Since Jan and I felt very comfortable in Santa Marta, we decided to stay there for about four days. Although the city was located next to the ocean, swimming and lying on the beach seemed less appealing since an ugly container harbor was located near by. Consequently Jan and I decided to go more often to the neighbor town Taganga with the beautiful bay Playa Grande.
Enjoying the sun at Playa Grande.
Because it was already on my bucket list since I arrived in Peru, I was happy to see that it was possible to rent a water scooter (jet ski) at Playa Grande. In a semi-professional negotiation I managed to push the price below 50% of the initial price and paid only 15$ for 20 minutes jet skiing.
Bucket list item jet ski: Check.
After we enjoyed half on the day at the bay, we prepared ourselves for the return to the main beach. Therefore we had to take a small wooden boat. Once we arrived at our nutshell, the boat seemed pretty full already and no seats were left. Anyhow, the “captain” was convinced that Jan and I would still fit in. Regardless my protests, he wanted us to enter the boat with the reasoning that he might not return to the bay. My mood was declining from minute to minute. Luckily some people were so kind to move to the front of the boat where they took seat on the boat’s nose. To enter the boat, Jan and I had to wade through the water. When we finally got into the Colombian titanic, my pants where completely soaked already and my mood was marvelous. I was wet, depressed and felt like a refugee on its way to cross the Mediterranean Sea. After an infinite 15 minutes boat ride we finally arrived at the mainland.
A few days later my companion and I decided to travel further north to see a national park with Colombia’s reputedly prettiest beaches. After some hours walking we arrived at our final destination and rent hammocks to spend the night.
Beautiful beaches in the national park Tyrona.
After the national park Jan and I went south again and eventually spent my last night in a fancy four star hotel in Barranquilla. Reason for our selected accommodation was less my departure and more that is was Jan’s birthday. After some heavy pre drinking games we had the right alcohol level and also loose hips, which wanted to be shaken in Barranquilla’s night life.
Pre drinking in a Four Star Hotel.
At midnight (Jan’s birthday) we stood in the middle of nowhere and were out of alcohol. After a swag birthday hug we then took a taxi to disco near by and we finally danced and danced and danced…
The next day was my day of departure (Jan took a flight one day later). After a short “good bye” to Jan I went to the airport. In the waiting hall I realized that I had mixed feelings about leaving South America. In the last seven months I became more and more familiar with the latin American culture. In specific, I found great pleasure in dancing salsa and I enjoyed speaking Spanish a lot. Furthermore, I think that I now have a weakness for bronze colored skin and Latina curves. When I boarded the airplane to Amsterdam I wasn’t too euphoric to leave all this behind me.
Taking a last bath in the ocean near Santa Marta, Colombia.
As soon as I was back on Dutch ground, I experienced a culture shock from my own western culture. I was surprised how neat everything was! Washed cars, flawless streets, clean air, almost no traffic noise and people with expensive cloths! That was completely different from what I have seen the last half of the year. Everything here seemed to be far from the real problems, -far from a world where people earn below one dollar per day. Seeing this contrast, I now know what it means to live in the “first world”.
Among the things which I really appreciate here in Europe is that one can throw the toilet paper in the toilet instead into a bin, that it is possible to drink water from the tab and last but not least the fast cashiers in the supermarkets! Oh yes how it annoyed me to wait 30 minutes to pay my ten shopping articles! Here the same procedure takes two till five minutes. God bless efficiency!
Lastly and coming to an end, I would like to mention that I enjoyed my stay in Peru since I took some really interesting classes, which helped me grow personally. Also, I now have a slight idea about the Latin American culture and understood even more what a lucky and privileged life we have here in Europe! Finally I recommend anyone to visit Peru and also Colombia. Talking about women: So far I think that Latinas are among the prettiest and I am certain that one day I will return to continue my studies 😉