Windy Road Back to Cartagena
Trip Start Sep 15, 2008
122Trip End Jan 01, 2009
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After hiking out of Tayrona National Park we stopped by Santa Marta to use an ATM. We actually ran completely out of money while in the park. We took out 300,000 pesos for the next 4 days thinking its more than enough...well it wasnt (we even picked up some tuna, crackers, and snacks for a few meals to save a bit). We failed to plan for a few costs and had to order the cheapest meals in the restaurant and keep the Aguila to a minimum. When entering the park the army searches everything. An Israilie couple on our bus had some herbal substances that recieved some attention. After threatening them with deportation they settled on a $25 bribe and even gave them back their supply.
We cant say the food here is anything special
We headed to the bus terminal to make our way back to Cartagena. We choose a direct bus this time to hopefully save some time... the bus stopped when we were just 80 kms outside of Cartagena. At first a nice colombia girl tried to explain there was a problem with the lights being out on our bus... Actually the problem was a protest blocking the highway. Buses and trucks were lined up as far as the eye could see and everyone was just hanging out. Somehow a drink and Empanada seller appeared out of nowhere so we waited. While waiting we met a really nice Colombia from the Navy who explained the protesters were poor people protesting becuase there is no electricity service (no lights).
We also saw a pretty bad accident where a moto-taxi ran into a teenager on a bike. They were both unconcious and in really bad shape.. Neither were wearing a helmet and the motorcyclist was driving on the highway the wrong way! We finally arrived in Cartagena at midnight and found a place to stay
Yesterday we took a trip to a mud volcano created by thermal activity. The mound is 30M high and 28M deep. When you get in the top you feel weightless and cant sink below your chest. Arik did his best Tropic of Thunder Robert Downey Jr impression as a dude playing a dude but no one got it. Some Colombia dudes were giving massages in the mud and after the mud local women help you wash in the lake, including taking off your bathing suit and washing it as well. Kinda weird.
We walked through the Old City in Cartagena and enjoyed the atmosphere. After some showers in the hostel (every shower has been cold here and Charis is coping amazingly well) we tried to hit up the town, bad idea on a monday night. We found a nice outdoor bar and talked up some locals before heading back to the hostel. The Colombia people are very friendly and so far everyone we have met has tried to help us out in anyway they can. They are also very aware of the Colombia reputation and everyone seems intent on changing it for the better, especially to increase the tourism industry.
Today we are relaxing and enjoying the city and heat before we head South tommorow by a combination of bus, jeep, and river boat.