September 6th to 9th 2014
There’s around 4 ways to get to Playa Blanca; the most common way go to the port near the clock tower and take a speed boat from there. When I asked the hostel reception, they only told me about this way of getting there and wouldn’t provide any useful information on the other 3 routes. Sometimes I feel like everyone here bands together to get the most amount of money out of the tourists; taking a boat from that port incurs an additional 13,500 peso port fee, on top of the 35,000 peso ticket, while none of the other routes are even close to that expensive.
September 4th 2014
Something about air conditioned rooms here; they can never seem to get the temperature right. The night before last, the room was freezing, then last night, some idiot had set it to 29 degrees and it had been blowing hot air all night. It was cooler outside than inside the room.
Today we decided to go to ‘Volcan de Lodo El Totumo’; a natural mud volcano just outside Cartagena. Once again the staff at this hostel proved useless. We asked the guy last night to leave a note for the morning staff to book us a morning tour. Charnie got up to inquire this morning and they had seen the note and chosen not to do anything about it.
30th August to 2nd September
When I got back from the Lost City hike I checked back into the hostel I had moved to the day before going. No sooner had I walking into the dorm, I heard someone scream my name. Charnie, a Perth girl I had met in Bogota, had been staying in the 8 bed dorm alone for a few days and was super excited to finally have some company. She had travelled over a year in Europe and had met up with one of her best friends to do 4 months in South America, arriving on the same day as me. Unfortunately though, her friend had met a Russian girl at this hostel and decided that he couldn’t live without her so had ditched Charnie to travel with the Russian, 3 weeks into their 4 month planned trip. How rude. So I convinced her to come chill with me for a few days at the beach in Palomino. I felt that after the hike I was in much need of some relaxing beach time.
The Lost City Trek: 26th to 29th August 2014
I actually wanted to do the trek the following week but when I enquired at the MagicTours office I was told that the indigenous tribes close off the area for 2 weeks for their yearly something or other…lucky I asked! Once again, no one at the hostel had bothered to mention this closure even when I said I was thinking about doing the trek next week.
I tried to be more prepared than normal and started packing for the hike the night before. I’m glad I did because I realised that I had left my only bikini hanging on a tree to dry at the hostel before last. Thankfully, it was only the next town across and they had it in lost property. So in the morning, rather than get picked up by the tour group at my current hostel, I had to taxi to the previous hostel then taxi back to the tour office. We were meant to all meet at the office at 9am but I found myself hanging out there until about 10 because everything moves so slowly here. When we eventually were herded to the bus, I had to run back to get the water bottle I’d somehow forgotten. Not sure how I keep forgetting things.