Today, we visited calmly. First of all, we spent the whole morning sending you all of last week’s posts, and we had to occupy the lobby of the next door luxury hotel because our shady hostel didn’t have a good enough internet connection. We also had to ferociously wrestle a five year old girl to access a phone to reserve our boat for tomorrow morning.
From the start, we had this plan to go to Cartagena, colonial city also named Carthagena de Indias, bearing some resemblance to Miami, very touristy, in the middle of the Colombian Caribbean coast. Around it are a few parks and reserves, but mostly the very big and famous beaches of Santa Martha and others, loved by the Colombian tourists (everyone we met recommended them). From there, we had planned to take a 5-day boat to Panama, 2 of them at sea and 3 roaming the San Blas archipelago, tiny islands inhabited by the Kuna Yala. We decided to change plans : Cartagena is at least 13 hours from Medellin in bus, sunbed-covered beaches don’t interest us a lot, and we already spent waaaay more time than intended in Colombia, because it is big, beautiful and diverse, but now we have to move !
Late tonight we will get on a bus to Necocli, in Uraba’s bay, and early tomorrow a lancha (which is a boat, and that’s all we know) to the small and inaccessible from land town of Capurgana (Google Maps is your friend). It looks like paradise, is very close to Panama’s border, and we will also encounter boats there to take us to San Blas in 4 days without the open-sea. Tonight is then our first nightbus, tomorrow first boat, and after that, we may not have a lot of internet access, because electricity doesn’t even run all day, so nothing is certain.
Plans aside, today we visited Santa Fé without leaving it, so we didn’t see the super old suspension bridge (5km away), but we saw very well the paved streets, magnificent shaded courtyards decorated with fountains and plants, churches every 3 streets. We can figure out easily why the Medellinean spend their week-ends here, but it also means prices are higher and plates smaller, which doesn’t prevent people from being really nice, laugh with us or at us, depending on the situation. Among nice experiences, the manageress of a high end restaurant bursting into laughter when we tell her that, in the end, it’s not really within our price range, and then escorts us out wishing us all the best. Also, the waitresses of a nice hotel taking very good care of us all afternoon, when we were using the couch, wifi and electricity, sipping lemonade (even if we can’t afford the night there doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy their homemade delicious beverages !)
Climate-wise, we are having kind of a shock : today, not only did it not rain, but we spent the day being between moderate and gravely hot. Short pants are out again (Colombian dudes made their approval very clear) and between 10AM and 2PM, the shaded-space is a valuable resource. It’s a big change for us, a nice one at some hours, less at others, but we are preparing for bigger ones when we arrive at the ocean.
Finally, big news confirmed by several sources, we don’t look that much like gringos, we could pass for locals, basically, the only thing missing is language ! Often, people are surprised when we ask to repeat slowly, because with our dark hair and tan (hiker tan)(for now), we could be Colombian travelers. Altogether, we enjoy it.
That’s all for tonight ! See you tomorrow by the sea, or not… X