Sunday 3rd December 2017 – TAYRONA, COLOMBIA
Saturday saw me saying goodbye to Frankie & Co. in Cartagena. They were headed back to Bogota to fly back to the UK (sorry, losers!) and I was off to Santa Marta as a stop off for seeing another part of this country which is increasingly stealing my heart.
On the bus, there was a forcefully chatty girl called Kate. We got talking and she had a good idea of what to see, where and when from Santa Marta. She mentioned how her boyfriend was worried for her to go trekking in Tayrona National Park alone, and I had done no research on where to go, what to see, so it seemed a good idea that we went together!
How wrong I was!! 😉
One night in Santa Marta at our respective hostels, and then she was getting me up at 7am to meet at a supermarket to catch a bus to Tayrona National Park.
Last night I had a few beers and didn’t get in until 1am, so I felt slightly delicate, nothing I couldn’t handle.
The local bus took about 1 hour to get to the park entrance; the park itself is sort of ring-fenced off as a national park, with specific entry points.
There is a fee to enter the park. At the park entrance we booked our accommodation; Hammocks on the beach in the first campsite into the park. A shuttle bus ferried us into the park as far as it is allowed to go and we went to check in to our hammocks; excitement prevailed! Neither of us ever having slept in a hammock outside, or on a beach before.
We heard tales of “it’s really muddy and flooded trekking further into the park”, so being the sensible people we are, we donned nothing more than swim shorts, vests and flipflops and set off.
Tayrona is a park up the coast of Colombia, and has loads of rugged, untouched beaches on the Caribbean to explore. We were headed for a beach called “La Piscinita”.
Halfway into our journey we were confronted with a flooded road (see todays photo). I mean like deep flooded and you couldn’t see an end to it as your looked into the jungle. After lots of dipping our toes in to test the waters, it was only when some locals started to confidently stride through it that we followed suit. For a few hundred metres, we went barefoot on rocky, pebbly ground that we couldn’t see.
It reminded me of the stagnant waters that the anacondas, piranhas and cayman “liked so much” in the Amazon – great!
Eventually we reached the other side and after a bit of a trek down to the beach we had a beach to ourselves. Nobody else was there. It was stunning. Very rugged, with huge smooth boulders spilling into the sea, and a backdrop of nothing but jungle and a small hut selling food and beers.
After an afternoon at the beach, at about the exact same time as we decided to make our depart, the heavens opened. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. We decided to wait it out, but it wasn’t giving up, so we had to start the 45minute walk back to the campsite.
The same “stagnant” water we had waded through earlier was now knee deep and flowing like a river. We still had nothing more than vests had totally unsuitable shoes.
Drenched is an understatement! By the time we arrived back at the campsite, the appeal of sleeping outside in a hammock had somewhat worn off. But we had no other options. After food and beers, it was an early night for us both, with me drifting off to the thought “yeah…good one Kate….”!