Corcovado and Beyond
24th May 2012 - 30th May 2012
Colombia is the one country I was really nervous about visiting by myself but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. The country is amazing and the people are really nice too.
I arrived to my first stop – Cali – after a really drawn out journey from Quito. It was impossible for me to get a bus direct to Colombia from Ecuador’s capital so I had to get 2 buses and 2 taxis!
Cali is a huge city with terrible traffic. It’s the dancing capital of Colombia so there’s always a party happening here. I stayed in a cute little hostel and met some great people while I was there who I explored the city with, including the zoo.
I then flew to Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast via Bogota. My flight was eventful to say the least. I fell asleep and woke to the air hostess running up and down the aisle speaking rapidly in Spanish and showing people the brace position! I couldn’t understand what she was saying but luckily the guy next to me could translate.
‘There’s a problem with the landing gear. It won’t come down so we’ve been circling to burn off our fuel and now we’re making an emergency landing.’
He told me this with an extremely calm voice as if this is perfectly normal!!! I was petrified! I have never been more scared in all my life.
Luckily, just as we made our approach, the landing gear engaged and we had a normal landing. So now I was in Bogota and had to catch another plane to Cartagena. I was also delayed due to our circling to burn off fuel and missed my connection so had 5 hours to wait in the airport. My next flight was on schedule and went completely normally thankfully!!
I arrived in Cartagena at about 9pm and immediately started sweating It was ridiculously hot here even at night but my hostel had good air-con so at least I could sleep okay.
From here I caught a bus to Taganga further up the coast. It’s a small fishing village whose roads wash away when it rains leaving rocky uneven paths instead. It’s a cute little town though and I spent a few days here relaxing, eating good food and sunbathing.
Next stop was Tayrona National Park. We had a 2 hour walk in the blistering heat, through the jungle to get to the campsite we were staying at. It was tough, but definitely worth it. Cabo de San Juan is a gorgeous site right beside 2 stunning beaches (see pics). We stayed out on the rocks between the 2 beaches in a round hut filled with hammocks. I loved waking up beside the sea with the noise of the waves crashing off the rocks only a few feet away.
After Tayrona we spent an extra night in Taganga before heading back to Cartagena.
Cartagena is a beautiful city as it’s kept a lot of its old buildings and structures intact. The streets are really narrow and this gives the place a really cute small town feel despite being a large city.
While in Cartagena, I went to the mud volcano. It’s the strangest thing. You can’t touch the bottom but you still don’t sink. You just stay suspended in the mud. It was fun though and we all had baths in the nearby lake afterwards to get off all the mud.
Another day I went to Playa Blanca, a powdery white soft sand beach. We took a speed boat there and that was half the fun as he kept jumping over waves and soaking us all in the boat :)
I sunbathed for my last few days to top up my tan. I‘m really impressed with how it’s coming on, but I know it’ll be gone in no time in New Zealand.
Next I fly to Santiago in Chile to kill a few days before I leave for New Zealand. I’m really looking forward to NZ, I hope it’s as exciting as South America has been. I can’t believe I’ve been away for 5 months already though, the time has gone so fast!
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