A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: LeeEmma

Day 201 – 206 Panama

.....the family does canal (five hearts)

Panama should be the country of hangovers (it seems to be our experience of it to date). We arrived off the boat and no one was faring well. A wet one hour boat ride was followed by a horror mountain road two hour drive with the only saving grace – air con. Not only is Panama the country of hangover, it is the country of wet heat. So our happy little family had one solution. MacDonald’s and the cinema. Who knew Panama could be cured in one swift move. So after a night in the Allbrook mall watching “Return of the Titans” and munching on fast food, we were ready to hit the sights.
This turns out to be one thing. The Canal!DSC_0025.jpg After a brief education lesson where we introduced The Panama Canal to Meg who had apparently missed ever hearing of that engineering feat, we braved the heat and headed out to Miraflores lock. Despite the fact that it is just a massive lock which lets tankers through, the canal was pretty awesome. The boats move through so quickly it’s incredible, the museum was so interesting and educational - and - it had air con. Woo hoo Panama Canal. A quick sightsee in the Casco Viejo taking in the stunning rundown colonial buildings, and that was the end of our family adventure in Panama City.DSC_0013.jpg Two days, two servings of fast food, and one movie (oh and a little sightseeing) before boarding a night bus to Bocos Del Toro.
Bocas was awesome - even with the rain and sand flies!! After a great night bus experience which involved grotesque bellies and Phil with his pants off, the family Straathof arrived in Almirante and hopped on the water taxi to Bocos’s main island, Colon (hee hee).
After some stealthy work by the organisational team we boated across to a flashpacking compromise with balconies, aircon and cable TV (which made Lee ecstatic as he got to watch his first west ham game in six months – and see them win to avoid relegation). But there was little time to relax, the whole reason we had hit Bocas for the weekend was Ladies night and there was dolling up to be done. So, by channelling my 23 year old self (back when I was fun), slipping into Meg’s hot pants, and smearing on slap for the first time in six months we hit the aqua lounge. And that’s about all I can say about that night. Free rum and coke’s (yes – strong and totally free) for the ladies, and the boys smashing bottles of rum with minimal mixer means very little can be said. Pictures say it all!!!DSCF0575.jpgDSCF0563.jpgDSCF0506.jpg
So waking up to pouring rain the next morning was a godsend. It called for some quality time in bed, some picture sorting, and lots and lots of mutual group sympathy. The family Straathoff “aka Wolfpak” was in pain. The most we managed for the day was ordering home delivered burgers (by boat) and walking around the island to grab some amazing seafood for dinner!
Monday started better however, being the last day the family was all together we decided to get some beach time and snorkelling in together. We grabbed some brekky and then jumped on a boat to take us to an island for some swimming. On the way we made Meg’s day. Before the sailing trip she’d never seen Dolphins in real life and the boat ride to the beach was full of them. They were trailing the boat, dancing in the wake, they were so gorgeous. It meant by the time we reached our secluded island beach we felt we had already accomplished something (yes, that’s right – seeing dolphins is an accomplishment for us at this point). So we grabbed beers and settled in for shenanigans and family portraits on the beach. After grabbing a quick bite in huts over the water, we snorkelled over to some beautiful fish and coral and headed back to farewell Phil (nine becomes eight – sob sob).
And so began the disintegration of the family. Meg, Leethal, Canada and I took Phil out to the airport to wave him off and then drowned our sorrows in our final happy hour. The next morning it continued as we left the Duchess in Bocos and the remaining seven headed to Almirante. Joy and Patrick headed off west, and Kev, Canada, Lee and I headed over the border. And that’s where we are now. I’m blogging in a 40 degree bedroom while Canada and Lee are lying on the bed talking sport and drinking beer (I think he’s missed boys – shhhhh don’t tell anyone).
So welcome to Costa Rica us. Two months to go, so we’re upping the pace (hence only one week and two stops in Panama), and tomorrow we’re heading further up the coast to see turtles lay eggs. Woo Hoo.
Love to you all
Em & Lee xx

Posted by LeeEmma 08:57 Comments (0)

Day 194 - 200 Cartagena and sailing San Blass

Paradise not so lost – we found it!!!!

So on Joy and Patrick’s advice and research, we decided to cut our south American travels short by a couple of days and catch a boat to Panama city (via San Blas) – highly recommended and a nice chance to relinquish planning and research duties.
So from Taganga we hot footed it to Cartagena de Indiana to check out the old colonial town. The city is stunning and fully deserves its “Cannes of South America” title.boat__22_.jpg The streets are a mix of pastel colours trimmed with window boxes bursting with colour, so a two hour walk around the city, several frozen drinks (soooooo hot) and a couple of rest breaks were in order. In a whole day that was pretty much all we could muster and we’re going to have to get better at this wet heat if we’re going to survive any of Central America. We did however meet our boat crew and the twelve of them look like a cool bunch – if not a little young. I am going to have to do some “fun Emma” channelling if I am going to keep up with them – I did used to be fun.
Day two in Cartagena saw us a little more active, although only a little. We decided to visit the local attraction in Cartagena and cool off at the same time, so we visited the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud volcano). The 15m high mound looks very little like a volcano and more like a large mole hill, but inside was amazing!!! After climbing into the crater you were quickly aware that movement was a very hard option. You couldn’t even sink, the mud was so thick and buoyant, so the only option was to lay back and cover yourself in it. It was brilliant fun.P1040647.jpg And, to top it off, a man massaged you while you were in the mud – perfect (if not a little inappropriate at times)!!! So after a pretty intense washing (which was also pretty ineffective) in the nearby lake we headed back into Cartagena to finish up our last night in South America with some incredible sushi and a boys night for Patrick and Lee (which I am still yet to be let in on all the details of, but involved Cafe del Mar and two bottles of rum)!
So after 196 days of travelling South America we headed down to the port to board our boat (called Sacanagem which means dirty joke in Portuguese) and begin our Central American adventure. I should premise this by mentioning that I don’t really love the open sea, so the prospect of 36hrs of navigation through some of the stormiest waters in Central America wasn’t getting me going. Luckily for us the navigation was a breeze! We began late at night, and with only one waking day to fill (which I managed to avoid doing much during anyway) it was fantastic. So excitedly we woke on our second morning to approaching stunning little atolls in crystal blue Caribbean seas. The heat on the boat was intense and with no respite due to the lack of wind and perfectly flat seas (not complaining) we must have been the fastest group on earth to undress and dive into the water. And it was HEAVEN! The water was the warmest I have ever felt and still had the welcome cool off at the beginning which makes the whole swim worthwhile.
The whole day was incredible. El Capitan (Federico) moored us in this stunning bay where we got to swim to the islands, walk on the pure white sands, and start smashing back the beers which had been impossible to drink during navigation.boat__7_.jpg After a strong comeback by El Capitan in the food department (the first night was pot noodles which didn’t bode well) we had a delicious salad lunch and headed over to the nearest inhabited island and met some of the Kuna natives. The Kuna are impressive people – if not just for the fact that they thrive in this heat and sand flies don’t seem to bother them. But they survive on the coconut trade and up until the late 90s, 80% of the coconut that “Bounty” used in their chocolate bars were supplied by the Kuna from the San Blas islands. The women in the community are also revered (as they should be obviously) and are the keepers of culture and tradition. For this reason none of the women learn Spanish as they are tasked with keeping the Kuna language alive. They were really interesting to meet and see how their lifestyle is changing over the years.
After loads more swimming and ridiculous diving off the roof of the boat competition , the nights festivities started. I expected these kids to be crazy and there wasn’t much disappointment. We headed over to the beach and had a BBQ over a massive bonfire then roasted marshmallows. Unfortunately being away from the boat meant two things – booze runs out & sand flies are mental. So we swam back in the dark and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. The water was FULL of phosphorescence, so whenever you moved (which is the primary action in swimming) the plankton in the water glowed like millions of little stars. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!! We then all spent the next couple of hours frolicking in the dark looking down into the water with our masks to see the plankton.
Despite the large amounts of rum (which is called Ron in Latin America just in case you wanted to know) and beer consumed, we awoke quite sprightly the next morning and began our journey around to our next idyllic location. Not without a tug ride though, so we all donned our strongest bikini’s (I went for two bikini tops) and jumped into the water behind the boat. Despite the fact that we were probably travelling less than 2 knots, the pull was ridiculous and it wasn’t long before we were all swallowing half the ocean and losing our pants. So much fun...........haven’t laughed so hard in ever (which is also why we were swallowing so much salt water). So we dragged our way to the next location which was incredibly even more stunning than the first. Our first activity (after more food of course) was to swim over to a nearby sand bar and walk to the island. It was so nice, just Leethal and I swimming through beautiful water, and then me being dragged along the sand bar as I refused to walk – to wander around our own deserted island paradise. With rum supplies running low for the next two nights we decided to conserve so it was a pretty sedate evening watching the stars on deck and playing some cards (before having to call it quits as somehow we moved to cheat without mentioning it).
Our final day on the islands came far too quickly. At this point I think I would have paid anything just to spend a few more days in the islands. We had some brekky and then we took some more alone time to go snorkelling over to some coral reefs surrounding one of the islands. Despite listening to the captain’s snorkelling instructions we apparently didn’t hear them and managed to almost beach on the ridiculously shallow reeded outters. This led to an unbeaching contest which lasted the whole way to the shore.
OH MY GOD!!!! I would say I have seen a lot in my travels and been some incredible places in my life, but this place tops the cake for most romantic. The beaches were incredibly white and the palm trees lay over the blue waters. So stunning.boat__114_.jpg Which meant there was only one thing to do – America’s Next Top Model photo shoot!!! Lee won unfortunately, but I came a convincing second (which was pretty good for just the two of us – I was looking like taking last for a while there until I pulled out the tree shot).
But alas, that was the end of our frivolity and we had to return to the boat to make our way back to the archipelago’s capital in time for the following day’s departure. We managed to check out the local town briefly on a beer run (I did check out more of the local women’s Mollah’s – traditional patchwork pieces – for you Kevo) before starting the nights celebrations.P1040709.jpg
Rum, I love Rum – it makes me very happy. So knowing we were down to only three quarters of a bottle, there was a good chance the night wouldn’t go on too long – but not so. Before the sun had even said goodnight we were dancing up a storm on deck. El Capitan had other ideas though and started a mass clearout on deck which saw several people thrown overboard. Lee revelled in it, but with so little rum left I wasn’t about to pass mine up and managed two passes and two bruised cheekbones before I finally hit the water. The only injury of the night saw Leethal landing on Joy’s head which not surprisingly didn’t end so well. Oh well, nothing a lot of rum won’t fix aye!!! So our final night on the boat was mental and so much fun.P1040757.jpg Dancing Kev, Phil Collins, Shakira and the cast of Grease all put in stellar performances making for a difficult get up the following morning, but a fitting farewell to one of the most beautiful places on earth! Central America here we come!
Love to you all
Em & Lee

Posted by LeeEmma 08:30 Comments (0)

Day 188 – 193 – Ciudad Perdida

Lost city = Found!

You would think three days in a hammock doing nothing would be the perfect recuperation for a sick person about to embark on a five day trek in the jungle..............you would think.
Alas, no! As we began our trek to Ciudad Perdida, I don’t think I have ever felt worse. Snot the colour of the trees (its important I paint the visual for you – no matter how gross it is), coughing up stuff the size of small creatures, and my body acting as a direct funnel for anything that went into it. Awesome.
As it turns out we were really lucky in that we had the perfect group. The eight of us consisted of Joy & Patrick (an English/American couple who Lee and I voted the second best couple in the group - there was only us and them but they were really cool),Thierry (a French/Mexican/Australian guy), Colm (a cute little Irish man), and the world’s best Norwegians – Bjornar and Christian.DSC_0370.jpg All of whom were brilliant, and really supportive of the sick Aussie bird at the back of the group.
The first day was supposed to be a light day to ease you into things. After a two and a half hour ride out to the jungle in the worst sweat box I’ve ever experienced, we began our two and half hour warm up walk to our first nights camp. Oh my god! Entering the jungle we hit a wall of incredibly wet oppressive heat, I knew I had entered hell. Which coincidentally is another of the local names for the city – “Inferno verde” – the green hell. Informative fact – tick! So we walked, and stopped for some pineapple, and then walked some more, and stopped for some oranges and bananas, and then walked some more. As we were walking I thought I would die, but after enduring the two and half hours it seemed fine – especially when we got to our camp to find showers! Ahhh, the luxury. Even the fact that they were ice cold couldn’t put us off (well I should say me – Lee was in heaven) and we went to bed after an awesome tea feeling much better than imagined.
Sunlight was our alarm clock the next morning and we woke pretty early to the best breakfast ever. Fruit salad, granola, yoghurt and cocaine. Kidding about the cocaine bit, but it was kind of part of breakfast, as we visited a local coke finca where they show you how to make it. I guess I should have been more interested, the chemist in our group was in her element, but I was just a little bored. You add some coca leaves to chemicals, then distil with petrol, add more bad stuff which would burn out your septum and then purify. Not enough purification could ever get me to touch the stuff but then again I guess it was pretty informative. It wasn’t a real coke den, it was pretty much a makeshift tent set in the middle of the jungle solely for tourist education. Oooohh, and I forgot, if the chemicals aren’t enough to put you off, then note it takes 4 square meters of rainforest to make a gram of coke – bad bad bad!!!! So after our informative drug making morning we headed back to camp, ate some more, and started the days walk. This was only a two hour walk, one hour up, one hour down, and through shaded rainforest, so actually a pretty nice walk. I should have remembered this feeling as it was to be the only day where I felt remotely human and turned out to be the part that killed me later on. When we arrived at our camp we strung up some hammocks and bunked down under the mosquito nets to avoid the worst barrage of bugs I have ever seen. P1040620.jpgI kept thinking of Sam at this point and finally succumbed to putting my headphones in my ears just in case bugs decided to crawl in for explorative surgery. Wise advice young Guymer.
Day three and the longest day (supposedly) of our trek. We woke up (me still feeling rubbish, the group still being lovely) and headed off early in the morning. Our first rest break was lacking in the freshly cut fruit that I had become accustomed to, but did involve us checking out the locals. There are only two indigenous groups still left in the national park surrounding the lost city, the most famous and common of which are the Kogi tribe. They are the direct descendants of the Tayrona natives and one of the few indigenous tribes to survive the Spanish invasion. They’re fascinating people, and one of the few indigenous groups we have met which really shun western culture.DSC_0399.jpg The men wear their hair long and wear white dress style things (like oversized t-shirts), and the woman, belted dresses with no shoes. They aren’t allowed to wear any western clothing and if they ever leave the tribe they aren’t permitted to return. They also have strong cultural laws on sickness and if someone is sick or mained then they are to be killed. Very surprised that they can get away with this in modern times, but at least their culture isn’t being interfered with. After this we began our walk, which turned out to be quite pleasant, and after five hours and five river crossings we arrived in camp in time for lunch - and the deluge of the heavens. We had been thinking, that as we’d been making such good time, (despite my constant stopping for bushman blows – I’ll explain through demonstration when we get the English contingent to visit) that we might be able to visit the city (only two hours and 1300 steps further on) that afternoon, but the rain was horrific. Within minutes of the heavens opening, most of the camp had turned into a mudbath and we had to be content with beer, cards and some ingenious McGuyver antics under the relatively dry patio area.
But it turned out well. When we awoke the next morning (at 5am though – booooo) the sky was clear and the day was looking up. I was even feeling like I might be on the mend (obviously spoke too soon on that one!). The stepped walk up to the ruins was tough, but gorgeous. Reminiscent of the Incan steps of Machu Picchu with small rocks, capable of only fitting midget feet on them (you’d have been fine Kevo), covered with moss and leaves, to climb up. And reaching the top.................incredible. There are some incredible things we have seen so far, and that (unfortunately) leads to a lot of comparisons and some lacking enthusiasm on what others might view as incredible. Not here. Ciudad Perdida is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. A ruined city, perched on a high point in the middle of the valley, looking over incredibly dense, stunning jungle. And, like so many things in Colombia, it is so non touristy.DSC_0466.jpg It might overtake Machu Picchu in my estimations for that sole fact. We rocked up to these incredible ruins, in one of the most beautiful places in the world and there was not a soul there. Just our group. Oh, and the army, but they’re in camouflage, so you can hardly see them anyway! ;) So we just had the chance to wander around this magical place, standing on the pebbled ruins of an ancient village, and taking in the scenery with no one to spoil it. So when we returned to the camp for lunch we were on a massive high.
Shame my high couldn’t last. After we finished our early lunch (11am), we set off with our packs and headed to our next night’s sleep. This is where we have issues. The plan had been to sleep at the same camp as we had the previous night (night two), which meant a five hour walk (give or take). But a lot of the group, if not all of them, wanted to sleep at the camp the night before that, which meant adding another two hours on top and taking the days walking to eleven hours (after a 5am start). As you probably can guess I wasn’t happy. There was little chance I would be able to up my walkage by that much, even if I was feeling better, and to make matters worse, the weather reflected my mood and the heavens opened. So we walked the first two hours in pouring rain, the tropical variety which isn’t cold, but so heavy you can’t see for the water pouring down your face.
The race was on though. Our fearless leader of a guide (Juan) had said that we couldn’t walk in the dark, so we would have to make the seven hour walk in five and a half hours or stay at the original camp (camp two). I was secretly (and not so subtley) hoping for this option, but pushed on hard in order not to slow the group down. When the rain finally stopped we found ourselves confronted with the next challenge of the day - which was reminiscent of a skiing holiday. Red clay from the previous days had been changed to mud slides, and what should have been an easy descent took on a whole new dimension. But we carried on, and made it to camp two in four hours (one hour under schedule) – crap. That meant that we had one and a half hours to do the final two hour stretch before dark, and no surprise the group wanted to push on. This was pretty much my breaking point. I headed off in front of the group so that I would slow them down less and was dying from exhaustion. It wasn’t long before they caught up, and as soon as they passed I freaked out. With pretty much the whole stretch to go I started hyperventilating and had an anxiety attack. New one for Leethal, he thought he had seen every freaky thing I could throw at him, but he hadn’t witnessed this one yet (mind you neither had I for a good fifteen years). I couldn’t breathe for the tears and exhaustion but he managed to calm me down – such a beautiful boy. And from that point on he was a godsend. He sang very bad songs to me and made me forget how much I was dying. I knew there were reasons I loved him! ;) So at five thirty – just before dark – we arrived into camp as a group. They had significantly slowed down to allow me to catch up, told you, couldn’t have hoped for a better group to walk with. But that was it for me. An incredible day, where I felt like I had achieved something massive, but not even a cold coke was enough to keep me up and out of my hammock. Bed by 6.30pm – bliss.
Thanks to the mammoth effort of the previous day the final day was only a repeat of the first day and the two and half hour uphill walk became a downhill one and a half hour stroll which had to have been the easiest day by far. We arrived back at the starting point by lunchtime, looking a little more tired, a lot more dirty and stinking a lot worse than five days previously, but so much happier. I’m still not a convert to trekking (and Lee has promised me no more trekking on this trip) but I must admit, once I have done it, it is a massive thrill. If we had missed Ciudad Perdida it would have been a travesty, and will stick with me forever (for both good and bad reasons). The only thing left to do was to make it back to the hotel and shower and change clothes. One outfit for five days of trekking in tropical heat isn’t pleasant and I think a ritual clothes burning might be in order.
Love to you all (glad to still be alive)
Em & Lee

Posted by LeeEmma 08:20 Comments (0)

Day 176 – 187 Religion, Sickness and Recuperation...

...Our trip through San Agustin, Popoyan and Tayrona.

Life can’t be posing too many problems when you have to sit in a hammock on a deserted beach and write your blog. Ahh Colombia. The only problem I have is that I have the flu. And its horse flu - which I have dubbed worse than bird or man flu. Much much worse!!!
I acquired this flu after riding a horse, hence the name. So – back story.
We left the coffee region and headed down to Cali via the local buses for a night of Salsa. General consensus has it that Cali has nothing to offer except Salsa (pretty harsh but only reporting what the masses have to say). That’s why we planned one night in Cali. Unfortunately that night was a Sunday night, and the start of Semana Santa (Holy Week). So no salsa. Nada. Nothing. When we arrived at the hostel the woman told us that the best place to see Salsa, due to everything else being shut, was the water park. “Awesome” we thought. We love waterslides, and this sounds like a ball. Salsa from 12pm – 10pm - people in bathers dancing to salsa by the pools, perfect. So knowing ourselves we decided to wait until four (we would have a much better chance to sticking it out until the end then). So, at four thirty our taxi dropped us off at the park, we bought our tickets and went inside. Half an hour later the water slide park was shut. The one slide that Lee managed to get on has to go down as the most expensive in history. Turns out, our Spanish interpretation of what was going on was a little off. The waterslide park has a discotheque, which shuts at 10, but the park shuts at 5pm. So at 5.15pm we went exploring outside the water area and found some rides. As luck would have it our ticket entitled us to five free rides as well – so not a total bust - so we joined the longest queue (obviously the most fun ride) and waited our half hour to get on the rollercoaster. You would think we would have learnt by then. The rides area closed at 6pm, so as we headed to the next ride we were quickly told that we couldn’t go on. Luckily it was proving to be a little amusing by then - not amusing enough to actually hang around though. So the discotheque was avoided (we watched them salsa and although impressive, not about to happen given our current moods) and we hopped a taxi back to the hostel.
We left ASAP the next morning – Cali, TICK! Our aim was to make it down to San Agustin which was a couple of bus rides away, reportedly taking nine hours, and over unpaved roads. Our first break came after a two hour chicken bus, when we arrived in Popoyan only to bump into Andrew and his mate Emy. Meeting up with the ripper again was great value and meant we formed a possie of six (found two kiwis loitering around too) giving us bargaining power of an earlier bus time. So at eight pm, after six hours on bumpy roads, on a bus with apparently no suspension, we arrived in the small town of San Agustin. The town is famous for its statues which were carved thousands (maybe hundreds – not sure, our guide only spoke very fast Spanish) of years ago in the area. DSC_0270.jpgSo the following morning we grabbed some horses and began our four hour trek of the mountains and ruins of San Agustin. Now.........four hours slowly dragged onto six, and by two pm I was riding side saddle and trying to avoid my knee suffering permanent damage. Now don’t get me wrong, I love horse riding, and the day was brilliant. Lee and I had the best horses for a change and were racing each other at the front. It was like something from a movie (all be it with very bad riders as actors). BUT, the horse gave me the flu. That’s all I can think of. I was fine before I got on the horse, and then when I got off my whole body ached and I had to go home. The rest of the crew went onto the National Park to see some better preserved statues and I went home and lay on the couch – suffering. Early to bed and early to rise (early bus back to Popoyan) did nothing to help the situation. I now ached, had no energy and a very annoying cough. And I am sure the bumpy road bus back to Popoyan didn’t help either. But I was determined to push through.
Popoyan is another small Colombian town which celebrates Santa Semana in a massively over the top way. This is the second largest catholic Easter celebration outside of Valencia, Spain, so we were pretty excited to see it. Every night of the week, the town crowds the streets and nineteen floats of different religious scenarios are carried through the town. Each night also has a different colour of flower on the floats, with Thursday representing Christ’s eternal love for us through pink flowers (I am quoting – not my choice of words here), Friday being red to signify the spilling of Christ’s blood, and so on and so on. DSC_0304.jpg0DSC_0343.jpgSo we arrived into town, checked out the dorm room briefly and headed into town for the celebrations. The town is gorgeous and the floats didn’t disappoint. Carried by robed men and having the streets lined with children carrying candles, the sight was stunning. But there is only so much religious spectacle that those of us raised without it can take. The parade lasted for two and a half hours and they walked more slowly than the mythical turtle creature. By the end I was sitting in the dirt on the side of the road because that was all the energy I could muster, and that was after Lee had tried to hype me up on sugar using a bag of fairy floss.
So the next day, with the horse flu getting worse, it wasn’t looking likely that I would accomplish much. Leethal got me out of bed and we wandered around a little, with me taking frequent breaks for sit downs. I have never been so drained. I must have lasted about an hour before I had to leave Lee to explore the town without me, and went back to the dorm room to die (I didn’t, just in case you were wondering how that one ended).
I was saved by the surprise arrival of Myles though. We knew from Andrew that Myles would be heading down soon in order to catch him, but we were pleasantly surprised when he rocked up at our hostel looking for us. I was ecstatic, with no reserves in the energy bank I was thrilled that Lee would have someone to play with and off they went to pick up women and eat steak. Both tasks successful I believe.
The next day the snot kicked in. Thought you would like to know that. Now, not only did I have an all over body ache, no energy and an annoying cough, I had a mass of snot. And not the good stuff either, just the annoying one which is a constant need to blow your nose. Rubbish. So I spent a lot of time on the hostel couch and was only dragged out to watch our final night’s parade – which as it turns out was pretty similar to the first. In case you didn’t know, they nail Jesus to a cross, but it all ends well. So safe in this knowledge that the story wasn’t likely to have a sad ending, we left the festivities early and called our time on Popoyan. Stunning white washed city, with gorgeous churches, I just wish I could muster more enthusiasm for anything at this point.
So the next day we jumped a flight. I know – check us out. Local buses not good enough for us anymore (well at least not on what would amount to a 20 hour bus ride at only twenty dollars cheaper than a four hour flight), and we began our northern adventure. This is where I am writing this from. A hammock on the beach, whilst Lee is off under the water getting his advanced dive licence.
There isn’t much I can say about up here. We were staying in Taganga, a cute little fishing village which is starting to cotton on to the tourist trade, but still has some very raw edges to it, for a few nights, and visiting the beaches.0DSC_0351.jpg That was lovely and just what the doctor ordered. My cough is still annoying, but less so, and the aching has gone. I still have no energy, but that is my excuse for lying on the beach doing ABSOLUTELY nothing. Lee has been doing his three day advanced dive course in Tayrona National Park and I have been sleeping on the beach with the class and have not yet (in three days) managed to get out of my jim jams, or into the ocean.DSC_0360.jpg Lazy, but if you’d ever had horse flu you’d understand. ;)
So there is nothing to not love about Colombia (except horses). We will head out of the park soon and I will move from a hammock to a bed for one night before commencing the lost city trek. Should be fab. But for now, more sun awaits.
Love to you all
Em & Lee

Posted by LeeEmma 08:16 Comments (0)


We know we have been rubbish with the blogging - four months without anything is a little dissappointing even by our standards, but we have been keeping the writings going - just struggling to keep them going.

We'll hope to get them more uploaded in the next few days.

Love to all

em and lee

Posted by LeeEmma 07:41 Comments (0)

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