Liz and I were a little smelly and tired when we got back to Santa Marta but after a shower, a curry (in a restaurant that had become J’s local whilst we were away) and a couple of hours Nana nap we were ready to hit the town (in the way that 48 year olds hit the town, which is less of a hit, more of a pat). J had done some research, talked to some people and identified a couple of restaurants for us to go to. She had been reliably informed that there was no need to book…………one was closed, the other full. Every reasonable restaurant was full. After wandering around for a while we opted for the Anglo Saxon plan; find a locals’ bar, sit outside it, drink cocktails and eat crisps. We ate a lot of crisps, drank a lot of cocktails and watched the increasingly odd world go by, and remarkably made it to midnight.
2018 had been a busy and challenging year for us. Before we left we were busy at work, busy with Bundanoon Winterfest and not nearly busy enough organising this adventure. Since being away we have had a lifetimes worth of great experiences, caught up with friends in a multitude of interesting places and met some wonderful new people. We are excited about what 2019 has in store.
For me, the first day of 2019 began at about 4am bent over a toilet bowel being sick. To begin with I considered it fun tax, but 24 hours of sweating, swift visits to the loo, aching limbs and no energy made me realise it was perhaps something else, especially as J and Liz, who had matched me drink for drink were fine. I’ve had hangovers, quite a few in fact, and this wasn’t one of them.
In this 24 hours we relocated to a small hotel on the edge of Tayrona National Park, a national treasure on the Caribbean coast consisting of jungle/forest and beautiful beaches. Over the Christmas holidays it also consists of lots of local tourists and our walk in the park the next day was less of a “being one with nature” experience and more about dodging people with cool boxes heading to busy beaches. It is a very nice park, and the beaches are rather stunning, but it would probably be better at a slightly quieter time. Also, if you have been spoiled enough to visit the jungle around the lost city and the beaches of Providencia, you will have seen better jungle and swum off better beaches. We really are very, very lucky.