I got off the bus in Santa Marta around 7am. I cabbed into the city and walked around a bit along the coast
I ran into a black sand beach which I was not expecting and found pretty cool.
I found a hostel that offered rides into the park about an hour away. I shared a ride with a girl from Poland, Maja. We got dropped off at the trailhead and I snapped this shot of the trail map in case we get lost as I like to venture off the path frequently
This is a picture of our cab driver who talked the whole trip even though we could not understand him
The trail started out in the jungle, where I was hoping to get shots of the Capybara, world’s largest rodent, and some monkeys, but all I saw was this millipede.
We followed a path that was sometimes well constructed an other times just boulder hopping
We finally emerged along the coast
We walked along the shore and even though there was no swimming allowed due to strong currents, we dropped our packs and headed in as the hike was brutal thus far in the jungle heat.
After having 3-4 people tell us to get out of the water we obliged and decided to climb some boulders along the coast
After 20 minutes we reached a point along a cliff that was a bit narrow
Followed soon after by a 15ft drop. Maja was not gunna go. I kept looking for a way around and could not find it. I inched closer and closer to ledge, convincing myself there was a way down. I pinned myself between the rocks, walking myself down. About a few steps in, I got stuck in a position where I had my ass below my feet, not good. I also had my 40lb pack still on, not smart. I soon fell and landed on the rocks and almost slipped down between some rocks into a hole leading into the water, really not good. I laid there for a bit and regained my senses. I was fortunate as the pack broke my fall, but had some nice scrapes.
Fortunately for Maya I found a way down between the rocks. This is her at the base the rock I fell from. She is looking for her glasses, which she lost to the sea.
After another hour we made it to San Juan de la Guia, the last settlement in the park. It felt like the movie, “The Beach” where Leo stumbles upon an independent civilization. There was a restaurant and even a hometown soccer team that functioned as the cooks
Taking the advice of some people leaving, we booked hammocks out on the below gazebo.
We got settled, went off to a remote cove for a secluded swim. When we came back we ran into some friends of Maja, who had hiked with her to the “Lost City – Ciudad Perdido” a few days prior. They were from Chile.
We had dinner in the restaurant, sharing stories about the future of the Americas.
We got up to leave and found that during dinner a rainstorm had flooded the path between us and the peninsula our hammock fort was built on. The water was moving out to sea very fast. I was game for trying it but eventually realized the girls should not go, so we decided to sleep in some hammocks on the mainland
At about 1am, my new friend from Chile, Gongsalo, walked out and saw that the flow had slowed and we could wade across. Here is a shot of the area in the morning.
In the morning we had breakfast and decided to head back to Cartagena for a couple days before I flew out
We got back late that night and we booked a dorm at the same hostel I originally slept in. We went out to dinner at La Casa de Cerveza. We then hit some dance clubs, but I bailed early as I am not that much of a dancer.