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A long journey to the Caribbean Coast

sunny 32 °C

So, after my rather short time in Ecuador, I decided to hot leg it to the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. This meant some serious bus time. I crossed the border at Ipiales with the help of a lovely young man named Joseph. He was a bit worried about me travelling on my own and insisted on not only helping me with immigration, but also getting me to the bus stop and getting a ticket to Bogota! He and everyone else I met that afternoon, seemed suprised that I would be in Colombia travelling on my own and not going to see someone I knew...compared to many other countries in South America, Colombia doesn´t get nearly as many tourists and the people seem really happy to see you travelling in their beautiful country and always ask what you had heard of Colombia before and what you think of it now you are here. Anyway, back to the buses. Joseph stayed with me the couple of hours I needed to wait for my bus, he practicing his english, me my spanish (badly!) Then it was time for my 20 hour overnight bus journey. I was a little worried at getting this bus as the Lonely Planet warns not to do this journey at night, but I figured, if the locals were doing it, it must be ok! In fact, I was the only gringo on the bus. There was a strong military presence on the road, lots of men with machine guns casually strung over their shoulders. After a long trip I arrived in Bogota bus station, the biggest bus station I had come across so far on my trip, more like an airport! The original plan was to stay there a night before heading off on another overnight bus to Santa Marta on the Caribbean Coast. But, it was raining and I really couldn´t be bothered with another big South American city, so I decided to hop straight back on another overnighter - glutton for punishement! The next day I arrived in Santa Marta and headed straight to a little fishing village called Taganga for a couple of days by the beach. Taganga was ok, a little too full of gringos for my liking and although the water was lovely, the actual beach was more like concrete mix than sand! So after two days, I went to Tayrona National Park. Ahhh, this was more like it. Beautiful beaches that you have to walk through the jungle to get to. Heaven. I met an Ecudorian guy, Jorge, on the bus there who had been staying in a campground a little bit back from the beach. Only locals seemed to know of this place and it was practically deserted compared to other campsites on the beach. It was very basic, with no electricity and cold showesrs (perfect after a hot day at the beach) It was run by a couple and their 3 adorable kids, Steven, Andrea and Greg. So I spent 6 days sleeping in hammocks, walking to one of the nearby beaches, swimming, staring at the stars in the clear night sky and eating hot chocolate buns (these were amazing, served straight out of the oven!) My mate Gil, who I had met in the Pantanal, met me in the Park. We spent a few days there together before heading back to Santa Marta to do a six day trek to the Lost City...but that´s another story.
La Piscina beach
El Cabo beach
Steven and Andrea
Gil and I at La Piscina beach
Me at La Piscina beach

Posted by zedgee 12:31 Archived in Colombia

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hello zedgee
tell me, is there malaria in the Tayrona National Park?

by Flav-Greg

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