To explore the Colombian slice of the Caribbean we based ourselves in Cartagena, and what a spot! So beautiful – The buildings, the people, the food, and all the colour!
We visited Playa Blanca – Catching a bus that broke down multiple times, eating ice blocks and fresh prawns, sleeping on the beach in our hammocks, amazing sunsets and countless swims. We met up with Karla and visited Tayrona National Park – more swims, more walks and a mud bath. Then stayed on at a nearby town doing much the same and swimming in phosphorescence!
Then it was back to Bogota to get ready for the trip to the UK.
Bogota: Part 1
Off the Amazon into a modern city, the contrast is amazing! Street food, chorizo, hotdogs and aromatica (honey, herbs, hotwater and rum for an extra 1000 pesos). The streets of Bogota were alive with life when we arrived. Feels like being in Argentina again, but with a more Caribbean feel to the people. Our first stay in the city we just ambled around taking in the sights and enjoying the comforts of being off the river. This is one of our favourite cities to date, it just has a really up beat vibe.
We even had the stereotypical pleasure of being part of a riot. We didn’t realise it was Labour Day, so we headed for the main plaza only to be greeted by homemade explosives and a massive demonstration. The whole city was covered in police in riot gear and protestors marching down the street. After some advice from the locals to stand back, we retired to a safer vantage point away from the main point of the protest. A local man told us to stand away from the police (this is the most dangerous spot), he also suggested we get a coffee and watch. Colombian people are the friendliest people we had met to date, always up for a chat. We took his advice got a coffee from a street vendor and watched the show, it only took a few minutes for the show to come to us though. A few local kids threw a homemade explosive at the police from behind and then ran in our direction, before we knew it the police were firing tear gas at us and turning the water cannons on the crowd. In a bit of a panic we joined the crowd and ran as fast as we could in the other direction. After that morning of excitement we retired to the hostel, only to be told by a local tourism lady that this happens every year and it will be over by 1pm. She was right and by 2pm you wouldn’t know anything had happened. Just another day in Bogota.
Bogota: Part 2
After returning from Cartagena and the Caribbean the end of our trip is drawing near. We decided to visit a few muesos and a the underground cathedral on just out of town. It was pretty cool but at this point we are a little desensitised to the amazing so we just wandered around this massive awe inspiring place a little apathetically. Still very cool and probably the only time were going to get to visit a cathedral 180 metres underground. We celebrated Rach’s birthday and reminisced about the trip in our favourite La Candelaria bar.
The taxi to the plane, plane to Orlando, then to NY city.
Adios South America, you have set the bar high for the rest of the world to live up to.