Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cartagena

In true scrimper style, we got dropped off at a fancy hostel full of young backpackers, then made our way next door to the cheaper option. Absolutely pooped from our Tagangan antics, we managed to wolf down some grub before hitting the hay.

It was finally time for us to get muddy in the much anticipated El Totumo mud volcano. We made our way up the outside of the volcano and clambered back down a slippery ladder into a big pit of mud, where about 20 people were already squished in and rubbing against each other. It was a mental experience, floating about in the gravity-defying mud. All too soon our time was up and it was time for our "mummies" to bathe us in the nearby lagoon. This was a slightly  less relaxing experience, as the mummies didn't hold back and started stripping us of our bikinis and dignity. 

Clean

Mud-ed up

Group shot

 Lunch on the beach was the next order of the day but unfortunately the minibus had other plans and a tyre burst as we were making our way. The bus driver soon sorted it out though and we finally found ourselves munching on BBQd fish (chicken for Imy).

Great help Liv

Beach where we ate lunch

Due to the addition of Livvy, we now had two certified divers in our midst who couldn't wait to get under the sea. After a good bit of searching, we managed to find a great dive shops, with two dogs, who weren't charging an arm and a leg. They also hooked Kat and Bex up with a snorkel trip!

Diver dogs

Old Town Jollies

Flower power

Browse

Just hangin'

Pleased with our day, we met back up with some people from the volcano trip, got dolled up and headed to an old woman's house for dinner. After the standard "menu del dia", we went back into the walled town for a night of eighties classics in a rooftop bar.

Loads a mates



Feeling slightly worse for wear, it was time to get the "fast boat" to Playa Blanca...an idyllic-looking beach on Isla de Baru. After a bit of confusion, we boarded a boat that didn't look like it would be getting us anywhere fast. We all commented on the fact that we were on the wrong boat but didn't think to do anything about it. Low and behold, 2.5 hours (and a lot of onboard entertainment) later, we arrived at Isla del Rosario. Not ideal. We ate some pizza, got shouted at quite a bit by Colombian women trying to tell us how to swim in the sea, then got back on the boat in the hope that we would eventually get to Playa Blanca. Sure enough we eventually did, only to find a beach so packed you could hardly move and every man and his wife trying to sell you shat/massage you. It wasn't exactly tranquil, but it was quite pretty. We managed to get ourselves on the fast boat back and in a measly hour and a half were back in Cartagena and tucking ourselves in for an early night.


Boat conga

Some castle

Liv and Johnny


This boat is sooo much fun
 
Playa Grande-shit

Finally it was Monday morning and time for us to don our snorkels. A small speedboat took us and some fellow divers out to Isla de Baru again, but this time to some completely remote beaches and pristine water. Kat and Bex were chucked off the boat almost immediately to snorkel, while Imy and Livvy were taken a bit further out.

Off you go

So both feeling a little rusty to start and with Olivia having a slight hitch getting down (your goggles my arse!) Imy was waiting at the bottom of the ocean raring to go! It was a really good first dive with loads of Corals and bright tropical fish to gawp at.

Novice sea-bob

A solid two hours of snorkelling later, Kat and Bex joined Imy and Livvy back on the boat, where we ate some lunch and made our way to the second spot. Within twenty minutes, Kat and Bex were thrown back in the water for another two-hour snorkel. It was great snorkelling apart from the slightly scary moment where a shark-like fish started attacking Bex!

Practically a master
The second dive were shipwrecks, two beside each other. They were so calm and beautiful beneath the vast ocean, and we got to swim through the top of one of them which was nerve racking but awesome all the same. The guide we had managed to catch a fish (heaven knows how) it looked like a stone until he released it and off it went happily about its day! Safe to say the area didn't disappoint and both of the dives were really worth it.


Boat babez

With us all safely back aboard it was time to head back to dry land and sort out our mission to Turbo.

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