Inocentes, chuggin’ along (+1)

16 Sep

All are well and content here in Medellín, City of Eternal Spring.

We’ve just entered the rainy season in the city, which typically lasts from September-December. The country is still not fully recovered from last year’s torrential downpours that took out parts of cities and roads all over Colombia, so another rainy season isn’t quite welcome, here. The “rainy season” (which so far has consisted of a few rain showers each day, followed by bouts of blazing sunshine) is what one friend laughingly termed “winter” here. After three years in New England, I’ll take it.

Our weekend in the past and this weekend will likely consist of football, football and more football at a gringo bar filled with…well, gringos (and some of their very young, very lovely Colombiana “escorts”). We also have plans to visit our friend’s finca in Santa Elena, as well as gather any remaining items we may need for our journey to the Caribbean.

Our trip to the coast is mostly planned, with enough wiggle room to give us time to reassess whenever necessary. We leave on Monday for Cartagena, a city that I have been looking forward to visiting ever since we landed here. We will be taking a bus to the coast, which is cheap (around $40) and 13 hours long. The topography of Colombia has never been inviting to over-land traveling (mountains, valleys and rivers, oh, my!), but because of the decades-long conflict here, roads were never a primary governmental investment. Despite the length it takes to get from one place to another, however, busses are very popular with the travelers, here. I think of them as less Greyhound (in which I’ve had some bizarre experiences) and more akin to taking the Bolt or MegaBus from Boston-NY (without the fancy WiFi): normal people traveling from one place to another using a cost-effective–albeit more time consuming–option.

We would like to spend two or so days in Cartagena, and then from there we will head to Santa Marta/Taganga. Santa Marta is famous for being the “death place” of Simón Bolívar, it’s Rodadero beach and being the first port in South America. Taganga, right next to Santa Marta, is a super-gringo hang out. From both SM and Taganga, we will be searching for the right tour to take us on a 5 day/4 night hike to the Lost City of the Tayrona in the Sierra Nevada mountains, high above the Caribbean.

After our hike, I’m thinking we’ll want a few days of hammock-hangin’ and snorkeling so I’m steering us towards Tayrona National Park. We’ll have a few days to do more hiking, swim in some of the safe bays and relax in [more] nature.

From there, who knows? We booked a flight back from Cartagena to Medellín for Monday the 3rd and we can change it if we get too burned or too tired of the ocean waves…but, let’s be realistic, here. We’ll be in the Caribbean, in some of the oldest and most gorgeous cities in South America. I have a feeling we’ll be reluctant to walk away. But I do know one thing for sure: after two weeks living in hostels and trekking in the jungle, we’ll be glad not to take a 13 hour bus ride back here 🙂

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