Let the adventure begin...

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Babilla Villa

Flag of Colombia  ,
Thursday, May 31, 2007

We have made our way a few hours west along the Caribbean coast, to the small town of Tolú located in "Golfo de Morrosquillo, a gateway to the "Archipielago de San Bernardo". Tolú is kind of touristy, with local Colombians that is. Although a few backpackers has also started to discover this part of Colombia. But we are here at the end of May, in the rainy season, so we have the town more or less to ourselves, only sharing with the locals. We find an empty but excellent backpacker hostel. Villa Babilla run by Colombian Alexa and German Laffi. It is very cheap and comfortable, and Alexa is also an excellent cook. I find spicy Thai Curries on the menu hanging on a beam above the hammock... Surely this will be a great few days.

The next day we head off on a combined chicken bus and moto-taxi excursion. Passing through the small town of Coveñas on our way to more beaches, a whole mud volcano to ourselves and an excellent and cheap canoe trip through "Ciénaga de la Caimanera" where fresh live oysters are on the menu. With a touch of lime they taste wonderful.

Next day we arrive at the tiny harbour early in the morning. The sun is just up, but we cannot wait for the boat to take us out to "Archipielago de San Bernardo" with its beautiful small Caribbean islands. We stop by Isla Palma, Santa Cruz del Islote and Isla Tintipan before we reach our destination. Isla Mucura. The other passengers on the tourist boat are Colombians, on a day trip to Isla Mucura, but we plan to stay the night and the next day on the small island. We hook up with a local, and he takes us to our shack for the night. It is full of mosquitoes, sand flies and creepy crawlies, but its the only real option on the island. Except a wonderful 5 star resort with its own private beach, a few light-years outside our budget. So we put up the mosquito nets we're given before heading back to the wonderful beach. Dirt cheap lobster is on the menu for lunch, followed by snorkeling in crystal clear water. Then it is dirt cheap lobster again for dinner, a few beers, candle lights, sea breeze, old stories and myths told by our local fisherman friend, before diving under our mosquito nets.

Next day we are again up early. More snorkeling, lobster, as well as a canoe trip around the island is on the menu. We visit the tiny town (well it is actually just a few shacks) on Mucura, to see how the locals live. And I notice something I have seen many times before in Latin America. Extremely poor people, laughing children while almost everyone seems laid-back, happy and not in a real rush. The contrast could not be bigger when we head to the other side of the tiny island. First we visit a huge mansion like property, with its own beach that is being rebuilt into a hotel. Apparently it used to be owned by some drug baron. Next we go to the 5 star resort and see nothing but luxury. We decide to continue our canoe paddle trip across to Santa Cruz del Islote and have a further look as well as buying some snack, before we head back to Mucura for a last delicious dirt cheap lobster meal. We just make it back to Villa Babilla to pick up our bags, say goodbye to Alexa and Laffi, before we sprint over to the bus station. On our way to Medellin on the night bus...
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