Gorgeous Guatape

We arrived at Guatape as usual starving! The closest restaurant looked busy so was an obvious choice for us. The view was amazing but the food didn’t really live up, the fish was so dry it resembled a flip flop. So after failing to start an auction amongst the tuc tuc drivers for a ride to our hostel we ended up paying for an overpriced journey in to the middle of nowhere to our hostel coincidently named Happy Buddha. The view was amazing from the hostel. Although we spent the rest of the evening staring at a tv screen rather than out the window, watching mind numbing cartoons hoping life would drain back in to us!

The hostel was overrun with loud drunk Colombians enjoying their holidays as we avoided eye contact too hungover to converse even with each other, and retired to bed early. After a lazy morning and a half decent breakfast we set off to find a rout to La piedra (the rock). On our way out of the hostel a car went to drive past us with two spare seats with our names definitely on them. The car was heading that way anyway so we jumped in and enjoyed our cheepest ride yet… free! 700 steps and a breathtaking view later and we headed in to the most colourful town yet in search for an Indian restaurant we had read about in the lonely planet.

After successfully following simple directions we indulged in some amazing curry’s! Followed by another free ride we got by simply being in the right place at the right time, and arrived back at the hostel! We were hoping to do some paddle boarding but found all the boards already rented out so instead we headed down to the lake so we could stare enviously at the paddle boarders hoping to make them feel awkward enough to give up the boards. Failing that we set off back to Medellin again on rout to Jardin.

Cruising in Cartagena

That nights sleep was awful as two Asians came in at 1am talking in their normal daytime voices, rudely awakening us two old ladies who enjoy our mornings far too much to abuse the routine imposed by our former jet lagg. As if that wasn’t bad enough they then woke up at 6am only an hour before our designated wake up time stealing our last precious hour of sleep. Throwing around their clothes, muttering to each other, going in and out the room, dropping various items from the top bunk on to my head and being a general nuisance. Now I like to think I’m a very patient sane person but at this point I fully wanted to loose my shit and was mentally composing all the different abusive sentences appropriate for this situation, but instead opted for seething silence with the odd sigh and angry glance. Finally realising it was better just to get up, have breakfast and head off early to our planned boat trip to Playa Blanca. The thing was a shambles from the get go as we waited at the harbour no idea which of the many boats was ours, turns out the smallest most pathetic looking boat with the broken life jackets was in fact ours. Proving sometimes your better off just paying the extra £2.50! But even so we naively piled on with the local Colombian tourists happy to have saved some change. A pervy looking guy clambers on saying hello to me and Daisy. I indiscreetly ignore him and turn to Daisy saying the word creep. Meet our tour guide, full of cheesy jokes and lingering stares. So first stop on the agenda some islands about an hour away, the journey went seemingly well lulling is in to a false sense of optimism! When we got to the islands we were informed that we had two options, pay £10 and enter an animal prison/aquatic show or go snorkelling which was not free as we had been led to believe. We chose the second option and reluctantly paid up. We drifted about in the waves with a horde of distressed excited Colombians all pointing awe struck at the few fish we hadn’t scared off. A pile up back on the boat and we headed off to Playa Blanca. This is where it all went tits up quiet literally as we felt like we were on a scene from titanic! A child sat right behind us screamed continuously the entire 40 minuet journey, the woman in front of us threw up over the side of the boat whilst me and Daisy exchanged disgusted glances and winced away our mouths pressed firmly shut! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse the boat slammed down on a huge wave and the old lady up front fainted causing a wave of panic as the surrounding passengers squirted water in her face. Another child then decided this was the perfect moment to start being sick too! Arriving all in one piece Playa Blanca was beautiful but overcrowded to the point of being uncomfortable. The trip back was even more turbulent and the whole trip felt overrated and a waste of a tenner. Once back it was a rushed trip to the bus station where we inhaled some cheep food and bought the cheepest bus tickets we could find. Which meant we weren’t sitting together, we sat together anyway causing us great anxiety the entire 15 hour journey as we expected to have to move. We finally piled off in Medellin sleep deprived, with crooked necks and starving but having avoided any confrontation regarding the seat! Winner!

Pristine Parque Tayrona

The national park was something else, absolutely beautiful! After about half an hour of the guide doing what he does best and explaining in great detail the rout we should take to get to camp we picked the opposite direction and headed off (once again in search of a good view). We were successful and navigated through the jungle weaving our way through branches and Jurassic looking rocks to a beautiful viewpoint. After a quick photo shoot, we decided rather than head back on ourselves and get to camp the way that was explained we would take a shortcut along a beach. Every km or so there was a sign warning of alligators but we didn’t let that deter us and continued on until there was no more beach to walk on and we headed back in to the jungle. A not so quick detour up some very misleading never ending stairs, that 20 minutes later bought us back out near the beach where we started! We decided to ask for directions and headed off in what we hoped was the right way, so eventually 4 hours after we set out we arrive at camp overheated and ready to check in to our tent. A rushed over priced lunch and we headed to the beach feeling extremely proud that these bimbos had successfully navigated our first jungle without a hitch! That night we were tucked up in bed watching the Inbetweeners on our tiny phone screen at 8.30pm. Only to be rudely awakened in the middle of the night by what can only be described as what sounded like a broken down tractor, but was in fact out neighbouring tents competing for the snore awards! Another day another early start where we checked out of our tent avoiding eye contact with our now sworn enemy neighbours! The beach Cabo San Juan was up there with one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen! But was soon followed by a titanic like scramble to get on a boat back to Taganaga, where we fitted over 35 on a boat made for 26! The sea was rough and those at the front which included us were violently attacked by the waves, one guy tried to take a selfie over the side of the boat, lost his phone in the sea and proceeded to cry the entire way back. So wet, sunburnt, two hours late and feeling like we had just escaped a desert island we squelched our way back up to Nirvana for another night in Taganga.