We left Cartagena with two little backpacks for Santa Marta where we stocked up on food, water and cash. Our hostel there was pretty nice and even offered us a free salsa lesson where we learned the difference between the Guatemalan and the Colombian style.
Early the next morning we took a local bus to the main entrance of the Tayrona National Park, the crown jewel of the Colombian Caribic coast. We hiked for two hours in the most magnificent rainforest you can imagine. We passed huge egglike rocks, massive trees, plants in every shade of green and every now and then we spotted a lizard or a bird.
But as there had been heavy rainfall the day before we also had to make our way through muddier areas. We circled around the mud pools until there was no way around them anymore and we had to take off our shoes. But as we soon reached a beach that wasn’t too bad anyway. After a short swim we continued our way to the Cabo San Juan beach where we had booked two out of the sixteen hammocks in a little hut on a little half-island with the most amazing view on the sea and the rainforest you can imagine.
We spent the rest of the afternoon snorkeling and chatting at the beach with an Argentinian couple we had met on the hike. As they didn’t speak any language other than Spanish this was a great test for us. Considering the fact that we only had studied Spanish for two weeks, we did surprisingly well and were able to hold conversations that went below the usual small talk. They even invited us to stay with them in Buenos Aires and show us around the city when we arrive there in January.
As this was our first night ever in a hammock we didn’t had the best sleep possible but for sure the closest one to nature. We could hear the animals, the wind in the palm trees and the waves when we tried to fall asleep. And when we woke up in the middle of the night to put on a pullover we could see a sky so full of stars it was unreal.
The next day we spent exploring the area, snorkeling and chatting at the beach before we saddled our horses to make our way back to the entrance. It was our first horse ride since Swaziland and for sure the most adventurous one. Our horses had to climb up and down steep hills and through passages so small they had to set one foot in front of the other. And when we weren’t climbing we rode through lakes of mud that sometimes splashed up so high we became dirtier and dirtier. But we didn’t mind as the horses did excellent and the view from their back into the jungle was simply marvelous.
At the entrance we said good-bye to our new Argentinian friends and promised to meet up in January in Buenos Aires before we took a bus to Palomino.