I have been away for awhile; packing up life in Colombia, returning to the US, celebrating my one year anniversary of being married, attending another wedding, starting school – a number of things have happened.
Lauren made it out to Bogotá on August 23 and we headed the next day to Santa Marta on the coast. It was a vacation for both of us and a throw back to our trip a year before when we visited a national park on the coast (of Maine). It was a bit of a hike to get there. We took a taxi to the city center, asked a few questions of the park service office, and then trekked through a massive urban market, including their meat (non-refrigerated) section. Along the way we picked up a hammock which served us well. Once you reach the far end of the market (corner of 11CL. & 11CR.) you can find a bus that you take for an hour to the park entrance and then you can board another vehicle, for a ten minute ride into the park. From there you can walk to the beaches and find somewhere to stay. We choose Arrecifes and walked to various other spots around the park from there over the next few days.
The place where we stayed was relaxed and quiet but the currents made the immediate waters dangerous. We hiked to other, more remote beaches daily. There we enjoyed pristine beaches without interference of crowds, nosey vendors, or nearby urban noise. We even carted around our new hammock and set it up when we found the chance.
One day we hiked to some ruins in the jungle of the park. The path consisted of huge boulders and notched logs and there were several points where a slip would have landed one of us in a crevice too deep to spend more time thinking about. The weather turned once we arrived at the village and we took refuge under the roof of the few indigenous people who are there during the days. The rain continued to fall until the a river had formed blocking the way we had come in. A National Park employee also showed up to check some books and offered to show us (and another couple) out along a safer route.
We concluded the trip at the condo of a friend located just outside of Santa Marta, on a beach called Bello Horizonte. Thanks to Jorge and Andrea for making that happen.