27.10.2011 - 31.10.2011 27 °F
So after nearly 6weeks I have completed my 1st leg of Central America. The best places that I enjoyed were Oaxaca, Lanquin, Semuc Champey (Guatemala), Granada, Isle de Ometepe (Nicaragua), Panama City…oh yes Tulum! I was not impressed by Managua or Leon probably due to the rain.
I was picked up by this really nice Panamanian cab driver who loved my accent lol who had dropped me off to the airport and I was very upset that I was leaving so early…but onwards and upwards. Checked in, looked around, grabbed a coffee and I couldn’t resist but to buy myself an authentic Panamanian Jack hat! The flight was so quick that I didn’t even get to see the end of The Bad Teacher. I arrived in the cocaine country Colombia. Surprisingly I stayed in the airport most of the day because stupid me I didn’t do any research of what to do but I knew I had to get to Santa Marta to meet up with a volunteering group. Finally got to the bus station in Bogota and found my bus to Santa Marta and it should only take me 16hours. 24hrs later I got to Santa Marta where I was greeted by Bridgette and Cerys the girls from the volunteering group. Shattered, hungry and cold, I finally got to La Brisca…my hostel. I had dinner with some of the girls and was looking forward to my sleep but by now I was so wide awake. The currency is so weird I was told for one night at the hostel would cost me 15,000 pesos which obviously messed around with my head to say the least – it works out to be like £5.00.
Santa Marta has nothing to see apart from being a main hub for getting to and from local places. I also started to find out that the living cost here is pretty high. I went to the local supermarket to buy some essentials (eggs, cereal, tuna, crackers, soya) all came up to £7.00 compared to the 50p worth of fruit and veg that I got when I was in Nicaragua. At this point I decided to let the volunteering group that I can no longer take part as I had to pay for travel, accommodation and food and I felt I it was not practical to just do it for a week in a area where there is nothing to do. Street corners have the odd prostitutes, drunks and drug dealers. Finally, I met Jeten who is a New Zealander and we decided to travel to an area 600m above sea level to a place called Minca. We met a couple from bonny Scotland Gillian and Mark and walked around Mica and came across a several waterfalls weird and wonderful flowers, colourful birds and big butterflies.
Halloween was spent here in Mica and it was so cool to see how the 500 habitants celebrate. There was a small disco with children dressed up from soldiers to crocodiles, loud music and during our evening meal of Pizza we were approached by the kids singing a song which by the sounds of it was a how we say ‘Trick or Treat’. As the evening drew closer and the kids went home the adults came out in full costume glory. In Mexico they will be celebrating the day of the dead which is something I would have loved to have taken part in.
I have decided to stay another day here in Minca just to gather my thoughts and figure out what my next action plan is gonna be. Jeten left today but I will be travelling to Cartegena with Mark and Gillian.