(Sadly, I cannot find the blog Mikey wrote about our first few days in Columbia, so I will summarize instead of asking him to write it again. We left Aruba in the afternoon and sailed to Columbia with 4 other buddy boats who all spoke French. We caught a nice tuna on the way. We arrived in Cabo De La Vela, which is a great place for kite boarding. Mikey, Katelyn, and Mike all took kite lessons for a few days. The anchorage was a little rolly, and it was hard to get to town, but the people were very friendly and the Columbian Coast Guard boarded us and were very friendly. We left after a few days and sailed the rest of the way to Santa Marta.)
When we left Cabo De La Vela, we ran into a fishing boat that wanted food and water. Worried that they would board and rob us, we threw them some food and water along with a couple of beers. The rest of the passage was pretty good with no surprises.
We arrived in Santa Marta at around 1:00 pm. We checked in at the marina, we docked, and ate some lunch. They put us on a temporary dock, so no AC and no water. The marina was really nice though. They had hot showers, a room you could hang out in, really nice bathrooms, and lots of space to roller skate. We met up with some of our friends on Love and Luck. We met them previously in Dominica. We rested for a few days and played with Love and Luck. After a few days, our friends La Nature and Ohana arrived in the marina. That night, we went into town to get pizza. While we were eating, break dancers started dancing in front of us. They did things that I didn’t think could be humanly possible. Other people tried to impress us too – some people balancing things on their heads.
For the next few days, we ate out in town and played in the marina. We decided to go to the beach one day. We hiked to the bus station and got on a bus. They drove us to a mountain, and we hiked up it and to a crowded beach on the other side. The water was freezing cold. We got to go on a banana tube and fell off a lot. We hiked back to the town on the other side and ate lunch. We walked around and got ice cream and then took the bus back.
The next day, we took a taxi to a bus station and took the bus to Minca, a town with lots of hikes and waterfalls. We hiked to some water falls, and the water was super duper cold. We swam for a while and then hiked back to town. We ate lunch and got some smoothies (Columbian smoothies are really good). Then, we hiked to more waterfalls. There were lots of frogs, and they were really easy to catch. We swam some and then, on the way back, bought some honey at a spice store. We saw some peacocks right behind the store and got to hand-feed them. We walked back to town and went home.
The next week, we were preparing for our friends the Bindingnaveles. They were staying for a week, and we had to get the boat ready. We took off all our cushions and got them reupholstered. Our friends La Nature and Ohana left a day before the Bindies arrived. They got to our marina at 6:00 pm, and we ate dinner on the boat. Two girls ,Saara and Jaiya, stayed on the boat with us that night while everyone else slept in a hotel. The next day, we woke up at 5:00 am to get ready for the four-day hike we were going on with our friends. When we were ready, we got on our tour bus and drove two hours to the beginning of our hike. We started at a restaurant and ate lunch there. We left from there with our guide across a river and started hiking. There were rest stops along the way and some had cool things. One had a pig-like animal tied up that was super friendly. Another had free fruit. Other ones included a coffee/cocoa store, a bridge, and more. After four hours of hiking, we finally made it to the camp we would be sleeping at. They had cold showers and out door beds, but much better than camping. Since we got there early, we were able to get beds instead of hammocks. We ate dinner there, and there were wild parrots hanging around us. We really enjoyed feeding them watermelon seeds. Everyone except me and my dad slept well.
In the morning, we ate breakfast, got hot chocolate made from scratch with real cocoa beans, and got ready to hike. There were some monkeys tied up to one of the fences that we played with. We left early and ordered two mules. One to carry our backpacks and one to ride on. Leela rode on the mule first due to her hurt back. We hiked through a rainforest and Wee Waa villages. Wee Waa’s are the natives who lived in the mountains. We learned a great deal about them and their customs. They lived in huts separating the men and the women. Women always were barefoot, they even hiked the four days barefoot. The men and women didn’t get to choose who they married; the chief (Mamo) chose when the man turned 16 who he would marry. They always wore a white toga thing and didn’t use much modern tech. We hiked until we got to camp2 where we ate lunch. Then, we hiked to camp 3 where we slept. It was Christmas Eve that day. We swam in the creek by camp 3 and took showers. They passed out huge bowls of popcorn, and we got our assigned beds. All the kids slept on the top bunks so we could whisper to each other while the parents slept. Unfortunately, we were just as tired as the parents and fell asleep immediately. Before that, our guide José set off fireworks in honor of Christmas Eve.
The next day, we hiked to the lost city. It took an hour to get there and once we were there, all the effort was worth it. It was huge! It was miles long and miles wide. We hiked around for 3 hours exploring the city. When we got back to camp 3, we ate lunch and walked back to camp 2, where we played in the river and slept.
The last day of the hike, we hiked from camp 2 to camp 1, had snacks, and played with the monkeys. From camp 1 we hiked back to the restaurant, where we ate lunch and then drove back home.
We spent one day in Santa Marta, and then we rented a big bus and all went to Cartagena. We stayed there for two nights. Our friends went home the second day we were in Cartagena. While we were there, we went to a chocolate factory and got samples of lots of different chocolate. We also went to a gold museum and saw an old fort and the famous wall that surrounds the old city. In the parks you can see sloths and monkeys in the trees. We also saw tons of red squirrels and parrots. The third day we went back to Santa Marta where we stayed a week before we left to the San Blas islands of Panama.