio, who knows, maybe il get a lama hoof tattoo'd on me on our way back through Peru...
The next port of call is Cali, in Colombia, this involved a 60 bus journey...by far the longest and most daunting yet, but we're bus pros now, I could probably ride one for a week,no worries...damn buses.
G here.. Being a bus gypsy is all swell and that, but the joy of arriving at a destination and sleeping in a real life bed is such a luxury. I really truly could not be a lorry driver..unless I was driving for that company with the hippo on the advertisements, the one who delivers mattresses 😊 that's one truly intelligent lorry driver. Comfort and hippos.
Anyhoo's, Cali was nice, we stayed at a posh hostel (compared to the crackdens we've previously found ourselves in) this one had toilet roll and hand soap. Cali itself is lovely. The people are friendly, it has an abundance of stalls for me to rummage through, to webbys great despair, and is no longer the danger people have laidened it with. They listen to salsa for god sakes! How bad could it have possibly been?!
We enjoyed only one evening in Cali, before we decided to head north to the Carribean coast. The bus journey to deter you from any other... Here is a mini blog I wrote on this particular bus journey :
Death by salsa...
Right... So, we've spent an evening in Cali.2 facts about Cali1: it's the most dangerous city in Colombia2: they fuckin love salsa music, there are salsa bars on every avenue and lessons are offered at most establishments.This is fine, we have had a cool time in cali and have managed to avoid all salsa hangouts and criminal activity, so in conclusion found Cali a really friendly cool city..This was until we decided to get the bus out of the place. Now most buses in south America we have endured have been long journeys full of a variety of local whoppers demonstrating cultural differences we have found both terrifying and hilarious. But, on the whole these journeys have been bearable.. Dubbed movies (with occasional English subtitles woohoo), temperature control, and an onboard toilet to terrify even the skankiest of hobos. (entertaining when some biff goes for a piss and you hear them falling off the throne due to a minor road bump)This journey however has caused me such distress I have had to write a mini blog on my puter.The bus itself is modern, the security was excellent when getting onboard. The police searched all the dodgys and were extremely pleasant individuals. Then, The tortures began... Now, Cali is a hot country but at 7pm
, temperatures drop, and unless your a 35 st human you don't need the air con to be set to minus 8!! It's bloody freezing in here. Have i accidentally boarded the arctic 'bullet nipple' training squad vessel??And guys.. This isn't the worst of it. I have ran out of Valium, and like many, find it hard to sleep on (arctic) coaches, but to make matters worse.. our luck avoiding salsa music has come to an end.. Big time!The shits pumping out the speakers at full volume, and to make matters even worse; they've got the god damn music videos on to match. An this is no pussy twat girl action, or even Justin bad twat Beiber tap dancing with a basket ball. This is robust males of the ugliest persuasion salsa wobbling and hurting my eyeballs, whilst accompanied by an orchestra go geeky musicians king the two step and think their boss!Maybe if I enjoyed salsa it wouldn't be as bad, I mean I have a pretty eclectic taste, and accept many forms of music for what it is... but this toddle all sounds the bloody same, and these men shouldn't be on tele. They make Chris moyles look like the guy off that sailor perfume advert.Tomorrow I intend to make a formal complaint to these fat salsa men on the tele. Poor andys iPods dyed and he's going to be having nightmares about these Latino hippos!!I, on the other hand shall close my eyes very tightly and listen to some biggy.good bye for now, and wish me luck(there's a possibility my iPod may die also) *face of great distress at this thought.If it wasn't for the fact I enjoy salsa dips with many meals out here, I would completely diminished the word from my vocabulary.
Rant over.. We arrived in taganga. Northern Colombia.
It's amazing. Hot, full of beautiful people and the 'live life, don't work it' message is very fitting for our travels, it's our little outer reality haven full of hippies, crackheads and lost souls, entrapped in its Carribean glories. Beaches, jungles and treacherous seas.
We have been welcomed and befriended by a couple of local gems, davi, a jewellery maker, and Hamilton a rather generous barman. They believe in peace love and beer.
Webby flex...So, carribean Colombia. Taganga to be specific, taganga head banger as we titled it. This is Colombia, in all it's glories, many old hippies of all cultures wander the streets, lost in the temptations and pace of the place. Our hostel had a sign painted on the wall reading "Colmbia, the only risk is wanting to stay"...this tickled me, but after a couple of days there it became a scary mantra of warning! Taganga has many temptations, notably 42p beer, cheaper than water, and after 2 days solid of nothing but beer and the occasional scrap of grubs, we both started to feel somewhat trapped, this is when the sign rung alarm bells in my head, was it the risk of not wanting to leave, or the grip of not being able too? Time to get coastal...
Tayrona national park on the Colombian coast is the dream. Years ago a no mans land, the only residents a few hippies who paid off/bribed the police guards who denied access to park. They lived there for years, trading jewellery, food with the local fishermen for survival until the Colombian goverment realised there was money to be made and by the time we arrived there, there was an abundance of camp sites, hammocks for rent and an all round tourist feel to the place, not really the bohemian paradise we'd hoped for, the beauty was still there in all it's glory, it's just that there were lots of fat tourist sprawled all over it. You can't win them all. Still it was a paradise, rough seas for fun swims, tropical rain forests, golden sands and creatures of all kinds squarking and roaming free, sleeping in a hammock and cooking on open fires, back to nature, just the release from tagangas vices that we needed...5 days, no mirror, one shower, muchos sea...perfecto!
So a big blog, we probably missed a few notable points but no doubt the scars will remain, we're all up to date now, sat in Cartagena, listening to the receptionists (a highly camp queen, beautifully fun and free) big banger selection of music, memories of adolescence and G bar, the scent of Smirnoff ice floating around my mind and nostalgic taxi journeys... We'll be back soon hopefully with some fun, probably bus themed...
Webb and G xxxxxx
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