Monday, November 08, 2010

All the Coolest Travel Destinations Have Day Long Traffic Jams...

Apparently, when JH travels with friends, the G*ds conspire to stick him in excessive traffic jams with limited amounts of snacks. This happened during his Great Asian Adventure, and it, unfortunately for us, happened again on our journey to Parque Tayrona from Cartegena that sunny Tuesday morning.

The morning started off with promise, when the driver told us he could take us directly to the Park instead of dropping us of in Santa Marta, as we were originally told, from where we would have had to take additional modes of transportation. But soon after we passed the birthplace of Shakira, things went downhill.

Apparently, there was a protest near Santa Marta, during which those fighting the good fight for economic and social justice forced a shutdown of the one road into town, leaving us to fight the heat for 3.5 hours with only a few packets of cookies. Once we realized what was going on, JH quickly emailed EKK and AK, his Asia travel companions, and they advised us to ration the snacks and take care not to share them with any of the strangers on the bus. JH made sure not to share them with the Israeli backpackers behind us, and in return, one of the girls gifted him her cold, but this we did not realize until 24 hours later.

It was hotter than it looks.

The traffic jam forced us to spend the night in Taganga, a small fishing village that has apparently become a destination for European and Israeli backpackers, and a jumping off point for visits to Parque Tayrona. We ended up at a cute hostel that was apparently hosting a model convention of some sort, since everyone there was stunning and shirtless. One tall and handsome boy from Chicago bought a beer at the snack bar and talked to us about our impending move there for 10 minutes before saying that he had to run and take his friend to a doctor because she probably had Yellow Fever. Are there doctors in small fishing villages slash crunchy party towns? We hope that we need not ever answer this question. Also, we give you all permission to buy a beer and chat with strangers for 10 minutes if we are ever facing a potentially life-threatening mosquito-transmitted disease (although we are vaccinated against Yellow Feves for the next 10 years).

After a dinner of sandwiches on baguettes and some beers next to European jugglers, we rested under mosquito nets and headed Parque Tayrona in the morning via two buses. Upon our arrival to the park, we began our three hour adventure through the mud, up hills, and along beaches.

On the way, one German boy asked us to take shirtless pictures of him (with his own camera) lying down on a big rock. Of course, we used this opportunity to take some pictures of him with our own camera as well. However, the camera G*ds must have been angry, because soon thereafter, we tried to cross a large pool of water with our camera in our pocket, and suddenly found ourselves in waist deep in water and our own camera is now dead. DEAD. We hope the blog does not suffer due to this tragedy, but rest assure dear reader(s), we will make amends.

No, seriously, he asked us to do this. (But not to take a picture of us doing it).

After finally reaching Cabo (basically like Cabo in Mexico, with only slightly fewer young, drunk people), we rented some hammocks, changed, and of course, ran into a friend from college, AG, on the beach. AG, being involved the theatre scene in New York, said that when she saw three American boys in short bathing suits on the beach, she figured she had to know at least one of us, and, Lo-han and behold, she did.

The park and its beaches are really something else, and, despite the heat and mosquitoes, we think it’s really one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen. We were sad to leave the next day to head back to Bogota, wary about getting on a plane with mud caked on our legs and sand in our sweaty hair. But the Colombian airport security officials took pity on us and let us on, and we made it back safe and sound.

Still to come, Halloween in Bogota = Loco.

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