Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Islas de San Bernardo

Location: Islas de San Bernardo

Rundown: Archipelago off of the coast of Colombia, 3 hours south of Cartagena.

The Trip:

Austin and I jumped a bus from Cartagena to a city two hours south of here on the coast called Tolu. Drove through areas with beautiful hotels on the coast, and also areas with shacks composed of wooden structure and tarps all held together with nails. Whenever the bus stops, a crowd of people selling things converge on the bus and tap on the windows and doors. At one stop the group got the door open and came inside to try to sell their things! It was like something from Night of the Living Dead, followed by the scene of the zombies eating people guts.

Made it safely to Tolu, where our driver tossed us out. We got a bike taxi to our hostel, Villa Babilla, run by a Colombian woman and her German husband. They were super nice and helpful, giving us the name of a guy on an island called Murcura who could put us up in some…economical…accommodations.

We wandered the streets that night and had fried fish and lobster for dinner in a little restaurant across the street from the sea. It was here that I decided I wanted less pictures in my life and threw my camera on the ground. This was a poorly documented trip afterward.

The next morning we found a boat and haggled a price for the trip. Austin’s impeccable Spanish really helps there! He’s been awesome to travel with. Jumped on our launcha which sped us out to the islands on the kind of sea you'd expect to find down here. Clear and aquamarine...

Spent a little time on Isla Palma before heading to Mucura. These were some great Nurse Sharks basking in the sun near Isla Palma.

Here's a little farewell video. The last shots I thought my camera would take on this trip anyway... It's quite the flattering first shot, I know...

Asked around and found our guy recommended to us, Juan Guillermo. He happened to be haunting the beach we landed on. The island isn’t very big. J.G. shepherded us through the jungle interior of the island to the other side of the island. Popped out near a resort that looked like it hadn’t been working in a couple years… We would be staying in the squat two-story building in the back that the workers at the resort stayed when it was running. The rooms had a door, a window and a bed. No lights, no water, nothin’! Austin and I shared inquisitive looks about our place… for 6 bucks a night, what can you expect? The dormant little resort had the feel of an old ocean pier that was past its prime, all wood and funky old parts.

As weird as our local was, every evening we had garlic lobster and fried fish…romantically by candle light since there was no electricity. In the mornings we chowed on fresh fruit and breads from a great bakery in Tolu that we smuggled on the island! Our best guess was that the resort was built with drug money, which was confiscated by the athorities and has been in disrepair with the lack of...traffic. Regardless, our place WAS 100 feet from crystal clear, 80 degree water. We swam, snorkeled, and dove our brains out. Had our own little reef to ourselves.

We visited another little island called Islote, which is supposed to be the most densely populated island in the world. Little shacks build on top of eachother on a tiny coral outcropping in the sea. Amazing contrasts...

So there you have it. Back safe. Back happy. Back tired.

1 comment:

my name is a said...

wow. that's all i really have to say right now. wow.