I've Got...Two Tickets to Paradise! (Cue Music)
Trip Start Apr 07, 2013
12Trip End Apr 21, 2013
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The shuttle was actually pretty nice. Brittany and I are about six inches too tall for any bus or restaurant seat in the country, but we've gotten used to that and the four hour journey went by quickly. About half way through the trip our bus (and three others) pulled off the side of the road at a tiny snack stand. Basically, the drivers bring big groups of gringos to the stand to buy stuff in exchange for free chips and Cokes
Our shuttle driver dropped us off at the steps of our hostel and there was a man waiting for us with room key in hand. The place we're staying is called Aluna Hostel. It's about $12 cheaper than Mamallena and much, much nicer. No hippies! It feels more like a hotel than a hostel. Still no hot water (we knew that was a pipe dream) but on the plus side we have a fan that spins so fast I think it could be used as a prop on a plane.
By three o'clock all we'd eaten was a bag of Doritos, so we walked out in search of some good food. We found it! We ate at a fantastic little restaurant called Lulo. We had fresh fruit juices and arepas. But these weren't just any old arepas, these little suckers were "gourmet". Also they were huge. Street stall arepas are just small fried cakes covered in butter. Good by any measure, but get them at Lulo and they come piled high with all sorts of toppings
Santa Marta itself is pretty dirty and there isn't all that much to see. The white cathedral was pretty from the outside, but after about ten minutes we had seen everything worth seeing of their "historical district".
We cleaned up back at the hostel and washed some clothes in the sink; walking around for hours on end in 90 degree weather can make a human being smell like rotten cabbage (or so Brittany tells me)
We'll be hiking four to six hours every day over the next week, crossing rivers, scaling waterfalls, meeting indigenous tribes, and finally arriving at the ruins of an ancient city older than Machu Picchu. This should be a once in a lifetime experience and I've got very high hopes. Our bus is supposed to be here at 9am. Maybe we should sleep in?
I will not have Internet access over the next five days but I will keep up with the blog offline. As soon as I get back in WiFi range I'll update the entries and photos.