Posted by: Colin | June 6, 2010

One Coke please, sorry Coca Cola…

We landed safely after some serious turbulence and a rocky landing. Our taxi driver (un)surprisingly was drunk but in good form got us there in record time. After a welcomed sleep at the Platypus we got some breakfast (tacos) and then headed up the 600m veneer to the top of the surrounding Andes plateau.

At the top there as a famous monastery which just started its midday ceremony. We were surprised to hear the acoustic guitar had replaced the church organ we were expecting.

In the afternoon we went to the Museum de Olo which contains the most treasured pre-spaniard artifacts ie Inca Gold. Many of the artifacts were exactly as you have seen in the films. Gold discs, massive earrings, nose rings and sings of the jaguar or sun. There were some seriously impressive displays. Once room, the ceremony room, locked its captives/visitors in a pitch black circular room and processed to play some funky jungle beats. The beats then digressed into eerie melodies with scary light displays.

The rest of the day we tours the streets and realised the Colombian population is young and there are a lots of guards with assault rifles floating around. That said better too many in the hands of the police than too many in other people´s hands. The next day we got a 20 hr bus journey to the North of the Caribbean coast.

We arrived in Santa Marta and found a hostel run by 2 American brothers. Amazingly for $6 a night the hostel had a pool, free pool table, satellite TV (with an enormous bass), free internet and all the other amenities you would expect in a hostel. Unsurprisingly it was fun of US patriots on their way from Central America or finishing their trip and heading home. We walked around Santa Marta and discovered it was more a provincial town than a classic Caribbean resort.

The next day we got a bus for 1200 Pescos to Taranga which is the iconic Caribbean beach. Its cover is filled with moored fishing boats, Colombian families and your friendly drug dealers. Our first offer came straight of the just across the road from the local police station. Couldn´t help think anyone accepting his wares would turn sour quickly.

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