Back to old Cartagena and Volcan de Lodo El Totumo

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Jul 03, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Colombia  , Cartagena,
Friday, May 2, 2008

After tearing ourselves away from Playa Blanca we decided to stay one more night in Cartagena before commencing our million kilometre journey to Buenos Aires. We booked back into the Marlin Hostel (30,000 pesos) and had a wondrous shower (it had been 4 days since the last one, hence the over enthusiasm about the shower). Flic went straight to bed to recover before she carried on, Caroline went in search of a smoothie and Tim and I kicked back in the local shop/pub for a few quiet ones with Ken, the ex Colombian jail bird.

Caroline and I decided that we would spend our last day in Cartagena doing a tour to Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, the mud spewing volcano. With that all booked up through the hostel (35,000 pesos) we decided to let our hair down a bit and witness some of the party atmosphere on offer. Taking the advice of our macho-love music listening hostel worker we made our way to the old town and a small Salsa bar called something de Fidro. The Actual bar itself wasnīt that great, they only served beer (not great for Caroline), but the music and company were second to none... It was here we met Carlos and Walter, two cartagenaian men on the lash. Despite our huge language barrier we managed to converse on topics ranging from how many kids they had to the export policy of the Colombian government with America.... On our route to another bar, Quiebra Canto, we bumped into an English couple that were on their last night in Colombia. We hooked up for one beer that inevitably turned out to be much more. 3am stumble into bed trying to ignore the fact that we have to be up in 4 hours...

Volcan de Lodo El Totumo

Sleepy eyed and rushed we caught our bus to the volcano. The tour didnīt get to a great start as we headed to Bocagrande, the Costa del Sol end of town, to pick up the rest of our tour. It took us 2 hours to actually get out of town and then another 50 minutes to actually get to the volcano. When we arrived we were presented with a 15m mound with 2 ladders running up. We were asked to leave everything in the nus apart from camera and swimming trunks and had to climb up the ramp to the summit. At the top there was a small square pit filled with 15 year old kids covered in mud. Doubts started to fill our minds as we waited for the kids to be removed. Our camera was given to a random photo taking, tip expecting man and down we descended into the mud. It was one weird feeling and nothing like that of mud baths in New Zealand. You couldnīt touch the bottom yet the mud rendered you incapable of moving gracefully. I think the pictures best explain it!!! We did find our that you donīt get the same treatment if you donīt opt for the massage! After the mud bath we all headed down to the lake to wash off the mud that was in and on every part of our bodies. I am still finding the bloody stuff in my ear at the moment.

The actual experience of the mud bath is really quite cool and def worth doing but it whole process is a tipping chain gang. Tip the cameraman, tip the men in the mud, tip the ladies that offer to wash you.... it gets a little tiring!

The tour was finished with a mediocre lunch at a rather suspect beach. However all in all worth it....

Now off to find Tim for some goodbye beers!
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