Sorry for the lack of posts this week! We’ve been in several places with less than great wifi which has made contact with the outside world a little difficult… When I left you last we were boarding a bus for a 16 hour bus ride from Bogota to Santa Marta, Colombia. I was fooled as well thinking it would be a 16 hour bus ride. Turned out to be almost 21 hours and I’ll keep all the gory details of the trip to myself as it was an experience I would like to forget.
We’ve since visited Santa Marta and Palomino Colombia, which are small beach towns. We did little in both of these places except lay by the pool and swim in the ocean. Thursday morning, we left Palomino and headed to Cartegena, Colombia. If you ever plan to visit Colombia, definitely visit Cartegena! It’s been my favorite city so far. Amazing architecture, amazing people and really hip places to shop, as well as trendy restaurants to eat in. It also has a mud volcano nearby, which if you’ve never experienced, is a total must see/do. After doing a little research about what to do in Cartegena I stumbled on this little gem known as the Volcan del Totumo…… Let me give you my version of the days events:
“After getting down into nothing but my swimsuit, I proceeded my walk up the volcano. Approximately 30 steps or so, I was completely unprepared for what I would find at the top. I knew it couldn’t be too terrible or scary as I heard only the sounds of laughter coming from inside. Conquering the last few steps I was able to peer inside and could see what all the fuss was about. A huge pit of mud. As we waited for the current visitors of the pit to exit, I grew exceedingly more and more excited to make my descent down into its grey, gooey goodness. We brought a camera and paid $3,000 pesos for a man to take some pictures so that we could cherish the time we spent getting dirty. I watched as others before me climbed down the stairs and were greeted by the 4 men who worked down in the volcano providing massages for $3,000 pesos each. They were helped down from the ladder and were then glided across the mud and “parked” where they each waited for their massage to begin… Upon inspection, the massaging was a little suspect, but they were nothing but true gentlemen! It was finally my turn. We posed for a “before” picture and then I climbed onto the ladder and began the descent. As I got closer, my anticipation was mounting, and it was at that moment, I felt it. Slippery and slimy. Mud. I reached the last wrung and was gracefully laid back where I floated just atop the surface which was so dense you could never possibly sink. I was shuffled into my space where I watched Kevin make his way in. My massage began and it was heavenly. The pit was filled with laughter as everyone made their own heads and tails of this once in a lifetime experience. We took several more photos and maneuvered our way around in the gloppy goo, before we were told it was time to get out. The resounding moans let the locals know we had truly enjoyed the experience… But the experience wasn’t quite over. After making our way back down the volcano, we were then led to the lake where we could wash off. As we got closer, women with buckets also got closer…. Before I knew it, I was being led by the hand deeper into the water as I was not going to be washing myself.. Oh no… She would be doing that for me. Bowls and bowls full of water were dumped on my head while she scrubbed my hair, my arms and my legs. It wasn’t until my bathing suit was being untied and I was sitting in a lake topless, that I thought this might just be a little strange. She re-dressed me, which was nice of her, and I was clean from head to toe! We headed back to the bus, where we changed and paid for each of our “services” and got a glimpse of the photos he snapped. Such a great job he did and Kevin and I couldn’t have been more pleased.”
Seriously, such a great experience and one that I’ll never forget. This is how these people make their living and they did such a wonderful job and were total professionals.
Today, we board a flight to our next destination….. Who knows where? That is yet to come. For now until next time, bon voyage!