Category Archives: Colombia!

The end of Colombia and already October!

It has been a while since I last wrote but this post might be long, you have been warned. Where to start…I was meant to leave Taganga shortly after the trek was over and was planning to go toMedellinand its surroundings, down toCaliandPopayanto meet a friend and head toEcuador. Finally, the two awesome Scottish ladies (known as Sophie and Rose) I became friends with during the trek came to Taganga. They decided to do their diving course, and so I was given two free dives for referring them to the school I had gone to. So I stayed an extra two days for that, because one of the days no one had booked any dives. I was meant to leave on Friday, but I didn’t really want to, and was convinced to stay mainly because there were some parties, lives bands scheduled for the weekend. I was in a good place with great people, why leave right away and bus alone on a Friday or Saturday night? Sooooooooooo the weekend was great! Unfortunately, there was one accident. At about4amon Saturday night, as a few of us were walking back to our hostel, Sophie had the bag with a few things and the camera. Someone ran up behind her and put a gun to her head and wanted the stuff from the bag. So she gave it and he ran off. Luckily, no one got hurt although it was freakin scary and everyone was shocked. Oh and let me also mention: that it was my camera. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is maybe the sixth one that is either broken or robbed. So that is it for now, if I buy one, I buy one but I will not be looking for one. After being in Taganga for a while and always having fun there, it kind of ruined the vibe for me, not going to lie. After an awesome weekend, that was my cue to go.

Sophie, Rose and I decided to head a little further north east to the Guajira province, to some nice beaches in a little place called Palomino. We left Monday (Sept.26th) and met up with Raimer, a german-colombian whom I had contacted through couchsurfing and was meant to stay with inMedellin. His university was still on strike so he went back to his parents’ house nearSanta Marta. We all took the bus to Palomino, which is a small village and is a 7 minute walk from the beach, which is beautiful and deserted. We stayed at a little camping/hammock place which was 4$ a night and we used the kitchen and the owners were very sweet. On our last morning they gave us papaya and it was probably the biggest one I have ever seen! I usually don’t really like papaya, it has a weird taste…but this one was really good and sweet. We had the place basically to ourselves, and the beach as well. At night, the stars were amazing; and I got to see a TON of shooting stars!

Raimer left on the Tuesday because it was his father’s birthday, but he invited us over to his farm. So Wednesday we went to meet him and visited the 2 hectare fish farm which was really nice, ponds, water lilies, fish and many plants. We were really lucky to have fresh tilapia Raimer caught for lunch, yummm! We stayed in the guest house and made him dinner, listened to music, made some bracelets and danced! The next day we went to his father’s biological reserve. To get there we took the bus on the way toSanta Marta, got off at this place called Bonda; then called these guys on motocycles, “motortaxis”, and drove about 40mins and walked another 15min to arrive in what could be called a natural paradise. We did not visit all 30 hectares (!) of the reserve, but we got to see many beautiful things: medicinal plant garden, butterfly area, bores, macaws, crocodiles, turtles and these hugeeeee fish called arapaima. We hung out by the river, he showed us how they produce electricity with the water from the dams annnnnnnnnnnnnddd, we spend the night in a TREEHOUSE. Yes, a house high up in a tree. The kind every kid dreams of! Unfortunately the week flew by, and Friday came and we had to get back to Taganga because Cosima and I bought a flight for Saturday Oct. 1rst, so today.

We partied HARD last night. Everyone at the hostel was hanging out, we made dinner but only ate at about 10h30pm. Then headed off to the beach, then to a party and by the time we were done all that it was nearly six. We sat at the beach, watched the sun rise while some played music. At that point, we did not go to bed because we had to leave Taganga at about 7h30 to take a bus to Santa Marta and then to the next town, Barranquilla, to fly out to Bogota and then to Pasto. The bus rides and flights today have never been so short, we just passed out. From the airport, we took about a 45 minute taxi drive through the mountains into the city ofPasto. It is way bigger than we expected, with about 1 million habitants at an altitude of 2600m. We are now pretty tired and will definitely enjoy our beds tonight.

 

 

 

The lost city…which is not really lost…ahahaha

Last time I was inColombia, I regretted not having the time or money to do the lost city trek. Second time around, it was on my to-do list and a must. The price has gone up and it can be done in 4, 5 or 6 days, and it’s the same price which is a little, meh. The park, indigenous community and the government charge you to go into the park, plus the indigenous charge you per night to stay and use facilities etc etc. Overall, it was nice, beautiful scenery and a good time, lots of mosquitos too ahahhaa. It could have been done in 4 days but today my legs are not complaining that we did it in 5 (ahahaha) and I do believe that it is over priced.

We left on Thursday September 15th for what was to be the hardest day on our jungle adventure. We did go uphill for quite a while, and then it took about 3hs until the camp site. They were very organized, the campsites had kitchens and ovens for the cooks, hammocks and sometimes beds for those doing the treks, water, toilet, showers….it was pretty luxurious, I was expecting tents and squatting lol. The group I was with was fun: a Brit, an Aussie, a Spanish couple and a weird German guy.

The natives, known as Koguis, are quite interesting. They have various gods, one for visibility (the eagle), one for strength (the tiger), but the most important is the sun. The men have long hair, and all walk barefoot. Once the boy turns 18, he is given a “Poporo” and a woman, who is usually around 35 years old because she has more knowledge. The Poporo is a type of pumpkin in which they have a powder in it for energy. The Chaman gives it and at that moment there is also a confession moment between the man and chaman, during which he has to confess all wrong doings that he can remember. Men and women, even if married, sleep in two separate houses. The kids will sleep with the mother. Also, men can have various wifes, in which case, all wives and children sleep in that same house. We saw several kids along the way, they are usually not very smiley.

The lost city itself we “found” on the fourth day. We woke up extra early and went up about 1300 stairs to get to the first terraces. The city dates from the years 300-1600 A.D. and has about 600 terraces in total, meant for different things: ceremonies, schooling, stone carvings etc.

The place itself is very big and it is surrounded by other little villages. It was only discovered in 1974, while men were looking for gold.

We saw many nice butterflies, saw a few lizards, some saw snakes, and we heard birds signing. At night, there were fireflies and we could hear the frogs and toads. Did I mention mosquitos? Tons! And they have this other mosquito they call the “black mosquito” which is really big and has a huge “nose dart thing”, ugly and mean bastards lol.

The fun parts were the river crossings, sometimes we had to take our shoes off to get by, and sometimes we would go swimming in natural pools, which was always nice and refreshing!

So I am now back in Taganga, showered and deciding where I am off to next!

Second time around…and still loving it!

So arriving in Cartagena was nice. It was my second time to the city, and although I had really liked it two years ago, it seemed to have preserved its beauty and its charm, and I liked it even more this time around. The old city is amazing, the hostel area has changed a little, it has been renovated and looks really great. So a few of us from the sailing trip ended up at the hostel together and partied quite well on Saturday night. We were all feeling like we were still on the boat, this being before the beers ahahhaa. The next day was a quiet one and at night we got together with most of the people from the sailing trip for some drinks and some food. We were supposed to received our passports as well, but we only got them on Monday, which was also when I left for Taganga, another destination I had loooooved two years ago. I was told it had grown and changed, but besides a few new hostels, restaurants and brand new brick roads (which were sandy ones and some parts were asphalt at the time), the little town kept its cool hip vibe. This is diver central, there are 10 operators! and people come here for the lost city trek. The only reason I came here was do to this trek because two years ago I had run out of time and money. Now, the price has gone up significantly but it is for sure happening. It is considered one of the nicest treks in the world and I can’t go by it twice. However, little un-planned thing happened today. As I was searching for a dive school, I found out that the price for my advanced diver was quite worth it. I get 6 dives, lunches, room, books everything for about 280$. Plus it’s theCaribbeanso…nice warm water, unlikeCanadaahahha. So here I am doing my course for 3 days before I go to the lost city trek for 5 days. Then I will be off, either to the capital or further south not sure yet. No exact plans, they always end up changing anyways. Anyways, more to come in a while, probably will update once I am done the trek, so in about a week!