I like pina coladas
Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
28Trip End Mar 24, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
In my search for the idyllic breeze, I got up early to hop a boat to one of the outlying beaches. I took a special boat that avoids the tourists at least for a few hours. The destination is called Playa Blanca and is about a 1.5 hour boat ride south of Cartagena.
The beach is rustic. Any electric is via power generators. There is phone service if you have a cell. Accommodations are provided by rented hamock, tent or thatched hut. I took the latter for 50000 pesos. Expensive for a grass roof and no breakfast but when you add int the ocean front views, it seems worth it. There is not much to do other than work on your pronunciation of "no gracias" complements of all the vendors selling the same shit as in Cartagena, except for the hookers, I think. There are portable drink sellers which I must admit are a welcome intrusion under the scorching afternoon sun. The morning sun too, for that matter.
The beach faces west so there are plenty of romantic (albeit rustic) dinners. I tried my luck on a 2 for 1 deal on piņa coladas but they weren't as good as the fresh coconut version. As the red sunset turns to night. Candlelights come on and the beach goers gather around with their beers, bottles of rum and chat through the night.
The next morning, it is breakfast and coffee the repeat the previous day. I decided to look for an early escape from the island since I foresaw a day hopping from shadow to shadow. I was approached by motorcyclist for a ride but I wasn't sure to where, assuming this isn't actually an island. So I declined but learned as the day went on that it is a viable means if transportation. For 15,000 pesos they'll ride you to the nearest bus stop to catch a muni bus. If you have a lot of stuff, not a good solution. There was also a guy walking up and down the beach offering rides on his boat for 20,000 pesos. I had paid for the round trip but I was hearing rumors that the way back is rarely covered by the round trip fare. You have to wait around for the right boat of you can remember and hope there is room. I opted for the earlier boat and waited with a nice English couple for the driver to collect enough people to make the run worth his while. We cruised close to the coast for a while in the hopes that he could get a few more passengers. We ran out of gas on the way back and had to borrow some from a nearby fishing boat. It was a really bumpy ride and I would think that as the evening breezes kicked up, the later ride would be really bumpy.
The last challenge was the dropping place. Not where we started but an industrial dock about an hour outside of town. It was across from the famous 24 hour market. Famous for being a place that tourist shouldn't really go to especially if you have anything of value. And I had everything. But not to be deterred, I went in with the English couple and we zig zagged through at least 4 square blocks of dingy hot smelly loud stalls selling fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Mostly parts thereof though. As you can imagine, you can't talk too much, or you'll get a fly appetizer. That is an oxymoron if there ever was one. But thought we heard a few shouts of hey gringo as we made our way through the crowds but I am sure it was affectionate. We walked the hit mile back to the relative safety of the Cartagena walls unscathed but thirsty. Definitely beer thirty.