. There were Colombian guys offering mud massages for those who needed or wanted a good rub down. I personally chose not to. When you climb into the mud it feels like you are floating on air with complete buoyancy and you have no control whatsoever of your movement. I decided to completely submerse myself so I grabbed a hold of the side and pulled my body beneath the surface of the mud and when I came back up the white of my eyes and teeth were the only things left without mud. It took me about a week to get the mud out of my ears but it was well worth it. When we got out of the volcano we walked down to the lake to wash off and there were women waiting to help clean us up. Within a matter of a second the woman had my shorts pulled off and began washing them for me while I washed everything beneath the level of the water. After we got cleaned up we climbed back on the bus and headed to the beach for a late lunch. A few days later I left Cartagena alone on the local bus and headed to the town of Taganga. Taganga is a nice little beach town located in the high mountain desert. The landscape is nothing I expected for a coastal town but it was nice. I stayed there one night and decided to go into the Tairona National Park the next day. The park is beautiful and after about a four hour hike you will arrive at some extraordinary beaches. I ended up camping out at Cabo San Juan for the night. The next day a Canadian girl and I walked up the coast a little further...about three beaches past Cabo San Juan and to my surprise when we reached the beach everyone was nude so feel free to show your tan lines and enjoy the sunny day
. She chose against getting nude but I did have her take a picture for me. After that beach the Canadian girl went one way and I went the other. Never to hear from her again. When I left Taganga I was headed to San Gil which was going to be about an 18 hour bus ride. I don't really like traveling at night and having to miss all the scenery between towns and across the country so I decided to change my way of traveling a bit. I pulled up the map and picked a town that was about a 6 hour bus ride away and traveled to it during the day. When I arrived in the small town of Bosconia it didn't take very long to realize it was not a popular destination for travelers. There were not any hostels so I settled for a cheap truck stop hotel. I was lying in my room watching TV at about 9:30 at night when I heard a knock on my door. My first thought was oh crap they are here to rob me of everything I own. I asked who was there and a lady said "your friend". First of all I knew that couldn't be true since I was traveling alone and I had only been there a few hours and had only met a handful of people and none were to be claimed as "friends". I then asked what her name was and she told me. My reply was I don't know you and you are not my friend so check the next room and see if he wants a friend. This happened both nights but no harm was done. The people in the town were extremely nice but the place is a dump. I stayed there two nights hoping to find some hidden treasures but there was only one to be found. I managed to find a small tent city on the edge of the town where the poor people built their houses out of tarps and lived within their means
. I walked into the small village having no idea what to expect but I met some of the sweetest people ever. Even though they had nothing to show for they still had happiness and were still able to offer me a cold glass of lemonade. There was a lady and a young girl working on a house next door but just as I offered to stay a few days and help her finish her house she had come to a point where she was waiting on more material to arrive and she was not sure how long it would be. So I hopped on the next bus and went to the town of Agua Chica. I found a great place to stay with a really nice family. They charged me $7.50 a night for a super clean private bedroom with cable TV and a private bathroom. Residencia Rosie was the name of the place. Agua Chica is a little bigger town than Bosconia and way nicer. The people were amazing and happy to see a foreign traveler hang out in their town. There was not much to do there but walk around and check out the different food markets and people watch but it was nice. I stayed there for two nights and then made my last six hour stretch to San Gil. There was not much to see in those off the beaten path towns but all in all they were good places to break up the long trip and take my time from Taganga to San Gil.
I have been in Colombia for a little over a month now and what a great time I have had! After arriving in Cartagena from the five day sail trip across the big blue Caribbean it took a few days to get my land legs back. It honestly felt like the solid ground beneath me was moving all the time and I even had to put my foot down on the floor while lying in bed to feel stable. Cartagena is an amazing city with beautiful colonial style streets full of color and really cool architecture. I stayed at Media Luna Hostel for about twelve dollars a night. It was a great hostel with a swimming pool located in the middle of the old colonial mansion. It had a great vive with tons of really cool travelers. One day a group of us decided to head out to the mud volcano which was an absolutely amazing feeling. The volcano is located on the edge of a huge lake about 45 minutes outside the city. It is an active brown clay volcano so instead of spitting up hot lava, it bubbles up warm wet clay every so often. We climbed up to the top of it and it was full of mud bathers