I’m a terrible beach bum.
The tiki hut styled hostel was lovely, with chilled vibes and cool décor. The night, however, presented a problem. I attempted to sleep, while a guy erupted from both ends in the bathroom with no solid walls, right next to my bunk. To say I was unsympathetic is an understatement.
I managed to escape this nightly lullaby by going camping in the nearby national park, Tayrona. Of course, no one mentioned that it was a considerable hike (by my standards, at least) to the campsite and so I turned up, once again, in flip flops. My feet and I somehow survived, and saw awesome forests and beaches (including a monkey and crocodile).
The campsite was a gorgeous cove, with the tents literally metres away from the ocean. Swimming was on the menu for the rest of the day, with intermissions of sunbathing to dry off, when I would blind fellow travellers, since my skin is luminescent at the best of times.
There was nothing to do at night, but lie on the beach and watch the stars. Very idyllic. Waking up, however, in a tent under an intense Colombian sun was not idyllic. Sweat coated every inch of my body and then some. Slithering out of the tent, I ran for the ocean and there I stayed until it was time to trundle back in my hiking flip flops.
Alas, my time (a.k.a. my patience) as a beach bum had run out (i.e. tiki huts offered zero privacy and I needed solid walls again). So, I found myself some Germans on their way to Santa Marta and tagged along for the ride.
Cue sassy Colombian ladies, rooftop salsa bars and an hilarious Wheel of Penalties. The town was filled with festival spirit, as the carnival in Barranquilla was just round the corner. I even had my very own carnival dance lesson from the aforementioned sassy Colombian ladies.
Recovering from the scandalous Santa Marta, I ended up in Cartagena again. There I became a muse to an American-Jamaican-Rastafarian and Israeli pianist. I also explored the local fortress and salsa danced in the streets. A bizarre, but fun couple of days to say the least.
Bogotá was my next destination. Most people before had said they didn’t get on well with the city, but I loved it. It reminded me a lot of Berlin, with graffiti and history dotted everywhere. Again, salsa ruled the nights, but my days were spent with an amazing group of people I met at the Cranky Croc hostel.
Finally, the day came to fly back to Lima, where I reunited with a friend from home who I had not seen in over seven months. And so back to Peru I flew, where I attempted to become an actual hiker/vigorous walker (meaning no flip flops).