It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog. The last three weeks I traveled through Colombia, all by myself! I really loved it. I started my trip in Bogota. I stayed there in the Cranky Croc Hostel, a friendly place in the city center. From there I did a lot of activities. On the first day I went to the gold museum. This museum is super interesting. It tells a lot about the history of Colombia and the meaning of gold. On the second day I did the graffiti tour and the free city walk. Bogota is beautiful and interesting. The graffiti artists try to explain a lot of important messages about politics, social inequality, and racism… I love arts and I like artworks even more when they have powerful messages. For me the graffiti tour was therefore a special one. On the third day I went to the viewpoint of the city together with an Irish girl, Ciara, who I’ve met during the graffiti tour. In the afternoon we went to a soccer game of Santa Fe against The Jaguars. It was a great experience! The supporters are so passionate about the games. Even if the football itself is not of high quality…
After three days it was time for me to leave Bogota by bus to Medellin. Yes, the place of birth of the criminal Pablo Escobar. After a bus ride of 8 hours I arrived in the Happy Buddha Hostel in El Poblado. El Poblado is a hip area in Medellin where are the bars and good restaurants are located. I went out for dinner and the next day I did the free city walk in Medellin. This was one of the best free city walks I ever did so far. Our guide, Pablo, * yes he has many troubles with that name during his travels*, showed us the modern city center. Medellin has a lot of modern buildings. It is warm in the city, warmer than in Bogota, and the people are amazing. The locals are also in some kind of way funny because some of them have never seen tourists before. So they stop and stare at you like you’re coming from a different planet. The sights in the city are maybe not that beautiful, but for me it was the history that made Medellin that special. Even 5 years ago, Medellin was not a safe place with a lot of drugs, prostitutes, rubbings and so on… Right now, the city represents hope. For example, at the end of the tour, we visited two artworks of a duck. One artwork was exploded because of a bomb. A lot of people died during that terror attack. The artwork next to it is the same one, but in good condition. These works represent both the history and the future of Medellin. As Pablo said during the walk: “you guys are part of the new Medellin, the tourists who come here show nowadays that we are on the right way to became a safe and modern place”. I loved his messages so much. He also said that even the history in Colombia is really bad and recent, people forget about their problems and try to smile and be happy every single day. Personally, I think we need more of that positive spirit in The Netherlands.
The Caribbean Coast
My third stop was Costeno Beach, a surf camp close to Santa Marta. After 6 weeks of traveling through mountains and cities I was really ready for the beach. I did nothing much there. I just chilled a bit and took some surf lessons as well. Lucky for me I was able to get a private room there, so I had my own bed and shower for a while! After this beach I went to Tayrona Park to do some hikes there and stay for one night at a hammock at the tropical beach. I did the hike with three Canadian girls and one girl from Germany, Leah. I spend most of my time there with Leah. I loved the park but the campsite was really bad. We had to share two toilets with 200 people. Disgusting! The hikes were nice. We had to walk through rivers and a lot of mud to reach the camping. This made it even a more adventure than it already was.
After Tayrona Park I went to Palomino for three days as well. The only thing I did there was chilling on the beach. Palomino is a kind of a hippie place and is really lay back. Besides that, I was suffering from a really bad cold so I had to take it a bit easy. From Palomino, I went all the way back to Santa Marta to take a jeep to Minca. Minca is a village in the mountains which is good to escape the heat of the coast. Here I met two German girls with which I did a hike to a coffee farm and the waterfalls. Our hostel was called Mundo Nuevo and is a biological hostel which tries to do the best they can for both nature and people. They even sort out all the rubbish they have and they only serve vegetarian food!
Today I end my time in Colombia in Cartagena. I arrived here two days ago. Cartagena is a wonderful city with a lot of colorful streets and cute houses and good places to go for a drink or two. From here I did a trip to Islas Rosario and to Playa Blanca beach, including a snorkel trip! Tonight I will start my sailing tour to Panama. This will take 5 or 6 days to get there. Along the way we will pass by the San Blas Islands. I am looking forward to it!
Colombia is such a nice country. It is safe, the people are really friendly and most of the places I have been to were really chill spots. I loved every single minute of my weeks here! Thank you Colombia!