We were a quite apprehensive about traveling to Columbia. The stories of Pablo Escobar and his drug cartel in the 80's to the ongoing kidnappings of politicians, businessmen, and tourists through the last few decades near on scarred us off. Its become a much safer place in the past few years for travelers. Of course you have to be careful like anywhere, kidnapings do still occur but as long as you are wary of the dangers it can be a truly an amazing country. We spent 3 weeks in Columbia, majority of our time was spent in Taganga a small fishing village situated on the Caribbean coast, it offers the laid back life style that sucks you in immediately. Other then completing our PADI course there is not a lot else to do other then relax and enjoy the tropical weather and the local cuisine.
The 6 day trek to Ciuadad Perdidad aka Lost City was fabulous, the Lost City itself was not entirely as we imagined it be, but as it is 2,500 years old it does demand your respect. Situated in the Columbian jungle (inhabited by guerrilla's) really makes it a tough trek. Grave robbers accidentally uncovered it 40 years ago and it makes sense why it was an accident, It is bloody hard to find. We slept in hammocks, the first and last 2 nights were spent with the indigenous people of the land (Corkies) . It really was an adventure in its self but still hard work. - fast flowing river crossings, waterfalls, mud every where, tropical rain/heat and the bloody mosquito's (painful fat mosquito's as they don't stop eating you). It was nice to get back to Taganga where a warm clean shower and a bed awaited us.
We were blown away when some of the guides on this tour took us to see how they make Cocaine!!! Only in Columbia and quite an experience. It's there way of life and children as young as 5 are working in these coke factories!! With Americas push to stop the mas production of coke out of Columbia its making it harder and harder for the locals to obtain the chemicals to produce the drugs.
We enjoyed a night out in Taganga before moving onto Cartagena, my gosh can these people move. They all must have started salsa lessons the day they were born.....
Cartagena, a small little colonial city. We took a boat out to Playa Blanca to enjoy one last day by the sea before we depart to Medellin on the way to Ecuador. Cartegena has a beautiful old town that takes you back to the 50's & 60's, the beach is and sunsets amazing but be prepared as you will get harassed as soon as you walk on to the beach, to but this ans that or have a massage. Actually you will get hassled all over Cartegena. We only stayed 2 nights.
Arrived in Medellin on Sunday 28th (after a 13hour bus ride) just in time for a home cooked BBQ at The Black Sheep hostel. Everyone is drinking and getting wasted in Medellin, there is not a lot to do other than PARTY really! After a few days chilling out at the hostel watching DVD's and socializing we depart for the dreaded 26hr bus ride to Ecuador. We have never been so scarred EVER as we were n this bus ride through the Andes going about 100 clicks and overtaking on blind corners. We survived and are not looking forward to the next bus ride. Columbian's are notorious for being the worst bus drivers in Sth America so hopefully it gets better from here on in.