Saturday, 6 June 2015

Palomino & Cabo de la Vela

Palomino Beach

Leaving the beautiful nature of Tayrona National Park was difficult but our next stop Palomino, a small Caribbean town, did not disappoint us either. According to Brad Cohen’s article in 2012 on BBC Travel, it is Colombia’s virtually vacant paradise. Although, it was not as vacant as Brad calls it in 2014, it is still worth the visit. 

We found a nice hostel not too far from the beach, Aluna Hostel. It was run by a wonderful lady, Luciana who was in her 60s. She became depressed and lonely upon retirement and loss of her husband. Instead of giving into depression, she sold her flat in Bogota and built a beautiful hostel in Palomino where she gets to meet new people every day and provides a motherly care to travellers. It is very inspiring to see people not giving up into life’s difficulties or depression but make the best of their current situation. She was a great role model who proves that we are never too old to change our lives and achieve our dreams.

Our Colombian Friends

The next morning, Luciana took us and some other Colombian travellers to the beach where the river joins the ocean. We had a lot of fun on the way and became good friends. They told us that they floated from the top of the river into the ocean the day before and it was fantastic. So, we decided to try the floating experience too. After borrowing two truck tire inner tubes, we made our way to the starting point with a local guide. After an hour and a half walk over the hills, we started to float down the stream. It was an enjoyable experience to let ourselves go into the cold water stream till we reached the sea. It took around 4 hours and was lots of fun.

Once we got back to the hostel, we met a Brazilian couple, Danieu and Leticia and a Colombian couple, Laura and Gustavo who were leaving for the Cabo de la Vela (Cape of Sails) the next day. Although we had no intention to visit Cabo de la Vela, we decided to join them. The beauty of being on the road is the spontaneity we had every single day. We were free to change our plans and follow the flow of life.   

Pile of Azucar at Cobo de la Vela

This desert paradise is located in the Northern Colombia and requires 2 hour drive on dirt roads after exiting the highway. It is definitely of the beaten track and is slightly challenging to reach but was definitely worth the adventure. The trip involved a bus, a private taxi and a 4x4.

Relaxing at the beach of Cabo de la Vela after a long ride

It is a desert next to the ocean where you can witness amazing views and enjoy virgin beaches. The accommodation was very basic but did the job for the night. In the afternoon, we visited the Pile of Azucar which was a good spot to relax and swim. At night, we had some fresh fish, said goodbye to our friends from Brazil and Colombia and went to bed early as we had to wake up 5 am to catch the jeep back into the town.

With our friends Danieu, Leticia, Gustavo and Laura

The next morning we started to make our way back to Santa Marta through Riohacha which is the capital of Guajira province. We spent a couple of hours in this mid-size town. We visited the promenade next to the beach where you can find local sellers waiting for tourists. We bought a colourful bag for Alex and caught a bus back to Santa Marta.

Shopping in Riohacha
The last days of this adventure wasn’t planned at all apart from the Tayrona National Park. We simply went with the flow, met inspirational people and visited some amazing places. After these experiences, we decided to make more room for synchronicities and freedom in our travels and lives. It was wonderful to experience the flow of life and the magnificence when we don't resist it.  Trusting the process of life and knowing that all is and will be well is one of the biggest lessons I have learned during this trip.

On the 17th of February 2014, we caught a flight from Santa Marta to Bogota where we would spend the last two days of our South American adventure. This time, we to stayed in the historic neighbourhood in downtown Bogota which was a lot more interesting than staying at the suburbs. 

Candeleria is the old city of this massive metropolis. During our last two days, we visited the Botero Museum, Monserate, and the Gold Museum. We did a free walking tour which gave us a better understanding about history of Bogota.

Bogota Gold Museum

We were also invited to a great dinner by Felipe’s parents. Cecilia, Felipe and his parents showed us an amazing hospitality and care during our time in Colombia. A big thank you to all of you from the bottom of our hearts.

In our last night in South America, we visited our friend Billy whom we met at the Asuncion Airport. He is a musician and has interesting views on life. It was a pleasure to spend time with him again.

South America definitely provided more than what we could have asked for. Each country we visited nourished us in different ways. I felt joyful, transformed and happy at the end of our 7 months in this magical continent. It was very hard to say goodbye but we know that we will be back one day!

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