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Colombia was a blast!
Only spent three weeks there, but over a week was here at Tayrona National Park on the Caribbean Coast near Santa Marta, close to Venezuela!  The mountains (5k feet) are right up against the coast, so the place is kind of isolated and unspoilt.  You had to hike in for an hour along the coast, carrying all your food and water,  but that kept most of the ya-hoos out.  Cost was one dollar a day for hammock space,  or $1.50 for tent space.  The six of us set up hammocks,  and stayed there for a week.  Everyday we swam, hiked, snorkled, and socialized with everyone we met.  We only brought food and water for 3-4 days,  but survived the last few days off mangos (yum!),  coconuts, and fish!

 Hiking in with two British blokes we met in Cartagena, and Yfat, a lady from Israel I met about 5 weeks earlier in Quito.

 We camped in this protected cove in the shade on the distant left, where
the water meets the rocks.  Everywhere else the surf is brutal and dangerous. The reef
is hundred meters from the left margin of the above image.  Incredible snorkling!

Taking some quick photos on our last morning, we met these ladies from NZ.
 Two very cool Kiwi ladies we met our last day.  We gave them our site.

  Two hundred yards from our campsite

View of Sunset from my hammock
  Sunset swim (one of ten swims per day!)  View from our campsite!

Swiss couple sleeping on the beach
  Just after sunrise.  Sleeping on the beach.

Secluded cove; cliffs on both sides!
 Quiet, very private cove, very near our campsite.

Colombia is an Awesome place. One of the best things is; No Americans!  I must'a met people from forty different countries during the week camping here, and only one or two other Americans.  We had great campfires every night, lot's of conversations with many cool people.  It is amazing how many teachers and others travel with only a backpack for many months at a time.

The coolest thing about this N.P. is the snorkeling.  The reef is only 200 yards offshore, but you have to get around behind, through some sometimes heavy surf,  it to avoid getting smashed into it.   The cove here is quite protected,  but nearly everywhere else the surf is big, wild and very dangerous.  We only had one snorkel set-up among the six of us,  but one of us was *always* out on the reef!   The water temp was so perfect, that some of us stayed in for three hours at a time, only coming out for more sunblock.

Every day a Rasta-man came by with a spear,  asking if anyone wanted fish for dinner.  We said "Yeah, for six of us....".   He came back an hour later with a huge fish still kicking.  We gave him a couple bucks, and fried that sucker up with coconut and rum!  Another rastafarian guy came by every day with homemade cookies; three or four types, most all had coconut, chocolate, etc.

Only saw a dozen Americans in all of Colombia  three weeks!  In fact,  I told almost everyone I was from Canada, eh?   Columbia is a great place!  Very friendly!  Great people, music, etc. Just do not get in trouble there.  All fines are pay-on-the-spot.  If you are lucky.   Seems the US government wants to blame our drug addiction problems (i.e.  the mayor of D.C.) on Colombians!

Four people that visited the park at the same time as I wrote up some short but very interesting text reports;
Why Uris Should Be Moved to Colombia:
Spring Break Stories: The Trip
Excerpts From The Journal; By Rob Raich

Page created by Tim Driskell  March '98

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