Where's all the coke?
Trip Start Oct 01, 2006
173Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
I arrived from the Panama flight mid afternoon and got to the Lonely Planets recommended hostel, Casa Viena, just in time to take the last dorm bed. The lady checking in told me I'm a lucky boy coz all beds are normally taken by midday.. The first night I went out on the town with an American lawyer who looked more of a crazy scientist, also named chris, and found a few bars for some beers.. Even stumbled upon a beauty pageant of late teen girls.. They'd just finished the swimsuit bit as we were entering so missed the best part. Most of the week was spent wandering the old fortifications and hilltop fortress with the best tunnels if all the forts I've been to in the Caribbean.
I was expecting a fun hostel with crazy nights full of partying, dancing, beer drinking and coke snorting before I'd arrived but for the most part it seemed everyone was in bed asleep by 10pm, so know that my tame couple of nights sipping a couple beers left me a little unfulfilled.. It'd be a great place to take a handful of my friends from London to.
The mud volcano was a nice little highlight of my short time in the country.. They have a all inclusive tour from the hostel for about 30,000 Colombian pesos but for just under half you can do it yourself by public transport but instead of a few hours it takes all day. I went with a French guy who's travel budgeting skills I admired, If I could keep as tight as him I think I could travel indefinable.. So the mud volcano was a lot larger than the little poxy cow pat sized ones I saw bubbling away in trinidad, this one had stairs to a square pool of warm grey mud that gave off a strange weightless effect which made it hard to move around, I think if you dived in headfirst from the side you wouldn't submerge more than your upper thighs whilst slowing bobbing to a standstill. A helpful local looked after our bags and took the photos you see and showed us to the lake front to wash the mud off, for only a small tip that he politely accepted,about $1us each.
My time was up in little over a week there, I had to connect to a flight in Bogota airport for Curaçao, Bogota airport looked real nice with free wifi and probably the best idea I've seen to stop the overcharging scumbag taxi drivers.. They have a booth which you go to, you tell them the destination and they print you a ticket telling you the price you are expected to pay, if I was leaving to go into town I would've seemed out some public transport though.
The tourist boards slogan sums up Colombia for me well, "The only risk, is wanting to stay"