A Latin Myth, Colombia
Friday, 12 August 2011 22:35
Here was the last point that we could reach by vehicle. From here we had to walk approximately 2 hours, on a muddy footpath in a humid and hot weather. The high trees around made the environment dark besides big coconuts falling from the trees were making big danger all the way. The weird animal voices coming from inside of the jungle made me feel like all these creatures were watching and making fun of us. I am sure they would be happy if one of the coconuts had fallen one of us head. My shoulder bag was getting more and more heavy that once I wanted to throw it away. Meanwhile we heard the sound of the waves, we must be so close to the sea and the waves must be huge. We passed through the trees and stand on a big rock. And there, Caribbean Sea appeared on the front. There were not any people even no living being on the long and wide beach. Besides there was not any motion in the horizon. I wondered if I looked more carefully would it be possible to see the pirates of the Caribbean?
We both missed the sea and the hot weathers thus from Otavalo of Ecuador we wanted to head directly to the most northern cost of the continent and meet the Caribbean Sea. It means long distance bus journeys. It took 3 hours to get to Ecuador - Colombia border. From Ipiales, the closest city to border we got another bus journey to Cali which took 12 hours. Without any break we headed to Medellin city in 11 hours. Again we took another bus to Cartagena which took 13 hours. Anymore we could feel the smell of the sea. We were quite tired after these bus journeys which took 39 hours in total. Anyway it was nice to watch the coffee plantations on the way. I wanted to get off and run among them but we didn't have time for this. Not only the long journeys but we also struggled with the freezing air condition in the buses which is typical in Colombia. Although the climate is warm the bus companies turn on the AC and make the inside of the bus like a fridge. The reason was either they could turn it on or off there is no temperature adjustment. We had to wear our coats and winter clothes although outside of the was burning hot. Thats why we wanted to settle down in Cartagena for 2 days to have rest and to warm our bones!
As we got off the bus the hot weather stroke on our face which made us happy. Immediately we took off our winter clothes and headed to the center of the city which is inside the city walls. On the way to city centre the view of the streets reminded us India streets but as we got inside the city walls everything changed. Streets, shops and houses were so fancy and touristic. Which one is real Colombia? An African origined, big woman welcomed us with her strong funny voice and smily face. As I passed her my passport she started laughing loudly. The reason was her ex-boyfriend was Turkish and she was not expecting a Turkish in her hostel. She had more laugh as Özcan gave his passport. Because his ex's name was Özkan quite similar with Özcan. After these funny conversations we went out to eat something as we couldn't eat regular food on the road. But the prices were so expensive unlike other parts of South America. That's why I entered to the kitchen of the hostel. This time we had Turkish meat balls in the menu! As we had time after meals we didn't ignore visitng the city. The architecture of the city is very linda (means lovely in spanish, they always use this word). But it already turned into a typical touristic city. Although the city is by the Caribbean Sea there is not a good beach in the city. The beaches far from the city or Rosario islands are reasonable places to swim. We could go to only one beach so we looked for the best beach around and found out it was in Tayrona National Park near Santa Marta. After 2 days we left from Cartagena and took a bus to Santa Marta.
We spent a night in Santa Marta and early in the morning got to the gate of the national park in 1 hour by bus. A shuttle bus took upto a point and from there we had to start walking which would take 2 hours. On the way the coconuts falling from the trees were our gifts. We broke them and drink its juice and we ate its fruit after. I had never eaten coconuts from the tree before. We passed several beaches on the way but most of them were dangerous because of the big waves and the currents. Thus they were all empty, anyway it was nice to chill out at these beaches since there were nobody. Finally we reached to El Cabo beach which is known as the best beach around. This place does not have any buildings, it is just camping area with some tents and hammocks. We preferred to take a hammock to spend the night. And let our bodies to meet with the Caribbean Sea's salty water that we were dreaming for. The beach has a very nice panoramic view with its coconut trees and clear water. But it is still wavy comparing to Asian beaches. As said in the soundtrack of the famous movie Fight Club which is "Where is my mind?" I encouraged myself to put my feet in the air and head on the ground while I was swimming in the Caribbeans. It was a bad idea that all the water came into my face and mouth. Then I decided just to listen the song not to practice it. It would be nice to chill out here for a long time but we have long way to Sao Paulo of Brasil from the land. The second day we got back to Santa Marta and took a bus to Bogota, the capital of Colombia.