The Journey from Cartagena to Capurgana
You would think that a journey that lasts for almost two days wouldn't be interesting. However, our experience had its ups and downs both mentally and physically. We left Cartagena at 11:00 after a man grabbed my bag and tried to put us on the next bus. We argued, got my bag back and negotiated a price. We were told by three different people that the bus had air conditioning but what they didn't confirm was whether or not they would turn it on! The windows open were sufficient enough but we wouldn't have paid as much so I cheekily asked for some money back. The conductor laughed but no money was coughed up. We were then kicked out of the 'direct' bus and put on a different one. This one at least had air conditioning but that was turned off after 5 minutes of cool joy. During the bus changeover I nipped to the toilet with some change in my pocket l was all prepared to pay the usual toilet fee. When there was no toilet attendant I quickly did my thing and jumped back onto the bus. Two seconds later a boy gets on demanding I pay for the toilet! I got a little annoyed and tried to explain he should do his job and not wander off, lazy sod, and there wasn't even toilet roll!
After a long bumpy journey where some of the road was paved but a lot wasn't we arrived in Monteria. This is not a tourist destination but we wanted a break before heading on another 5 hours to Turbo. We had booked a hotel but thought we would check the price before letting them know we had booked. It was 40,000 pesos cheaper without the booking so we paid quickly. The next day we relaxed by the pool and got some snacks for the next leg of the journey. When we were leaving the lady tried to charge us the extra 40,000. After a short discussion in broken Spanish I managed to explain that the man yesterday gave it to us for this price and we wouldn't have stayed here for an extra 40,000. After explaining this to another woman we were eventually allowed to leave without paying the extra-result!
The fun didn't stop there. When we got to the bus station all the companies were charging a small fortune. We tried to haggle but they weren't having any of it, knowing that we were stuck in Monteria a very boring town they could charge what they liked. We emptied our purse and pretended we only had 44,000 pesos and a friend of one of the bus drivers offered us a lift. We got very excited as it was a small pick-up truck with air conditioning so we tried our luck at sitting in the cabin section. When his family arrived we were soon asked to move to the boot! We sheepishly got into the boot along with an old man with a chicken. The seat was comfortable but there wasn't enough leg or head room so we were a bit cramped! The guy drove like a maniac so at least we had a nice breeze throughout the journey. The roads were even worse here and it had recently been raining so we drove through a lot of mud. We got stopped by the police and James had to show one of the officers our camera to prove he wasn't taking pictures of him. We dropped off the man and his chicken and as we approached Turbo the heavens opened. We zipped ourselves in and were thankful that it only just started to rain.
The guy dropped us right outside a hostel, we gave our thanks and then got absolutely drenched just crossing the road. Turbo is a right dump so we didn't even feel the need to book a hostel but turns out there was some competition at the time and he didn't have any rooms. He was a really nice guy and found us a nearby hostel which smelt of sewage and the bed was a rock but it was £2.50 each, we couldn't complain.
Early the next morning we met with Dorthe, who had caught a night bus from Medillin and waited at the dock for our 2 ½ hour boat journey to Capurgana. The dock was mayhem and our boat was an hour late but the boat journey was slightly better than expected and we both had a little nap- I think the drowsy seasickness tablets helped. I know that Mum and Nan would not have enjoyed the journey as we bumped our way along the sea but our bags are dry and we have found another cheap, nice hostel to stay. The whole village hasn't had power for 3 days and it doesn't look as though we will get any whilst we are here. Our hostel owner doesn't have a generator so it is candles and a hot night for us!