Playa Blanca

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Resto Bar, Playa Blanca, Isla Barú

Flag of Colombia  , Bolívar,
Sunday, October 30, 2011

We got back to Cartagena last night after spending three nights on Playa Blanca on the Barú Island just outside Cartagena. On Tuesday night we took a walk to the port where the boats leave for Playa Blanca and even though the ticket office were closed, we found Ismael selling tickets for the next day. We got two tickets for 30.000 pesos each for the slow boat the next morning. The price was to go and come back and we even had lunch included when we got to Playa Blanca. There are some speedboats too, which are a little more expensive, however they seem to do the same route as the slow boat. First to another island where there is an aquarium, this is an optional visit for 20.000 pesos more. The ones that choose not to visit the aquarium can hang out on a tiny little beach during the one hour of the stop. Then on to the boats again and off to Playa Blanca. We got there around 13.45 and it was perfect timing for lunch. Lunch was the typical plate of fried fish, coconut rice and some fried banana. The fish was really dry and probably the worst version of this typical lunch plate so far. But what can you expect paying so little.

This was by far the best beach we have seen in Colombia. A lovely stretch of beach with little huts of restaurants and overnight accommodation, either in hammocks or huts. We got a tip from Romina, a Swiss girl we met in Cartagena. She stayed at the Resto Bar with Angie and José David a few days earlier. We finished our lunch and headed off to search for them. The clouds were looking very threatening and we could hear thunder in the distance. Just a little further down the beach we found Matt, Nick and Drew, the Australian guys, they had gotten the speedboat since they were only staying for the day, however they got to Playa Blanca nearly the same time as ourselves. We found Resto Bar nearby and got a beach hut for 3 nights. Everything on Playa Blanca is really basic, there is no electricity and no running water. The "shower" is a bucket of rainwater, soap yourself up and rinse off with rainwater. Works the trick to get the salty water off after a day at the beach though. The toilet is a tiny ceramic toilet seat and to “flush” you just pour seawater from a bucket. They mainly cook over open fire but do have a generator that they turn on in the evening if they have many guests staying. We were able to have our meals there or in any of the similar establishments nearby. The food is the typical fried fish or chicken with rice or French fries. We spent 4 days just lazing on the beach and reading. The second day Sarah and Marja arrived from Cartagena. They had spent the last night with the boys before they flew off to Panama. They took the more adventurous route and went by land, first by bus to Pasacaballos I think. Then a short river crossing by ferry and finally a mototaxi ride to Playa Blanca. A good option if you don't get up early in the morning to catch the boats. The girls stayed in another place and rented some hammocks for only 6.000 pesos each (1.20eur). In the evening they joined us for a beer and cocktail at the Resto Bar, that evening the generator was on and they even put on some music for us. A very nice chill out evening! Unfortunately Playa Blanca was the place to say goodbye to them all, since the boys flew off to Panama and Sarah and Marja were heading to Medellin. I must say that arriving at the Media Luna hostel back in Cartagena was definitely not as much fun, not having them around.

Now we are back in Cartagena until Thursday when we sail to Panama via the San Blas islands. Today it’s Sunday and election day. Everything is closed and on top of it, the rain won’t start pouring down. This evening we’ll probably go to the cinema, the best option when everything is closed and it is raining!
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