The last week has been great! I arrived at Santa Marta early in the morning after a long and exhausting overnight bus journey. The heat was intense compared to the previous places that we had been, so the first day was spent relaxing on the soft sands of Playa Blanca with a quick dip in the ocean every now and then to cool down!
One of the main attractions of the area is Tyrona National Park which is absolutely stunning. Amy and I headed off the next day, which thankfully was slightly cooler. You walk for 2.5hrs until you reach the campsite through lush forests and beaches passing lots of wildlife (monkeys, horses, iguanas, lizards and MOSQUITOS!). We booked into hammocks on the top of some rocks with a lovely view of the beach beneath. The food was fantastic - fresh fish, and everyone was in good spirits. Sleeping was interesting... Everyone hops into their hammock and you can hear the waves crashing on the rocks beneath you - very relaxing. However, later in the night it does get very cold and was quite windy. I did think at one point maybe a naughty hurricane was on the way! Stupidly I had only bought a thin sheet with me so was a bit on the frozen side, however it was still worth it especially when you looked out and saw all the countryside lit up by the moonlight!
Swimming in the crystal waters on the white sandy beaches was a real highlight the next day (despite the 20 min walk to the beach in the heat!). I could have easily, in that moment, stayed forever! We decided to head back to Taganga via boat to avoid the long walk back to the road. We all crammed in and then held on for dear life as we conquered the HUGE waves crashing over us for most of the journey. Why do I spend so much of my time feeling like I am close to death?! Having said that, it was a really fun way to travel back and I would recommend it to everyone! Being our last night in Tyrona we relaxed with a few beers watching the sun set over the ocean before heading to a groovy open air roof club to dance salsa with the locals...a great night (not so great next morning though!)
The next stop was Cartagena which is a very beautiful and hot city. This is where we made the short trip to the volcano for a dip in the mud! To be honest I thought it might be a bit of a disappointment, however I loved it! Luckily we were the first bus to arrive so had no queuing (you know what these tourist hotspots are like!). Being in the mud is a really strange feeling and there are guys who massage you which is very relaxing. You cannot touch the bottom and luckily we seemed to float without trying. A very interesting and fun day!
Now I have just arrived in Medellin this morning and have been exploring with Amy and Reshma. Luckily we managed to find accommodation really easily - had been expecting a few problems as it is holiday season and everyone had been scaring us! The city is huge and it seems like there are loads of areas to explore. Later this evening we are hoping to head out to Zona Rosa to sample the local nightlife...