August 27-28 2015
We woke up today at 7am (sleeping in for us), and packed up our belongings again to head to Tayrona National Park. The packing up and moving around so frequently is starting to get to us. However, we are becoming rather efficient packers for excursions and day trips. I’m sure this talent has some real-life value. At our 8:15 departure from the hotel we learned that another [one] has bitten the dust. Alex, an Australian traveling alone, has fallen victim to some sort of food poisoning…we hope! He’s concerned it may be malaria and has decided against taking his antibiotics for 24 hours. Not sure on his logic but I trust he knows what he’s doing. Unfortunately he will not be joining us on today’s beach outing at Tayrona National Park.
One week in our tour and we’ve had 6 causalities, out of our group of 13. Many of the people fell ill during the hike, but Sylvie had them all beat as she fell ill way before any of them even thought about it. That’s my girl…always staying ahead of the curve. Luckily Sylvie is feeling 100% now and was happy that her “stomach malfunction” was resolved prior to the trek.
After a 1-hour private bus ride we arrived to the entrance of the park. We then had to hike for about an hour in the blistering heat. And when I say blistering heat I mean fucking hot! Not only was it hot but also it was humid as all hell. Hiking through a jungle to get to a “resort” on the Caribbean coast in Colombia sounds much more romantic than it actually is. We were all carrying our daypacks, which were filled with all the goodies we will need until we get picked up tomorrow (30 hours later). We’ll be sleeping in hammocks tonight.
P.S. Sylvie and I just got out of the shower from a day at the national park and are siting at the restaurant drinking a couple of Aguila Beers (Colombian Beer). They are expensive here at 4k pesos ($1.33 USD). They can be bought for $0.57 at the market.
Once we arrived Sylvie and I locked up our stuff and located our hammocks. After a quick lunch we set off for an unexpected trek. This time, in addition to the jungle we also spent a fair amount of time walking on a beach with very course sand. After another 40 minute we finally arrived at a beach. We weren’t allowed to swim at the beach near our campsite because there was a sign that read, “warning, no swimming allowed. Over 100 people have died swimming here”. Sylvie and I read on the beach and enjoyed ourselves for a few hours before heading back to camp. Nice showers and a beer! We finally have time to relax. Every bit of walking we did today was to get the defined places in our itinerary and we haven’t done any more. All this and we’re already at 18k steps. Oh yeah, two days ago we hiked 26k+steps and yesterday we took over 33k steps. It’s 6:30pm now and we’re going to eat in a 30 minutes.
Sylvie was amazed by the beautiful blue water but was confused why other people were on her beach ;).
Tomorrow we have the option to wake up early and go for a jungle walk to hear/see the wildlife before breakfast. That tour starts at 6am sharp. We’ll see how well we sleep in the humid mosquito net-draped hammocks.
Dinner last night was fairly good, by Colombian standards at least. There wasn’t much to do after dinner so we all called it a night around 8pm. The hammocks were not too comfortable and were rather dingy. They consisted of a single fabric hammock encased in thick nylon netting. The mosquito netting permits such a minimal amount of airflow it is hard not to overheat even on the coolest of evenings…and this was not a cool evening. I gave Sylvie my silk liner as hers was in the wash from the Lost City trek. She was very appreciative. I tossed and turned all night, as I was uncomfortably hot and sweaty. I think I got a few fleabites…o well!
We just learned that we did not get fleabites, but bedbugs. Now I am in contact with G Adventures trying to get them to pay for the cleaning of all our belongings. Plus I'll see if we can get some type of discount on future trips with G Adventures.
I woke up early to catch a walk in the park by a guide to see the animals. Unfortunately the walk never happened because the guide never showed up. Sylvie and I went to the beach after breakfast and spent the day there. No one else in the group went to that beach since it was nearly an hour hike to get to. They went to a closer beach that was about half as far. We swam a little, talked about our travel plans, and each read our books. I read her a bit from the book I’m currently reading—Vagabonding. It’s a quick read and I’m almost done with it. I highly recommend it to ANYONE who is considering, planning, or has ever dreamt of long-term travel.
We trekked an hour back to our campsite simply to be met by our group. Apparently we arrived at the eat time we were supposed to leave the park. Sylvie and I collected our belongings and then took a 55-minute hike out of the park. We’ve done nearly 6 hours of hiking on rough terrain in the last 26 hours and this was supposed to be our ‘beach time’? I’m on a bus back to our hotel in Taganga and Sylvie is sleeping next to me. I’m sure we’ll relax tonight. Tomorrow is an early morning (maybe a 6:00 am departure). We have to catch a flight from Santa Marta to Medellin.
A few words on the silk liner: The company Cocoon was nice enough to send both Sylvie and me a few of their travel sheets to test out for our tip. I had a 100% silk sheet, while Sylvie had a silk blended with a synthetic to raise the thermal properties of the sheet. There retail price may come across as a bit pricey ($80 USD each) but they are well worth it. They are so easy to wash—just toss in the laundry and they come back clean. We used them every night on the Lost City Trek. Even though we each had our own twin-sized cot Sylvie and I shared the bed each night. We would squeeze into one of the liners while we used the other to cover the pillows. She had a much better sleep last night because he skins wasn’t I constant contact with the questionable fabric that probably had been slept in by no less than a dozen other people since its last wash. It’s lightweight and packs up to the size of somewhere between a baseball and softball. This Cocoon Travel Sleep Liner ismust-have for travelers-on-the-go who want to take care of their skin and feel clean, even in the middle of a Jungle or when climbing into a flea-ridden hammock after walking nearly 20,000 steps in the steaming humid heat. Check out the Cocoon Silk Liner (click here).