After what felt like the longest stretch ever without an adventure, my two friends and I popped on over to Colombia via Spirit Air (we missed the 300 cancelled Spirit flights by one week…thank the HEAVENS). It was Danielle’s first time out of the country, and she definitely got a great adventure!
After a few days in Bogota, which was gorgeous, we took our first night bus. Was supposed to be 9 hours, but ended up being 21 hours due to heavy rainfall and about a dozen landslides on our tiny mountain road. We had bought road snacks and water, so we weren’t too bummed…plus it felt like a true experience! Took everyone hours to shovel the landslides away, and we didn’t get aid or anything til mid afternoon when a bulldozer showed up.
Unfortunately the landslides cut our time in Salento (a beautifully mountainous town in the Coffee Region) short. But we still managed to take a tour at Ocaso Coffee Farm and ride horses through the hills before catching another bus to Medellin. We discovered that coffee beans are actually sweet like honeysuckle when they come off the vine, and it is a crime to add milk and sugar to first-class coffee (oops).
Medellin was a very metropolitan city with their fancy metro and glamorous suburbs. We weren’t there long, but we had one of the best coffees EVER there, so that’s a win.
After leaving Medellin and arriving in Cartagena, we were finally in the Caribbean! Upon arrival we instantly started sweating and didn’t stop for the next five days. Sunscreen and hats were our best friends. Cartagena has a gorgeous old town, which we explored all over and is home to our favorite night club experience – Eivissa (pronounced like Ibiza…we made that mistake).
Then we jetted off to Casa en el Agua for two nights, which is this picturesque eco-hostel in the middle of the water. Must say I acquired some pretty dank sunburns and bug bites from this place, but it was worth it. Although after two days with no real toilets or showers, we were ready to skidaddle back to the mainland…which was an ODYSSEY in itself. An hour boat ride to a tiny, deserted village; a 30 minute ride on a moto-taxi (aka riding on the back of some dude’s motorcycle through remote towns with our huge backpacks…hilarious); a 2-hour bus ride; and a 45 minute taxi ride.
We got back to Cartagena just in time to visit a mud volcano before flying out the next day. Upon entry into the mud volcano, you are theoretically allowed to choose if you want a massage or not, but in reality large men just grab you and start rubbing you with mud, so you can’t really say no. Then afterwards in the lake, strange women grab you and start throwing buckets of water on you. Basically we were baptized.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip! And looking forward to heading back to my beloved Madrid in three weeks!