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Mud, rain and a shower

Jul 27th 2010
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Walking to Tayrona

Walking to Tayrona

If you search for Tayrona park in the interweb, you’ll find a wealth of pictures of beautiful beautiful beaches and unspoiled forest. Well, your mileage may vary.

The sabrosas and me, after seeing all that, we decided to directly reach Tayrona from Santa Marta, and we did so with the transporte folklórico. Once in the park, some of us decided to do the trail in the jungle on horseback—including me, that was my first time—and some by foot. We all agreed for the backpacks to go by horse, though :-)

On the trail we got acquainted with the notorious Tayrona’s mud: being the place a tropical jungle, the ground was covered with a 10–30 cm layer of pure mud, the horse itself having a hard time during some steep climbing—and he has four legs! On the first leg of our jungle trip, we reached Arrecifes, where a very non-friendly guy (the owner of the place) told us about accommodation and prices (wildly floating, apparently according to the accent of the person asking). My guess is giving the fact that people here already had paid for the park entrance, he does not need to do any marketing, due to the extremely scarce competition(1).

My horse, riding to Tayrona

My horse, riding to Tayrona

Once at our destination, after having our bags checked by the police looking for spirits(2) and drugs, we were offered the sleeping menu: cabañas (none free), tents and hammocks. Those last ones—re-christianed cocoons by Ariadna—were set in batteries at astonishingly close distance the ones from the others (less than 50 cm), under a wooden roof but without any shelter from wind and rain from the sides. To my surprise, the price for an hammock—with mosquito net, rented separately— was almost the same of the tent(3), so we all went for the latter(4).

Tayrona's beach and Núria

Tayrona's beach and Núria

We went to the beach, that was beautiful indeed, but the sun was almost down, so we went back to the tents. We split for the shower trip: Núria and Gemma went first, and at our question How is the shower? they answered with a big smile ¡Está de p.m.!(5) We reached the toilet block: a derelict shed with four (4!) toilets and one (1!) open-air basin, the kind one normally use for washing clothes—and that in this case served for that very purpose as well as for brushing teeth and for personal hygiene, providing of course you brought your own soap, because there was none. The Shower was a few square metres of fenced space on the back of the shed. The water was coming out of four holes in the wall with a short piece of plastic pipe—one of them was not working at all— and all the facility was for both ladies and gentlemen. Add to that that said ladies and gentlemen were queuing inside the tiny fenced space, staring impatiently, thus forcing people to shower wearing their swimsuits.

The night passed calmly, and the next day was dedicated to the beach: a very nice one, except for the fact that there was no sun :-(

Mud-trekking

Mud-trekking

On the second night we experienced a huge tropical shower, with the water somehow entering from the bottom of the tent, and my mattress acting like a pump, wetting every spot I decided to lay on. One of my worst nights ever. We had already agreed on leaving the heavenly place on the next day, but in the morning we decided to go on a trekking up to a village inhabited by local indians, descendants of the Tayrona people. Again, we split in horseback and walking groups, but this time we all went the same way. The amount of mud and insects was much more than I expected, and I was thinking almost all of the time that I was wearing my only pair of shoes(6). After two-and-half hours up a very steep slope we eventually reached the village: the people there was not particularly excited to meet us, but we took a few photos anyway.

Tayrona's locals and us

Tayrona's locals and us

The return to Taganga by boat would have been worth another article, but I don’t have photos of it—hint! Hint!—. Let’s just say that we had to change boat in the open sea, because our was broken!


  1. That reminds me of the Venice situation: everybody wants to go there, but the accommodation and food offering is limited to the local mafia, and prices are set accordingly. This leads to an increasing number of people deciding to stay in neighbouring cities (e.g. Treviso) and to do day-trips to Venice.
  2. For some reason, in the park only liquors up to 26° are allowed.
  3. Hammmock $20 000 + mosquito net $3000 = $23 000, tent $25 000 per person. On that same day we slept for $15 000 in a hostel in Santa Marta, with wi-fi and everything.
  4. Another lesson learnt: when it comes to prices, never ever trust any fellow traveller who went to the place more than one week before. That Colombian guy I met in Mendoza told me the hammocks in Tayrona costed $4000. $4000 ≠ $20 000. When I asked him What do you do for the mosquitoes when you sleep in a hammock? he candidly answered: There are no mosquitoes in Tayrona. Yeah, right.
  5. It is a rather pleasant one
  6. The removing of the mud took me quite a while the next day, and I almost clogged the hotel shower…

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5 Responses

  1. Ally says:

    Come on, you always complain, you had your haren!

    • pt says:

      As a matter of fact, I complained very little in the last two years. You are probably making reference to my preceding life . . .

  2. a-l-e says:

    ciao P!
    we ALL want to know about “the broken boat”!!!
    (and if U don’t have pictures U can always draw a strip… ;-)

  3. Núria says:

    Heeeello everybody!

    Ally our Piergino is complaining a bit less :-) and agree with you..his own harén..what else?????

    Tio the PM showers … I had to laugh!!!!

    A-L-E what happened is that the boat had some engine problems (whatever…) and we had to transfer to another boat in the middle of the sea! It was an adventure. Can you imagine the face of our friend ?

  4. marco says:

    my last two weeks:

    mud, rain and … a mother-in-law
    shit, i could complain!

    take care

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