I'm back after a week of detox from my life and from all technology! My travels don't always (ever) go smoothly. After Bogota I was supposed to leave on Tuesday for Santa Marta and Palomino, since it was Semana Santa and I had many days off from work. This time I didn't even have airline companies to fight with because Santa Marta is easily accessible by bus, but somehow it still got complicated. On Monday evening I got suddenly very sick and vomited non stop the whole night. On Tuesday I could barely move, it was horrible. I don't know if it was a stomach flu or a food poisoning but I haven't been that sick in a very long time (I swear this was even worse than after my accident when I was high on morphine and other medicines and threw up everything I tried to swallow). So no way I could have taken the bus for five hours. I stayed in bed the whole day and then on Wednesday, with high medication, I finally made it to Santa Marta. I had absolutely no energy left when I got there so all I could do was to enjoy the rooftop pool at my hostel, Masaya. I'll have to go back another time to really see the city. S joined me later in the evening (she wasn't sick but her bus left some three hours late and at her hostel they gave her a bed without a mattress, no smooth start for her either) and the next day we traveled to a nearby beach destination, Palomino. Four days away from the city, with no cars to be seen, and staying literally 24/7 on the beach was exactly what we both needed. Now I am back in Cartagena, tanned and feeling a lot better already, except that I still can't eat much.
Here's some pics from our trip. Credits to S, my dear photographer, for most of them.
As you can see, sick or not, life could be a lot worse. :)
In Santa Marta, chilling at Masaya, I think the nicest hostel where I've ever stayed.
In the evening I managed to go for a short walk on the seaside.
Then S came and we enjoyed the evening breeze at Parque de los Novios. This happy I was to be back on my feet again.
When we got to Palomino, everything was goooood. Holiday mode, we didn't mind the minor Colombian difficulties we had all the time (everything took time, the client service was mostly very bad, our swimming pool was always out of service, it was almost impossible to find eatable food and so on...). Our hotel was on the beach and we had our own cute little cottage, cabaña.
One funny thing was our "open air bathroom", taking a shower in the sunlight or under the stars, that was a new experience!
This is the swimming pool that was always closed... Luckily S has a pool in her building, we'll go there next weekend.
Nice change after hostels, we got to be very much undisturbed and in privacy in our cottage. Only one night did we have company of a massive spider. S says it was the most frightening spider she has ever seen (well I can't think of a bigger one either) but I was her hero and I killed the beast (easier said than done, it run fast!). S has video material to prove it haha.
But most important, the weather was perfect and the beach beautiful, day and night. So we had a lot of fun just chilling there. As S said, it feels so on holidays when you can be in your bikini and without make up all the time, every day, and when everything there is to do is at about 100 meters away from your hotel.
But not just chilling, we were very sportive too. Besides walking hours on the sand, flying around in the waves and, for my part, doing acrobatics and surfing practice on the sand, our activities also included:
Our hotel's food sucked but the breakfast at the hotel next to ours was great! It was also the only meal I could eat, besides some occasional rice and vegetables. I still feel like throwing up every time I see food, I hope my appetite comes back one day (meanwhile, I'm loosing weight!).
We managed to find one good restaurant, at our yoga place, and had a romantic dinner in candle light.
One afternoon we made new friends with a group of Colombian and Venezuelan travellers. We spent some time with them on the beach and at the river.
I don't think Palomino was the best place to see real Colombian culture, it was just a beach resort for tourists (mostly Colombian tourists though). There are so many other places here where I want to go as well, I have to start planning when I go and where. But sometimes it's great to just go on beach holidays for a couple of days, without feeling obliged to do anything more serious. And we better enjoy now when we can, Europe is no Caribbean... So Palomino was great, thanks S for the company!
Now I'm back in Cartagena and continuing a normal life. One other good point in living by the Caribbean Sea rather than in Europe: even if we had to come back to Cartagena and city life, we still have the sea, perfect weather and S's swimming pool. So it's actually almost like if we were on holidays all the time. No post-holiday depression! It is good to be back at work, I missed my kids (even if today they drive me crazy again). I'm feeling a lot better now (even if I don't eat much) and I'm glad to start again with my routines, like sports for example. Yesterday I went for a long run on the beach, today it's yoga day (+ sushi after that!), tomorrow or Thursday running again or alternatively zumba, and Friday surfing. Cartagena already feels like home and it feels weird that it was before Bogota when I last did something here. Time flies by, it's almost April. I'm looking forward to getting back to Europe one day but now for the first time I'm starting to slightly panic when I think about it. I don't want to leave! But I still have many months left and countless sunny days to enjoy. Stay tuned.
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I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!