(CP) Our first taste of the rainforest....
24.10.2008 - 05.11.2008 28 °C
We left Cartagena on the 24th October and travelled north to a small fisherman's village called Taganga... and have pretty much been here ever since! 10 days later and we are promising to leave tomorrow, which seems to be the same promise from everyone we meet who get stuck here.
How can i explain the place... A quiet town on the Caribbean coast with a small beach, few restaurants, a couple of bars that open when they feel like it and then El Garaje, an outside bar / club that plays a mix of local and western music to suit the mad diversity of drinkers.
Doesn´t sound like much but its like we are on holiday, dare i admit that travelling is not all hard work! The food has been amazing fresh fish, salads and chicken and beef to die for. Needless to say, we are heading in the wrong direction for our Rio bodies come February.
We are staying in Casa Filippe. http://www.lacasadefelipe.com/indexeng.html. Have a look at the website and you´ll get an idea of why we can´t leave. Obviously this is the 1st time we are out of a main city so we´ve taken time out to unwind from the hectic life in London with the help of numerous hammocks. ( if i can get in one before Laura takes ownership for the night!!)
We went on a 3 day trip to Parque Nacional Tayrona, a vast national park with beautiful beaches along the coast and rainforest inland. A few of the beaches have campsites where you can stay in a tent or rent one of the 30 hammocks they have hanging under a thatched shelter with a restaurant. To get there you take a 40 min boat ride which is meant to be relatively stress free other than the occasional choppy wave or the risk of an engine packing up. We entailed both but i think our group should take responsibility for this, you are advised to leave before 1pm as in the afternoons it gets stormy but we were a little behind schedule (no surprises there, with Laura and i in tow..) and far too busy making sure we had enough supplies of Rum, Coke, Limes, red wine followed by an after thought of water and crackers. When we finally head off its 2.30pm and it is indeed stormy. Lets just say jumping the waves was fun for the 1st 10 mins but after that we had a sore bums, everyone was soaked and then of course the engine gave up. Thankfully they managed to get it started again and we made it to Finca El Paraiso before the rain hit. It is as beautiful as you imagine and a world away from home, my only complaint other that the hundreds of Mosquito's was that i had barley been there 30 mins before my flip flops were stolen... my only pair!!! This seemed a good enough reason along with our adventurous boat trip to have our 1st glass of wine for the evening, followed by drinking all of our 3 day supplies and passing out in a hammock alongside 20 or so others. The following day we nursed hangovers on the beach and took a walk round to the next beach along. Unfortunately from 5pm it didn't stop raining until the next morning and with only the occasional beer from the restaurant we did not sleep so well so decided to head back the next day. The rest of them took the boat back but Laura, Jill and I choose to walk back and see a bit more of the park. What we thought was a 45 minute walk actually took over 3 hours and my bare feet and I were pretty knackered by the end but was definitely worth it!!
We went to pick Kathryn up from Santa Marta on Saturday, she has settled in nicely and enjoying some sun. Laura and Kathryn went diving yesterday, Laura took her advanced so is over the moon and although Kathryn could only do a mini dive she loves it so much she has now decided to become a Marine Biologist. I´ve had a cold so haven´t been able to go but will save myself for the Galapagos.
P.S We have already adopted our first stray dog, named Gismo. He follows us everywhere and sleeps outside our room. Laura´s convinced we´ll have a Noah´s Arch ship ready to send back home by the end of our trip......