Inocentes (+1), winding down

5 Oct

After our hike, it was time to RELAX.

We spent the day after the hike on the beach at the Rodadero, the nicer stretch of beach in Santa Marta. We had beers, Coco Locos and tossed the frisbee around. We met some Americans from Redondo Beach (FOR REALS) and lazed away a brilliantly HOT day.

Somehow, Greg and Brian got roped in to SCUBA diving, and the next day they went out with a Colombian and a 50-something surf-bum Californian for their first dives. They had nothing but great things to say about it. I did not go because I think that snorkeling is kind of unnatural (YOU CAN BREATHE UNDERWATER), so SCUBA diving is right out.

The last two days in Santa Marta were spent in the nearby Parque Natural Nacional Tayrona, a gorgeous stretch of land that ranges from rainforest to crashing waves along the coast. It was once home to many indigenous Tayrona and Arahuak, and there is still a little bit of mysticism in the air. We rode horses in and out of the jungle, which was the most functional horse ride any of us had ever taken. The trail was wet and muddy with jungle slime, and after 45 minutes of riding horses to our first campsite, it was decided that there was no way we were walking out of there–we were riding all the way. Our horses liked the mud just as much as we did–they sought out the drier stretches, which were incidentally also heavily peppered with trees and low-lying branches. We never had any formal  “get the heck off my back” moments where we were pinned against tree trunks, but I have a few scratches on my legs from stupidly wearing shorts during one of our rides. On the way back, I wore my very fashionable pajama pants.

Only three or four of the beaches in the park are swimmable, as the majority of them are subject to dangerous currents that kill–on average–4-5 tourists each year who believe themselves to be strong swimmers. Overall, the beaches that are swimmable are beautiful and pristine, safe from mass tourism (though still with the occasional ice cream vendor). It was beautiful, but we were tired and ready to return to our home base of Medellín and enjoy our own beds. Oh, did I mention we had been sleeping three to a room in Santa Marta? We were sleeping three to a room. On our way back to Santa Marta, it began to rain. The sewers in Santa Marta don’t drain very efficiently, so our bus doubled as a boat, navigating the new fjords of Santa Marta.

Our final night in Santa Marta, we went to a fancy steakhouse above the Rodadero and ate ourselves silly. Chorizo, patacones, steak, potatoes, spiny lobster, we ate them all. The next morning at 8AM (835 CRT) we boarded a bus to Cartagena and caught a 520 flight back to Medellín, where we are now brown and recovering. Our clothes are washed, we’ve finally showered and our beds are OUR BEDS. It’s good to be back.

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2 Responses to “Inocentes (+1), winding down”

  1. Lea Anthony October 5, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    Los tres caballeros. VERY CUTE.

    Did you learn nothing from your equestrienne mother as to riding in shorts? Does sweaty bare skin go well with leather? Glad you found some long pants tenderfoot.

    What an adventure you all had!
    Glad to know you are now home, soaking your feet and drying your clothes.
    Brave hearts you are.
    Kisses, Mom

  2. Marc Jarvis October 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Really enjoyed the update(s). Sounds like quite the adventure.

    Marc

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