Best moment: swimming with iridescent plankton under the stars and reaching the top of Ciudad Perdida (the “Lost City” hidden high in the jungle. Both moments took a bit of getting over some fears and facing challenges, and they were totally worth it).
Best spontaneous thing / surprise: going to a football match in Medellin. The Ultra fans were insane and it was so fun to see their energy and passion – as well as avert my eyes when they were jumping on the edges of the stands!
Worst moment: as mentioned above, the boat ride to swim with plankton was awful. Everyone else seemed totally at ease and I was convinced we’d drown in the choppy waves of the sea. Cue tears and verging on a panic attack – not my best moment.
Best thing eaten: oh god, where to start?! An incredible meat and cheese feast in Cartagena from a street food vendor, a breakfast empanada also on the streets of Cartagena, fresh fish from the fishermen at Rincon that Moz scaled, gutted and barbecued himself, grilled maize and a bhaji from a lovely lady on the street in Boquia, and all the amazing fresh fruit and juices – delicious! My veggie days may seem to be well and truly behind me…!
Weirdest thing eaten: definitely a soup called mondongo, a soup made of a cows stomach lining. I hasten to add that we did not order this: it was our third day in Colombia and we ordered the set menu which came with soup. One stir and a bizarre ribbed looking thing floated to the surface – it was like that moment in Indiana Jones stirs his soup and monkey eyes end up in his spoon. We also had a really terrible Mexican one night – we only stayed in the restaurant because we felt sorry for the nice owner but we both had horrible meals. Lesson learnt.
Favourite place: I have two and they are so different: Rincon del Mar for it’s amazing relaxed atmosphere, its unspoilt beach, that we could have stayed there forever and Salento for the beautiful landscape, friendly people, playing tejo and peanut butter brownie!
Things we’ve learnt:
- not to sit over the wheel of a bus on a 4 hour bumpy road
- un poco espanol
- how to make chocolate and coffee
- that saying hello to people in a hostel goes a long way
- how go play the national game, tejo
- ear plugs are your friend for dorm room sleeping
- Moz has learnt how to horseride
- getting over my fear of water
- Marron our guide who took us up to Cuidad Perdida, and introduced us to customs of the Kogi tribe
- lovely orange seller in Sincilejo who helped us find the right bus
- Kevin, who worked in the hostel in Santa Marta and became Mozza’s football watching mate, and Kevin who ran a hostel in Popayán and was really kind and helpful. Basically all the Kevins.
- travelling buddies: Cleo, Youri and Solène, Gladys and Tomas
Excited for our next country: Ecuador!