Tayrona National Park, in the Northeastern part of Colombia, is one magnificent place where the jungle meets the sea. It is absolutely gorgeous, still mostly wild and untouched with the exception of natural paths and campgrounds. I spent three peaceful days and nights hiking through muddy paths, stepping over huge lines of army ants hard at work, laying on sandy beaches, swimming in salty seas and sleeping long nights in my hammock (I finally got the chance to break it in properly). We cooked our dinners over an open fire by candle and flashlight, ate freshly baked chocolate bread and freshly picked fruits for breakfast, and picnicked at the beach for lunch. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of my days with three really awesome ladies, Jess and Esther from New Zealand and Natalie from England. Beauty is most enjoyed when shared with others, I’m sure. I was also blessed with a sweet Colombian family camping next to us. We exchanged Spanish/English lessons with their 8-year-old boy, he gifted me a small book of children’s stories when I left so that I could practice. I may name my firstborn boy Santiago, he was so adorable.
I returned to Santa Marta yesterday after a hot bus ride made more bearable by cold Aguilas and conversation with some fellow Americanos. I’ve never been so excited to do laundry in my whole life. Even though I was already feeling flu-ish from the heat, I had to begin my Doxycycline (anti-malaria medication) since I’m heading to the Amazon tomorrow, the side effects hit me particularly hard. But the side effects are definitely better than having malaria, and I’m lucky to have access to the medication.
I intended to snap some photos of Santa Marta before uploading all my pictures, but I only took one before some crazy kid grabbed me around my neck and demanded the camera. This was in broad daylight with many people standing around, one father and son directly behind us. I yelled for help and the kid jumped back, but not before leaving a tiny cut on my hand. I´m totally fine, lots of people came over and swore they´d pound the kid if they saw him again. Needless to say, I will not be taking any more photos in Santa Marta. Off again tomorrow to the southernmost point in Colombia, Leticia, for a slow boat ride down the Amazon River into Brazil.