My Personal Paradise in Parque Tayrona – Colombia, Caribbean Coast !!

Hitching a lift out of the park with the armySan Juan de Cabo beach

Hola from Colombia

Arriving back in Taganga I drop off the laundry and book a room rather than a dorm. I am so smelly I need a really long shower even if it’s going to be with cold water. I decide just to relax for the evening and am not even hungry just exhausted. After a lovely lie in I am rather surprised that my legs don’t ache at all. I thought I’d be walking like a person who’d been on a horse 24×7 but no I have a decidedly normal stance (well, as much as I can). I have breakfast with the Ivan and Paula (the Colombians from the lost city trek) and then really do very little. I read, blog and then have to suffer the humiliation of watching Arsenal go out of the Champions League to Liverpool. But even that doesn’t bother me too much…well I am in Colombia. I have a final beer again with the Colombians and then head to bed.

I’ve kept the room, no harm spoiling yourself once in a while (what is it I’ve been doing fot the past year anyway ?) I had breakfast with Selina and Hennie and then was picked up by the tour company to get a lift to Parque Tayrona. Some people said not to bother going here and just stay in Taganga but I loved it and would not have missed this for the world. It’s so naturally unspoilt !! It takes just over an hour to get there and we are dropped off inside the park where the horses carry luggage (if you have a lot, I’ve just got my day bag). The next stage is to walk to the first beach Arrecifes which takes about 45 minutes down a trail. I was with two German girls who were making me laugh because they kept bickering with each other. Arrecifes is nice and there are places to stay but the sea is really choppy and not great for swimming. There’s also some rather strange pink and purple jellyfish washed up on the beach so don’t fancy swimming with those either. As it happens the guide from the minibus is going to walk us to all the 3 main beaches so that makes life even easier. The next beach is 20 minutes away and is called La Piscina. This is much calmer and has a rocky wall built around the bay. It looks lovely but there isn’t anywhere to stay here. A further 10 minutes down a coconut tree lined trail brings me to San Juan de Cabo (pictured above). Oh yes, I have arrived !! There are two bays and you can stay in rooms, hammocks or tents. I opt for a tent as a hammock doesn’t give you any privacy and let’s face it it’s my first tent of the trip. I bump into Craig and it seems that nearly everyone who has come here has either just trekked the lost city or is a hippy. They make me laugh as they are the first to pounce on the coconuts falling from the trees. In fact you have to strategically position your tent so you don’ get hit. It’s all so relaxing I just want to read so I do that while everyone else arrives. Yes, Ivan and Paula, Selina and Hennie and all of the Israelis have turned up. We get together for dinner and I have the most amazing grilled fish – it’s huge !! Then after a few beers we head to bed as the generator gets switched off around 10pm. I am woken in the night by a huge storm. The wind is really howling, it’s actually a little scary but luckily my tent stays put and I return to dream land – hurray another day in paradise to follow tomorrow.

The next day after a moutain of a breakfast I head to the second bay, today is going to be one of serious sunbathing and getting some of my tan back. It’s lovely and breezy and apart from the odd drink seller I have the beach to myself (maybe everyone else is on the nudist beach nearby). At lunch time I swap beaches and spend the last hour with Paula and Ivan before they leave. We promise to email each other to improve our Spanglish. I would definitely like to keep that up, but good intentions and all that..we’ll see.

I spend the next day on the beach aswell. Selina and Hennie leave and I seem to be in a rather warm alcove and it’s so hot that I have to go in to the Carribean every half an hour to cool down. I’ve decided to head back this afternoon to Taganga and then I’ll make my way to Cartagena the following day. Although I’ve just done nothing here there is lots to do,there’s ruins, snorkelling and great treks but I really just wanted to get some sun after all of the Columbian rain I’ve had. I walked back along the trails and eventually reach the part where the horses were. Now as I’m making my own way back it means waiting for a jeep to take you out of the park or walking for another hour along the road. As it happens I see an army truck and decide to smile sweetly as I walk past. My friends who know me well will know I have a bit of a thing for hitching in official vehicles, I’ve managed fire engines and police vans before but an army truck is a new one for the list. The plan worked and they stopped and I got on top of the truck. Here’s one of my fellow passengers pictured above. Actually the driver did offer a seat inside but I was happy enough as I was. I thanked them as they dropped me right on the main road and then had to get two buses back which again all went very smoothly. I said goodbye to Hennie and Selina and went in to town for food. On the way back I bumped in to Barbara who I hadn’t seen since Salento when she was getting injections for her parasite. We were due to have a beer later but didn’t end of meeting up which was a shame. Oh well, that’s beautiful Tayrona done, time to go to my final Colombian destination which is Cartagena…….

Transport count:

Plane = 23, Bus = 102, Train = 2, Boat =16, Sunglasses = 7, Mosquito Repellant = 9, Books Read = 25 1/2, Bags lost and then recovered = 2.

Take care all

Sally

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