Monday, April 25, 2011

I Took Hugs Not Drugs

Yes.. I am here to tell the world. That I, Paula Ferguson, went to Colombia and did no drugs.

Was it offered? Yes. Is it readily available? Yes.

Why did I decline?
Anyone with brains and knowledge about Colombia's history will realize the wicked effects that cocaine production has had on the lives of the Colombian people. Sure some people got filthy rich, lived a life of luxury, got killed by the opposing cartel, 'helped' their community and had lots of power. But Colombia as a whole was screwed... innocent lives were taken, tourism sank, morale was at an all time low, at times there was no way in and no way out. The environment suffers when man-made chemicals are thrown about to produce this white 'goodness'.

Sooo many tourists come to Colombia so stoked that they can score it for less than a quarter of the price as back home. Many say they would never try it in their home country.. but "when in Colombia". My philosophy was, if you see and meet the Colombians, you see how amazing they are and how hard they've tried to fight back and win their lives back.. why support something that continues to effect them negatively.. power the enemy.. and endanger our diminishing rainforests?

To each his own, but sometimes it's about being selfless rather than selfish.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Team Pablo y Team Charlie

Pablo Pablo, rah rah rah! (me)
Charlie Charlie, rah rah rah! (Ness)

I had planned on leaving the day before yesterday, but changed my mind and found out that Jos would be riding mountain bikes all day.. SO.. Ness and I decided to have a GIRL'S DAY!! The only thing we had planned really was to take a stroll to the coffee farm!

It took about an hour to walk there.. the rain began of course.. about an hour touring the farm (all in Spanish).. I DRANK MY FIRST CUP OF COFFEE!!! The coffee was amazing, and I believe I was bouncing off the walls a bit 0:-). We hired a Jeep to go home because it was raining cats and dogs, as usual. Once we arrived back in Salento, Ness and I were STARVING! We went to our favorite place, Lucy's, for lunch.

This is when the hilariousness began. At Lucy's, they gave us double the fried food they normally do (fried plantains and fried unknown balls of dough).. I ate all of our plantains.. but the balls were just way too greasy. I looked over and there were these two gentleman (maybe about 40-ish and 50-ish years old).. one had a pancho and a hat on, the other looked just Colombian.. I noticed that they weren't finished eating, but they had eaten all of the fried munchies already.

I asked Ness if we should give ours to them.. we put them on a napkin.. and used our fabulous Spanglish to get the point across. They were like giddy little boys, SO EXCITED. The pancho guy said "HE! (point) Poor man! Happy!" and then they laughed. They kept saying other random things and making fun of each other in English.. we told them they had great English.. and they kept making fun of each other and bickering in English. Ness and I were laughing our butts off, these guys seemed like such characters.

We had wanted to go play Tejo on our Girl's Day (a Colombian 'drinking' game, where you throw large rocks at packets of gunpowder), we had never played it before and the stupid thing wasn't open the previous day. So, we asked our new restaurant friends if they knew what time it opened and closed.

When we said Tejo, they got SO excited. We decided to make new friends, and asked if they wanted to come with us. OF COURSE, Tejo was closed again.. I suppose because the town is so small. So our new friends, Pablo and Carlos, suggested pool! Nes and I looked at each other with the 'OMG, we're so horrible.. but we really really want to' look. And said, YES! We get there, form our teams.. and I try to get some Spanish practice in.. but they obviously wanted to practice their English just as bad.. so we all spoke mainly English.

Paola y Pablo = Team Pablo (Lost by 1!)
Nes y Carlos = Team Charlie (Won by 1!)

I don't think the pool hall had seen anything like us before. When I made my first shot, I screamed bloody murder jumping up into the air, Nes did the same.. the hall was suddenly happy.. not so SERIOUS like boys take things normally while competing. We got some very funny stares! Carlos and Pablo were great company, very silly, and didn't take life too seriously.. my kind of peeps!

Post-game, we had to say good-bye.. Carlos handled it well, but poor Pablo looked like he was going to cry for 5-minutes.. maybe it's because we lost? :) He ended with a .. "I guess I will see you.. never ::pout::".

Girl's Day, SUCCESS!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Valle de Cocora Trek

Waking up at 6AM in Salento.. piling into a Jeep with 12 other people.. and a $1.50 will land you in the astounding Valle de Cocora.

The little trek was a bit more difficult than we had imagined.. altitude bit us hard in the butt! But we managed with smiles on our faces and laughter in our mouths. The first hour(+) of the trip took us through farmland and LOTS of mud. It was hilarious actually, our Wellingtons were practically getting stuck in the mud at every step. The squish-squish-squirt became a normal noise.. and I eventually stopped giggling. We thanked God that we decided to rent them.. at first we were hesitant and thought 'it couldn't be that bad'.. but woah buddy it was! We had river crossings to do (haven't done those before.. rolling eyes) but luckily we didn't actually have to cross them IN the river.. just on some sketchy logs. I believe we crossed the same river 7 times.. felt like home.. and a bit like The Lost City!

Once the calf deep mud was over with, we continued on up the mountain to a nature reserve, Acaime. It was WONDERFUL, we paid 3,000COP ($1.50) for a cup of hot chocolate, a chat with the cute old owners, and beautiful hummingbirds! The couple has hummingbird feeders, so we were able to see LOTS! I'm used to seeing hummingbirds, because my mom and grandmother have always had feeders.. but these birds were a bit larger with different colorings, some had really long tails, and some were black and white.

We then made our way to La Montana, which was at the top of one of the mountains and had spectacular views.. but it still wasn't the Valle de Cocora. Here, it started to rain so we decided to get a BIG 'ol cup of hot chocolate! Once the rain decided to subside, we walked down to the Valle! ::angels singing:: However, on our way down we ran into a landslide, which was wicked looking. We had been walking on an amazing path that cars actually drove up.. we didn't have to be constantly looking at our feet for once, which was great! And then all of a sudden there it was! Massive tree after tree that we had to climb over, small rocks still tumbling down the hillside, we could tell that this was very recent as the tire tracks in the road looked quite fresh. It was a bit awe-ing, and we were thankful it had happened before we arrived! We walked about a quarter of a mile more and heard a couple of more big cracks.. woah, so happy that we missed that one as well.. Jos went back to see if anyone had gotten caught in it, because there were quite a few people behind us.

The Valle was spectacular! Awesome views, and a great feeling! Although it was drizzling, and super cloudy.. it still looked amazing!! The clouds gave it a very mystical, eery feeling.. to die for! The trees in this valley are the tallest palm trees in the world. They are native to Colombia, called Wax Palm Trees, and grow up to 60 ft tall. You definitely cannot miss this if you come to Colombia. I have been staying at Tralala Hostal in Salento.. so relaxing, very chilled out GORGEOUS place, good owner, cute black cat, and peace! It is a great place to stay if you are planning on venturing to Valle de Cocora (which you should!).

EDIT: I am NO LONGER recommending Tralala Hostel ( ). My guests just got reprimanded because they had stayed at the hostel for TWO nights previously.. checked out, and moved into a cheaper hostel that had a private room for $8 cheaper. Long story short, after they had visited twice today.. Hemmo came up to our table, it was Rob (from San Fran), me, Joss & Ness (my 2 guests):
Hemmo: (extremely upset like) "I don't understand why you're back here. You check out, I thought you had left, you come back, you said you're staying in another hostel. I thought you had left, why are you back here?"
Joss & Ness: ::jaws drop:: "Excuse me? We told you we were staying at another hostel, you asked why, we told you because it is cheaper."
Hemmo: "I don't understand why you're here, you checked out."
Me: "They're here to visit me! Am I not allowed to have guests?"
Hemmo: "No, you're allowed to have guests. I've talked to many friends and they agree."
Me: "Agree with what?! You own a business, a hostel business, this happens. People change hostels, but I'm obviously not allowed to have guests."
Hemmo: "No, you're allowed to have guets."

.. this conversation went on and on. My friends eventually left because he was so rude. Rob and I just looked at each other, like did that SERIOUSLY just happen?! And he told me that he thought I handled it well.. which I was shaking a bit because I was so angry, so I'm pretty surprised..

THEN, he came back downstairs where Rob and I still were. He began the EXACT same conversation all over again. I told him I was getting 'extremely offended' over this, and it really upset me... because it really was, if you are rude to my guests, you're being rude to me. What he said directly to us was uncalled for. He runs a hostel, not a hotel. If he is going to have restrictions on guests, maybe he should post a sign. He then, looked at Rob and asked him for his opinion (ARE WE IN HIGHSCHOOL?!). The entire situation was ridiculous, I told him again that I completely understand where he is coming from (as a business owner, who only had FIVE guests staying at the time), that I understand why he would be offended, but that my friends were in no way trying to be rude, they were visiting ME and I have paid 4 nights to stay in the hostel that allows guests, they had given him TWO nights of business, and again I'm really offended by this. I received no apology.. no lame "I'm sorry, BUT..".. nothing, other than his opinion.

So if you'd like a hostel where the owner allows guests, just not your guests.. here's your sign!
K. Rant. Finished.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pablo Escobar Tour

What happens when you give $25 dollars to someone in Medellin? You get to meet Pablo Escobar's brother, sit on Pablo's old couch in one of his old hiding houses, put on his old hat he wore in jail, see where he got shot, visit his grave and hide in one of his hiding places. Does that $25 sound so expensive now, considering you're in South America?!? The entire experience was surreal, weird, and just STRANGE... it was just seriously WEIRD!

This tour was wicked awesome (meaning strange). We were picked up in a van and taken to see Roberto Escobar (Pablo's brother, who worked with him as his accountant), Roberto was super nice, a bit dorky looking and only spoke spanish. Our tour guide would relay our questions to him, and we were allowed to ask anything. Unfortunately, I felt some of his answers were pretty crappy. As in.. "Roberto, who do you think was leading Los Pepe?".. "The government, definitely the government.. you see, Pablo was trying to be President, they didn't want that to happen." And when I asked if Roberto was looked down upon by the people of Medellin (he is living freely in the community), the answer was always no. But I just can't imagine how that could be true, since although he may not have been holding guns, or directly endangering lives (because he was 'the accountant'... he still HAD to know when the money was being used towards bombs, etc.

Anyways, our tour guide ended up rolling his eyes about a lot of the stuff we discussed after talking to Roberto.. it was obvious that Roberto is trying to sugarcoat A LOT!

The basics I learne dabout Pablo's life:
-He has 2 children, a boy that is currently 31 and girl that is 27. The boy has recently 'came out' to the media and has also apologized to many in Medellin for his father's doings. And no one really knows anything about the daughter or wife (They've been in hiding in Argentina since 1993.)
-Pablo first got put into jail when he was about 26, there he met a man who smuggled GE products (refrigerators, TVs, appliances) from other countries into Colombia... once Pablo got out of jail he began to work for him. Then, he got put into jail because he got caught for the appliance smuggling. This time, he met a jailmate who smuggled Cocaine into America (and other countries).. Pablo became a driver who drove the products into the other countries. He became awesome at doing this without getting caught and eventually started his own 'organization'. The 80's were his primetime.. especially in Miami and NYC.. his main exports.
-During another stint in jail, he somehow managed to kill some of Los Pepes key members.. so this is when the heat got started and bad things began in Medellin. Los Pepes were trying to kill Pablo and his members, the Cali cartel was trying to do the same.. many other players existed too.
-Pablo had a prize 'super expensive' horse that he loved.. one of the cartels kidnapped and castrated it in the middle of a busy street in Medellin one day.
-Frank Sinatra gave Pablo the motorcycle that is seen in the picture (in the photo album.. top right).
-There is a large white building that is pictured in the album "Medellin y Valle de Cocora".. it was one of Pablo's many homes in and around Medellin. His family lived in the Penthouse and the rest of the building was empty. 150 pounds of dynamite were planted in the building to murder Pablo.. however the plan failed.. it is currently being restored and being turned into a POLICE STATION! Irony?!
-The bullet holes that are shown in the pictures are in Pablo's old house, which Roberto currently lives in part of the time. September of last year, a kidnap attempt was plotted to kidnap Roberto. The police got involved, and there was a shoot out when Roberto's ex-employee and 6 men entered the home.. greeted by the cops.
-Random Fact: A guy in my group asked the question, "Is it true that you are involved in the cure against AIDS, and there have been 50 people cured already in Colombia?". The question was translated, and Roberto got a bit defensive, "I can't speak about this." A couple of seconds later, "Where did you hear this? Do you remember specifically where you heard this? What EXACTLY did you hear?" The guy said he read it in an article from a UK Metro Newspaper. Roberto asked that he find the article and email it to him.. giving him the business card. He then told us that the Colombian scientists think they're successful, but it hasn't been ran by the US yet. Some of the money from the tour as well as Roberto's book are donated to AIDS research. It was just a sketchy conversation.. GOSSIP :)
-Apparently the Escobar family didn't smoke, snort, or drink.. including Pablo (which honestly, it would make sense that he didn't do cocaine.. he definitely wouldn't have been as successful as he was.)
-Pablo 'woo-ed' the Medellin community by building homes for thousands of Medellin-ers and donating lots of money to the public. He then 'woo-ed' them enough to get their votes.. he decided to go into politics. He became a congressman for a short while.. hoping to be president one day.. can't imagine how Colombia would have turned out had that happened!

All in all, the tour is a must do if you are in Medellin. That was pretty much the best thing I did there.. there isn't much to choose from either unless you want to party the entire time. It in no way makes Pablo look like a great person which is what one would have expected.. random tour!!!

Recreating a famous picture taken of Pablo when he was in his self-built prison, Catedral. The hat was the actual one given to him from his mom while he was in prison.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Silent Streets, Sweet Serenity

It's when you leave the paved road that you discover true life. A simple 30-minute bus ride outside of San Gil will land you in a sort of paradise. Silence. There are no horns honking, no people shouting, no cars murr-ing by every 2 seconds.. the streets are practically silent. A cobblestone street awaits you along with many walls with old stories behind them. The best thing to do in this town is to allow yourself to get lost, wander, breathe, question.. question the silence, where are the people, what do they do.. question why you're here, what is Colombia going to teach you, what can you learn from the people. That is all that needs to be said about Barichara, it was wonderful!

It Doesn't Always Take 2 to Tango

Dear Ange,
Thank you for this note:

I hope you are safe, always wear your shoes in the shower and a smile in your heart :) Which I know you do.

Love yoU!

I just want you to know, that the smile is in my heart but the shoes are never in the shower. Grosse huh? ALSO, all because of you Ange, I've been actually TRYING to bargain now... I just imagine you giving me a swift kick in the butt like in Thailand :) You're also the bestest travel buddy ever, I'm still grateful for you switching a flip-flop with me in Thailand.

I miss each and every one (Joe, Ange, Dana, Mikan) of the buddies I've planned and went on trips with to far away lands. It's so great to play around the world with your best friends!! But there is something bitter-sweet about traveling solo with me, myself & I... I've always heard that traveling with a friend can limit the people you meet, you get into your own comfort bubble and don't feel the need to reach out and meet new fellows... it's not until recently that I've realized that it is SO entirely true.

When I've traveled with friends, I've never really had any lasting relationships with people we've met. Now, that I have been traveling on my own in Beijing and South America.. I have countless friends that I'm sure I will keep in touch with and hopeufully see again in some part of the world. That is the super sweet part, the memories, the laughs, the awkward moments.. the bitter part consists of all of the many good-byes. I've only been traveling for 2 weeks now, and the thing I hate the most is the g-b word! I've said good-bye to some awesome people, some people I'll probably never see or talk to again, some I'll for sure see in a different country.. all sorts of emotions come about after a few days of wandering around.

There are some days where I can't be bothered being so friendly, but for the most part I love love love meeting the crazy characters I run into everyday!

I think you learn something new from everyone, so I'm banking on being a lot smarter by the end of this trip :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Lucky Number is Juan

hahaaaa, I'm dumb.. I realize this.. but that was a knee slapper :)

But anywho.. I've been meeting many Juans lately.. and I love them to death!

Introduction to Juan #1: Juan is 8 years old, he is in school, he knows the tiniest bit of English, he is hilarious, and his mom sells coffee in the park at night.

I was sitting in the park with the two German guys last night drinking Pilsen and Aguardiente.. the Germans annoyingly spoke German A LOT.. although it wasn't that annoying, because I know if I was in a country where no one really spoke my language (including the other travelers) I'd be blabbing like crazy in English!! So during one of the lulls of English silence, Juan comes up and sits down next to me (we were sitting on the steps of the fountain). The boys kept talking, and I decided I was going to make a new friend.. even if he IS 8 years old :)

So, Juan and I are chatting it up all in Spanish... kids teach me way more than adults do when it comes to a new language! I'm pretty excited about my new Spanish friend. The boys are still talking away and looking a bit annoyed by new friend, Erik looking at me every now and then with a look like, are you safe?! I had read about how someone could come and distract you while someone else pickpockets you or something.. so Erik's looks made me a bit nervous. But this kid was absolutely great! And Erik ended up loosening up after a bit.

Then, Juan made a fist like he was going to smash my Pilsen can.. I said "Noo, I'm drinking" and moved it away. And I didn't realize that there were little shot glasses around with Aguardiente in them (the shot glasses are made of really thin plastic like what comes with cough syrup).. some were empty, some were full.. well.. the one closest to Juan was full, but it was night time so he couldn't tell there was anything in it... and the little bugger smashed the cup and Aguardiente went all over Juan, Peter and I. We just burst out laughing, he had the look on the face like 'Uhoh, I'm in trouble'.. ran.. and we continued laughing. He came back a hero, he had ran to his mom and grabbed one of the coffe cups she uses when she sells coffee in the park!! It was great.

Juan and I were teaching each other English/Spanish.. pointing out different things and saying them how we would say them. Then we got a bit bored with that and Juan went on a little rampage... tickling, running around, making us laugh.. he was so precious and asked around for a pencil so that he could write down all of our names. It was about 9PM and his mom was hardly keeping an eye on him.. I can only imagine how many nights he's forced to entertain himself in the park!!

It was sad to say goodbye to that little booger!

Introduction to Juan #2: While waiting in Barichara for the bus back to San Gil, a cute old man walked by selling pots. I watched one guy say no, and the next guy say no, and then he came over to me and we both started laughing out loud... because why is a gringo going to buy some pots to cook with while traveling?!

After we stop laughing, he asks me a couple of questions.. speaks no English.. and sits down on the curb next to me. It was soooo incredibly hard to understand the poor old man (about 60 years old?).. his voice was super deep and he mumbled the entire time.

I'm going to guess our conversation went something like this:
Hi how are you?
Great, and you?
Great. Where are you from?
What's your name?
United States
Isn't Barichara beautiful?
No, thanks
Are you going to San Gil?
One month
How old are you?
I don't know

It actually probably went a bit better than that.. he did continue to talk and talk AND TALK AND TALK, and get on the same bus, and tell me to sit next to him, and then talk and talk and talk!

It was great though, I LOVE COLOMBIANS!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Not vintage, but this is my "vent"-age.

1. I'm super surprised that Colombians don't smoke cigarettes more than they do.
2. I feel like an official backpacker now..
a.)I tried to quickly get into a collectivo.. but I couldn't fit with my backpack still on because the top of the van was so low.. but I couldn't take my pack off because I had a small bookbag on the front of me.. there was a man with a huge bucket that he 'couldn't move' for me to get by.. so I'm awkwardly struggling with my life as everyone is pointing for me to sit in the back, and I finally point and say 'aqui' (here!) and make sure the man knows I'm sitting beside him whether he likes it or not!!
b.)I have washed my clothes in a pot
c.)I smell everything before I put it on (most of the time as I put it on, I'm like eww I can't wear this.. it takes two tries)
d.)I have one pair of shorts I wear on a regular basis, two shirts to choose from to actually 'wear', two shirts to hit the town on, one outfit to sleep in, one pair of pants... must... go... on a shopping spree!
e.)My tanline is of a racerback tee (singlet)
f.)My freaking life revolves around a backpack! Ooh, what to do if it is ever lost?!
3. I took a night bus, and couldn't have felt safer. They even check the bus before we leave the station for amount of people, who is driving.. and these checks happen randomly throughout the route.
4. Each city is so insanely different, yet so close together.
5. I miss food with intense flavor... KOREA, I miss thee!
6. I've been hanging out with no one but guys!!! It is very rare that I have been meeting girls on this trip, Ness is the only one I have had any 'girl' time with. There are girls backpacking, but it is a bit more difficult to mesh with a group of girls rather than a group of guys, much less caddy! (Just talked to two german guys last night.. they were talking about how they couldn't believe how many girls were traveling, and alone... we had an argument. I ended my argument with, how many girls are in our hostel compared to boys? How many girls are in our dorm? That would be me and 3 other guys in our dorm room.. and 3 other girls max in the hospital. ALSO, last night, we hung out with a bunch of gringos on the square.. there were at least 15 guys to 4 girls!)
7. I still can't get over how large the Colombian women's boobs and butts are.. it's insane.. I wonder if it's because of the water?! I'd better get drinking!
8. I couldn't be more awkward when it comes to outdoors things. Seriously couldn't be, I refuse to let anyone walk/hike behind me because I don't want them to enjoy life that much through laughing at me.
9. The stray dogs here seem to be a lot nicer than stray dogs in other countries. I'm not sure why. But I miss my dog muuuchoooooo!
10. Got my first hitch-hike ride ever in my life today. Woot woot, I can spend that money on iiiiccceee-creeeeaaam... or Pilsen :)
12. My camera has officially lived up to its waterproof-ness.. it has survived boob sweat from the trek (that's where I had to keep it without any pockets), and it survived the rapids today! Yaaaay! Ready for the Galapagos!!

Oopsies, I Peed in the Raft

Today we went white water rafting (level 3) in San Gil. I didn't really pee in the raft, but the only time I even thought about leaving the safe haven of the raft was to pee in the river. And boy was it great. I got right back in the raft afterwards, don't you worry about that!

I have been hanging out with a German guy named Peter since Bucaramanga (I first met him at the hostel I was at in Cartagena, then we saw each other again in Bucaramanga, and now we're in San Gil together roaming!). We both had the same idea of going paragliding in Bucaramanga and then heading to San Gil, so it was great timing. Rafting was next on our list, and we marked it off! It was great fun, just did the 3 person raft, because the larger one was more annoying to arrange. The guide was great, the water was rough at times.. thankfully not the entire time.. but fun.

Before we met the guide, I took Peter to a place I love (yes I've been here less than 24 hours and I love some place already... happens often)... anyways, I found this little shop within the market which was right close to closing and they serve the best jugos, desserts (filled with fruits that I've never had the pleasure of tasting before) and all sorts of deliciousness. Unfortunately though, it closes at 2 or 3 everyday when the market does!! When we got there, an Irish guy that was on my trek was there, apparently it was his favorite place too, he'd been there every day for three days... (I've been every day for three days now as well) :) .. p.s. the Chardaos in the picture was only $1.50 US :D

San Gil is SUUUCH a lovely city. Actually, I wouldn't even call it a city. It's a precious large town! Everyone is SO nice and laid back. I adore it! I would move here in a heartbeat! Everything is built on massive hills, my hostel is unfortunately at the very top of one of them. I normally do the, walk half way up.. then sit down on the corner and act like I'm looking at a map bit.. then I catch my breath and climb the other half! Everyone is constantly saying 'A la orden' (or at your service), which I hadn't heard in the Caribbean cities at all. It's just amazing, you can take a nice stroll through the streets, drinking some jugo, find shade and be content for hours! I haven't given myself much time to do such a thing.. it's only lasted on my way to something else. But we went to a massive waterfall today as well and it was GORGEOUS.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


A 10-hour overnight bus and a hop away from Santa Marta is Bucarmanga. Wicked awesome name.. unfortunately the city didn't live up to the awesomeness of the name. Initial thoughts: boring, BIG city, super clean, very well put together, no collectivos (I was actually sad at this fact), everyone seems to have a job or someplace to be or someplace to study.

The people of the city were super nice, you could tell they were super educated though and did not seem too overly friendly. I felt extremely safe in this city.. and only got upset when I thought a guy was trying to convince me to take a taxi rather than a collectivo, he kept saying "No collectivo, No collectivo, taxi".. I said "Autobus?" and he said "Aaahh, si!". Wooh, okay. I get to save a bit of money there. I seem to really like the idea of the collectivos though, the dirty, breezy, getting to know your neighbor really well because you can feel their sweat on your arm kind of feeling. So, I took the bus.. and holler, I made it to my destination.

With my horrid sense of direction, it's amazing that I made it on my own! The maps that are given in the Lonely Planet and on the business card for the hostel I was headed to were crap.. but survivable. The lady at the hostel found it crazy that I wouldn't take a taxi.. hello lady, it saved me about $7! I came to this city solely to do paragliding, as it was on my way to San Gil, it was the perfect stop! However, it is possible to do paragliding IN San Gil.. so if you're going to be there anyways I would recommend paying the $5-10 extra and do it there!! It would save a lot of hassle!!

On to the star of the show: PARAGLIDING! First time ever, completely loved it, felt quite a bit nauseas.. but no spills aboard.. or offboard! I was super surprised all they asked me for was my name and birthdate, no briefing beforehand, I paid $20US, they just strapped me up and off I went. It wasn't until my feet were off of the ground and I was flying in the air by a parachute that I realized no one told me how to land!! We were only up for 15-minutes, and at the 2-minute until the end mark the guy decides to inform me how to land. Piece of cake though, all he said was to keep your legs up.. so holllleeerrr, he got to do all the work. We touched down and I sat on his lap a bit while they unhooked me, great to meet him!

One crazy thought while I was up in the air... if someone wanted to kill themselves, it would be a great way to go out by unlatching everything from the tandem and down ya go. Morbid I know, but when wondering whether you're about to fall to your death or not because your life is in someone else's hands makes you think strange ways! I was hanging out with a guy from Texas, who was absolutely insane. And he kept telling me his ideas for paragliding.. like dropping water balloons on other paragliders, dropping marbles onto cars, paintball.. the list on and on, his ADD-ness made me so happy!!

P.S. if you find yourself in Bucaramanga, Sabor Nativo is an Ace restaurant!! Best I've eaten at since I've been in Colombia.. ask Casa Guane Hostel how to get there... since it is pretty much the only hostel to choose from in the city (lame and overrated) I'm sure you'll wind up there

Blogger is being dumb and taking decades to upload the video of paragliding in Bucaramanga. You can find it on my Facebook!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Post Ciudad Perdida, I was a bit... beat, to say the least! The jungle whooped my booty pretty bad! Luckily, I was at the hostel with a couple from Australia, Vanessa & Joss, that had done the trek with me. They're great, super chill and aussie like. Ness and I hung around the hostel in Taganga for a couple of days before we decided like venturing off to Tayrona Nationa Park.

I had gotten pretty excited about this trip, because a lot of people had told me it was the best beach they had ever seen.

I'm not going to bash on Tayrona too bad, because had I not done the Ciudad Perdida trek or had I not been to Thai and Yucatan beaches I wouldn't be a hater... but, I was a bit disappointed.

We took an expensive 'tourist' shuttle to Tayrona to ease the hassle of going to Santa Marta and picking up a collectivo to the main enterance then hitching a ride to the main park area. It cost about $7US for a hot and sweaty ride to Tayrona from Taganga.. and on the way back I decided to penny pinch (since the National Park wanted to squeeze me for every dime) and it cost me about $3 (plus a super long one hour walk from the main park enterance to the enterance where you pay... I decided to torture myself to save money... it's a sort of game I like to pay with myself, gah!).

The park cost about $20US to enter, regardless of the amount of days you stay. Oh yea, and it was $20 for foreigners, about $4 for locals.. AND make sure you bring your student ID because you can get a discount and only pay $3!!! Of course, I didn't get the fake international student ID card in Thailand.. but next time I go, I will! I wasn't too upset at first about paying this amount of money to enter the park, although many others have groaned about it.. mainly because I thought it would be put to good use. But we rarely saw any park rangers.. if we saw any.. there was litter around.. the streams within the jungle were soo polluted, most of the time I found a harder way to get around rather than walking through one of the nasty looking streams. I know, I am really anal about litter.. but COME ON, if they're making some insane money off this park.. they should be putting it to good use!!

Now to stop being so negative (just had to get that out), the jungle has lots of animals. We saw MANY awesome birds.. great for bird watching.. some crazy looking spiders (crazy huge and crazy cool ones.. although I only want to see them from a distance). Ness went on a walk with one of the locals and got to see monkeys, a fox, coyote prints.. and apparently her guide saw a jaguar a couple of days before hand. We stayed in Don Pedro's Campsite which was gorgeous, sleeping in hammocks under thatched roofing. Plus, it was the cheapest of all of the camps within the area we stayed at. However, after walking 1 1/2 hours to get to the camp, you have to walk about 45 minutes to get to the closest beach where you can actually swim at. There is a beach, Arrecifes, that is about 10 minutes walk away.. but it has killed hundreds of people and the waves were so insane you would think that you were in the middle of a storm!

The strangest thing, the workers at Don Pedro were incredibly nice. There was one guy, Rafael, that was a particular wise guy. We all thought he kept hitting on Ness while we were eating dinner, although we could hardly understand his Spanish.. he was just funny. His campsite was quite near ours.. and anyways, Ness and I had woken up in the middle of the night to a sheet over us (there were no bug nets on these hammocks, or blankets given before hand).. I thought she had given it to me, and she thought I had given it to her. WELL, neither of us had done anything except be SO thankful for the sheet, because it got very chilly that night. But we were quite weirded out as well, NO ONE ELSE had a sheet on them around us, our only guess was that Rafael had given it to us.. we still have not a clue though. I'm just thankful it didn't have Chloroform on it :)

Since the park is so jungle-y, its weather is much like that of a rainforest. Not too sunny, quite overcast, temperate. Ness and I found it quite depressing since we were looking for sand, sun and relaxation! But, I would recommend going if you have time during your travels in Colombia.. but if you can do the Ciudad Perdida trek instead, do that!

Instead of staying for 2 nights, as planned.. I decided that I wanted to get the rest of my trip on the road and head to Central Colombia. So, I woke up, went to the beach and then headed out on the 1 1/2 hour hike to the enterance, 1 hour walk to the main enterance (rather than paying $1 for a taxi ride :) dumb!) and a one hour collectivo ride back to Santa Marta. I hung out at my hostel in Taganga for about THREE hours waiting on 'the boss' to come and get my laptop out of security.. I'm super thankful though that it was THAT safe!!! The worker felt bad I had to wait so long and let me use all of the facilities for free, and he also pretty much forced me to take a shower. He kept saying 'muy rica' here's a towel shower, shower, muy rica, you just got back from Tayrona! I seriously don't think I could have smelled that bad :) It was really nice of him though, and I took my first night bus to Bucuramanga.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Subtract the Quinceañera, Add the Boob Job

What is a Quinceañera?
A ginormo party that happens mostly in Latin America (or Latin American decendants) for girls turning 15 years old. This party marks the transition from girlhood to womanhood. Parents usually spend a ton of money on this celebration (kind of like the American Sweet 16th.. but honestly they probably spend even more money on it).. the birthday girl would get to wear a pastel colored ball gown, tiara, make-up, perform waltzs with family members, and be the center of the 'festival' for the night.

What is happening to the Quinceañera?
Well.. now these 15 year old girls are asking for boob jobs instead of their parents spending a ton of money on a Quinceañera party. Sound crazy? Believe it? Plastic surgery is very cheap in Latin America.. and it is especially cheap and good in Colombia. Parents are willingly BUYING their 15 year old daughters fake breasts rather than doing the 'traditional' Quinceañera... grosse or cultural?

This is not solely an issue in Colombia, the president of Venezula, Hugo Chavez gave an 8-hour address in 2007 discussing this issue among other plastic surgery/consumerist issues which reared major conflict in Venezuala. People were seriously offended, saying that he was trying to impede on women's rights... HELLO, the child is a freaking minor!

Honestly, when I think of Latin America, I think sex, romance and intensity.. I don't necessarily think boob jobs and butt implants (the two most popular plastic surgeries).. they don't HAVE to go hand in hand.. but maybe that is because I'm not a guy. Either way, parents seriously need a reality check.. let children be children, not sex idols.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Infierno Verde.. also know as Ciudad Perdida..

... or the Green Hell.

Why is it called the Green Hell?? Well, let me tell you a little story... I had to spray so much DEET on my body that it took off my toenail polish, so I had to buy some more within a week of being in Colombia. I'm angry.

But the real story...

Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) was recently discovered in the 1970's. Why has it taken so long to find it? Because, the Lost City was built atop the Sierra Nevadas de Santa Marta. It is believed that the city was built between the 11th and 14th centuries by the pre-colombian Tayrona people (about 2,000-4,000 are believed to have lived there). In the pictures, you will see a multitude of stone terraces supported by high walls, each being connected by paths. They built the city like this because of the ridiculously bumpy topography of the Sierra Nevadas. They would then build huts on the terraces, one for the woman of the family & children, and one for the man. They believed Ciudad Perdida to be sacred, and therefore the man and wife did not stay together. They have since discovered many more mini-cities that were built by the Tayrona people, Ciudad Perdida is the largest of them all, with about 170 terraces. These people had a lot of gold which they found in the rivers below, and when the Spaniards arrived in the 1400's they nearly wiped the entire Tayrona civilization out.. although they fought really hard!

Ciudad Perdida was originally found by gravediggers who stole most of the gold, the Colombian military now guards the site 24 hours a day. The Colombians have named the Lost City, 'Infierno Verde' due to the difficulty everyone finds in reaching it... after 3 days of trekking, one must climb 1,260 slippery mossy stairs to reach the city from the base of the mountain.

The Trek:
The original plan was to complete the trek in 5 nights/6 days. But that didn't happen, we completed it at a quick pace of 4 nights/5 days. O M G. What was I trying to do to myself?! I never cried, although when I couldn't breathe.. I wanted to! When the sweat was pouring off of my face, I thought I was. When we had to cross Rio Buritaca 9 times in one day, I wanted to scream.. although the water felt so refreshing.

I... Paula Ferguson... am not a trekker. I suppose now I am.. I'm not sure how I survived it though. I am clumsy, can hardly walk without tripping, am not athletic, and could care less about such things. BUT, something intrigued me about Ciudad Perdida and how difficult it was to get there. So.. 5 days into my Colombian adventure.. I jumped on the Lost City bandwagon.

Day 1:
I used Magic Tours to organize my trek.. we met at 9AM at the tour office and drove 2 1/2 hours to a little village on the peak of one of the mountains to begin our trip. There were 16 of us that headed up the slopey-curvey road in our 4x4s to begin the trek.
We started the day with a quick lunch and intro to the next 5 days of our lives. And then hiked about 4 hours in some insane mid-day jungle heat. There was a swimming hole and a couple of fruit stops where we got surrounded by the locals' farm animals (huge pig, donkeys, chickens, ducks..). I swear the hole thing was up hill... and straight up hill! Of course the boys all have to go as fast as they can, leaving a few of us girls tagging along at our own pace meeting up about.. a half an hour later!

The entire time I was walking.. I was thinking.. WHHHYYYY didn't I go to the beach with the boys?! WHY?! What was I thinking... Luke was begging and trying to convince me to change the dates of the trek, but I was like.. NO, I HAVE to do this. I was pumped, ready to go and show myself what I could do (or not do).. and I just felt I needed to go asap. So I did.. and now I'm here, sweating, panting, climbing, while my new friends are frolicking in the waters of Tayrona Park. I was more than jealous.. and the idea of that made me none to happy!!

We arrived at camp right before sunset, experiencing our first day of sweat and pain, and feasted on some amazing chicken. The food was to die for on the trek! Post-dinner our guide informs us of two options, we can a.)combine day 2 and day 3 (about 8 hours hiking) and wake up at 5AM so that the camp we stay at will not be so boring (camp 2 didn't have a river), also so that we aren't bored half of the day when we arrive super early or b.)not combine and be bored. I was a bit terrified at the fact that I was going to be experiencing twice the intensity of today, but everyone agreed and we retired into our hammocks for the night.. me being the first one, right at night fall!! :)

Day 2:
WOW! Today was insane! Combining two days into one was crazy! We stopped at the top of a peak and ate freshly machete-cut pineapple and bananas (my first JUNGLE banana, might I add!) some of the local children came out to watch us and beg for a bit of fruit. They were absolutely precious, 5 year olds walking around carrying machetes!!!

It was insane. We also saw quite a bit of Kogi villages on the way and waved at a few indigenous peeps! We were pre-warned at one of our break stops that we needed to be super careful with the last bit of the trek. We were using all four limbs to pull us up rocks, over rocks, down rocks, most of the time our feet were an inch from disaster, falling down the tree strewn cliff with the roaring river below us. I was a bit nervous I won't lie, being super slow and super careful and not wanting to die!!!

The guides were absolutely amazing and helped us with the super difficult parts, thank God! We also had a couple of thigh high river crossings to go through today.. as usual, no surprises anymore! Back at camp we had a few more hours of daylight, and the ability to swim at the river.. but I said heck no, I'm soaking wet as it is (from sweat) and KNEW I wouldn't dry over night.

It was c-r-a-z-y how humid it was outside.. my hair didn't dry at night, my clothes didn't dry when hung dry.. in fact, they were even damper half the time. My shoes became damp at night.. everything.. was damp, muddy, sweaty deliciousness! I think I smelled pretty bad :) Then again we allll smelled a bit like roses!

This time, we had beds to sleep in that were covered with mosquito nets in a tower sort of building.. so there were beds outside, with no walls around them, just a roof. One of the girls had heard they had issues with bed bugs..hmm... I wonder why?!

Half way through the day I realized I had dumbly left my headlamp in the hammock at the last camp! ERRR!!! What if I have to pee in the middle of the night?! Unfortunately, when we arrived to the next camp Nicola (our head guide) gave us the run down on how careful to be from now on about snakes. AND after dinner I went to the bathroom while there was the teensiest bit of sunlight left (this camp had no electricity because it was soo in the middle of no where and the donkeys couldn't even make it up to that point).. 5 minutes later, Jos comes out and is like hey guys I found a scorpion in the bathroom.. uh.. Jos which bathroom?! The one on the right.. OOOOOH fabulous, the one I used.. death by scorpion, that's the way to go out. So I told Nicola about my headlamp and prayed a lot that it would be there waiting for me a couple of days later.. I really didn't expect it to be though!

I wrote my journal today listening to a waterfall which we were able to hear all through the night while we were sleeping. It was very relaxing but this was day 2 with hardly talking to anyone in my group. I was just exhausted, I didn't want to talk to anyone, I didn't want to play any games, I just wanted to sit there contemplating my stupidity!! WTF was I thinking, why the heck did I decide to do this, I've never done ANYTHING like this in my life, and I never will again (just kidding, I think I would). I was fully out of my element and ready to reach the halfway point.. so to bed early is what I did again!

Day 3:
We didn't have to wake up quite so early today.. but today was THE big day! Ciudad Perdida time! We were about to see what we had treked in the jungle for daays to see! However, we were warned not to expect a Machu Picchu in the jungles of Colombia.. that the journey was the best part (ha! again.. what was I thinking?! :) ).

So a journey over the rocky boulders by the river, more climbing up and over huge rocks, one river crossing, and 1,260 stairs to climb.. and we were THERE! Barely...I'm pretty sure my life had flashed before my eyes a few times as I imagined tumbling down the slippery moss covered teeny-tiny steps to my death! But once we were to the top and I was able to breathe, it was refreshing. Oooh it was refreshing! We could see a huge waterfall in the middle of the mountain to the left of us, a 360 degree view of the mountain ranges around us, beautiful lush green terraces all around us, and super cute Colombian anti-guerilla military men in various areas (I had fun playing where's Waldo and trying to see if I could spot them far off in the distance even though they were wearing camo). The military were SO nice, they surprisingly didn't try to sell us anything, but they let us take pictures with them, talk to them, they smiled a lot.. just very cool guys.. who are stuck up in the jungle for 6 months at a time. Some of the boys gave them cigarettes, and the smiles on their faces were sooo insanely precious, gah I could just pinch their cheeks!

So we wandered around the city for a bit, ate some lolipops, learned about the decendants of the Tayrona people that had once lived where we were standing. It is quite interesting.. there are a couple of huts in the city still which are used to gather all of the chiefs of the different tribes around the Sierra Nevada area, they meet, discuss things, and sometimes they don't allow foreigners to come to Ciudad Perdida so they can re-cleanse the sacred ground. I just loved it that they are still quite active with their ancestor's past!

It took us about 1 1/2 hours each way to get to Ciudad from our camp. The freaking stairs about gave me a heart attack. Half of them were a 1/4 of the size of my foot (where was I.. the Great Wall again?!).. add the fact that it had just rained a bit and the moss is still there.. I would say I about had a heart attack each time my foot slipped a bit. I would say the pain in my heart was about equivalent to that of the pain when I ice skate. Although I've never fallen when I have ice skated (aalllways hang onto the wall and scream bloody murder) I had no wall to hang onto now. I think I sweated more downhill than uphill purely from the nerves. O M G, I hated every second of it.. when we got to the bottom I was a bit relieved, but we still had a bit of an obstacle course to go through to get back to camp. But I was alive, no broken bones, no bruises, halleluia!

The rest of the day was spent at the same camp, it was nice sleeping in the same place for more than one day. I still was a bit broken and not in the socializing mood.. sitting there wondering AGAIN what the heck I was thinking. I have no eye-foot coordination and I almost died.. I think I was in shock! That's what it was :)

BUT good news.. IT'S ALMOST OVER!

Day 4:
We had to combine two days into one again.. but luckily it would be much easier than the way up here.. less uphills, more downhills. Although, the downhills killed my knees and every step you take it's like a blow to your body. We were again climbing up and down clay mountains.. sticking our feet into the holey stairs that the donkeys had padded out for us. Part of it was Indiana Jones like again.. I was SO insanely dirty every day.. I used my hands, my butt, I would scoot down a rock rather than, God forbid, try to balance when I jumped.

I'm at a count of about 37 mosquito bites now, and they are all quite itchy. I've even been using the dangerously high 50% DEET spray, and at times 100% DEET on my feet to ward off the malaria ridden mosquitos at night (I was told it wasn't necessary to take malaria meds here.. but just in case.. I also seriously don't want Dengue Fever!!!)

This day was quite hellacious.. but it finally ended, and wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be (I got my headlamp back :) I love Colombia!! No one stole it!). It was funny, everytime we were finished I just blocked the previous happenings of the day out of my head.. acted like it had never happened. I'll remember the good memories, but the bad are slowly washing away! I decided to be a bit more social today.. seeing as we were almost done with it.. and I was oooh so happy about that!! We played cards for a bit, ate some yummy dinner, chatted and I went to bed an hour or so later than I normally would have, hahaha! I was just ecstatic that there was only ONE MORE DAY LEFT OF HELL!

I saw a couple of little lizards, many big spiders (one had a silver funky bottom), someone saw a scorpion, a couple of gorgeous brightly colored birds and butterflies, a butterfly that had wings with the number 89 on it (super cool), a cucaracha (a form of a cockroach, this one was gorgeous though with red and blue wings, but it's butt looked like a huge bee) eating a tarantula (literally.. when we walked up, the cockroach had just poisoned it and the tarantula was on its back moving slightly.. while the cockroach did a little dance around it preparing to FEAST!), a couple of dead snakes, one live snake, and lots of cane toads.

Day 5:
Coming into the home stretch! There were way more hills than everyone thought there would be.. we only had about 3-ish hours to go to reach the end of the road. We started off at about 7:30 and panted our way up the mountains. The girls and I were seriously angry at how many climbs we had to do today, in straight up clay and slippery sand.. but we eventually made it back to the village in the middle of nowhere.. drank a couple of lovely cervezas and ate some yummy fried chicken! Our trek was over.. after the 2 1/2 hour ride back to Santa Marta.


I've had two days to look back at the adventure.. I'm very very happy I did it, I honestly can't believe I did it.. I was surrounded by seasoned hikers and trekkers and now I'm one to.. a bit seasoned.. maybe with just a bit of salt, no pepper yet!

(and pain, bug bites, sweat, mud stains, pictures)

Side note: if you're thinking about doing the trek.. do it! I highly recommend it, especially Magic Tours.. amazing guides, great food, great places to stay, extremely professional. There is lots of mud, nothing ever dries, tons of mosquitos, many river crossings, extreme uphills, many stairs, and the only way out once you're at day 3 is by foot or helicopter.. make sure you're in decent shape (an older lady in a different group looked like she had hurt her knee/back or both.. she still had to hobble a lot to get out.. not sure what happened to her or if she's out yet, but it didn't look pretty!), so be careful! Enjoy jungle time and watch out for the snakes! The current price for all of the tour agencies (Magic, Sierra..) is 500,000COP (about $250US).. but definitely use Magic Tours!!!

Living the Life of a Colombian

Luckily, because of my new super cool best friends.. I was given the opportunity to hang out with their Colombian friends who were OH so generous in showing us around and making sure we had a great time. Jorge and his wife cooked a Colombian breakfast along with fresh jugo de lulo on Sunday.

We later drove to a nearly deserted beach on the edge of El Rodadero and vasqued in the shade of a beautiful tree. We played Frisbee.. which I surprisingly never got hit with.. and could actually at times throw.. and goofed off as usual. There were also 3 Paola's in everyone's midst.. Paola, Maria-Paola (friend's of Jorge's) and ME! It was interesting!

We later went to Paola's apartment to hang out at the pool, eat Chinese, and relax.

The night was short, and I began to pack for my trek that I had at 8AM the next morning! It was bitter-sweet, having to say good-bye to the new friends I had made and being stressed to death that I had forgotten to pack any of the essentials needed for the 5 days in the jungle ahead of me!

All in all, Jorge and Henry showed us great hospitality and were so insanely kind to show us what Colombia is really all about.. SALSA.. among other things :D

And Mike and Luke were so sweet to share their friends with Sean and I! I'm going to miss you guys!! So many laughs, smiles, and dead skin.. I'm glad yall got your sunburn-ness figured out :) Lots of love!

Best Friends Bracelets

Somehow, I managed to convince 3 guys that the 'bracelets gratis' that were given to us on the beach were our new and super cool 'Best Friends Bracelets'. Oh yea, we're rockin' our Colombian national colors down the street, at the club, on the beach and we aren't afraid to tell anyone :)

Alright, I'm finished with my goon-y rant!

On Saturday, we each slowly recovered from the night before. Surprisingly enough, the yummy deliciousness of Aguardiente (Colombians henessy-esque liquor) didn't keep me down! Mike and I woke up before the others, took a stroll through the city. The city is very relaxed, so it was easy to just mozey along at our rabbit speed pace! We saw some interesting things, like a shopt hat sold only beds and motorcycles, and a pastry shop that sold wedding cakes decorated like the 'myrtle beach-high school-spring break' t-shirts we used to buy that were air brushed in neon colors. When we got back to the hostel, I was starving.. for lunch, at 11AM... for some reason everyone found that odd, like I should be eating breakfast food when it is practically noon. I'm pretty sure the rooster crows at sunrise.. you eat breakfast, when the sun is practically on top of the sky.. you eat lunch, when the sun is about to set you eat dinner... that's how I was raised. Weirdos, anyways, no one was hungry but Luke came with me and refused to let me eat at a skanky looking restaurant that I thought looked absolutely delicious and CHEAP, and we instead went to the beach and I had some fried chicken while he had a yummy fresh juice. While we were there, an elderly man came to our table to try to sell us incense.. we refused, and he kept staring at my plate.. we figured out, that he wanted my leftovers (how he knew I was finished eating, I have no idea), but I pushed the plate over to him and he whipped out this little plastic bag and scraped the food into it. He was very grateful and went on his merry way. I don't know why this didn't really surprise me, but Luke was pretty surprised by it. I thought the man looked quite healthy and knew the cheapest way to get some lunch while working. It was a bit upsetting though to think about the poverty that exists in much of Colombia.

Henry, from Bogota, moved into our hostel and we all made our merry way to Playa Grande in Taganga. We first took a taxi to Taganga, where we road a little boat to Playa Grande. This beach was awesome, there was a party boat hanging out in the water jamming salsa and reggaeton, beach chairs set up under the shade of massive trees, a man selling ice cream IN the ocean (see pictures.. his cart floated in the water, and when he was finished 'selling' ice cream to everyone swimming without wet money on them.. he just wheeled it back onto the beach.. crazy), super chilly water and good times! Luke and I made a boob sand castle (cones were the easiest shape to build without the proper sand castle building tools). The boys ate yummy fish while listening to some guys play the sax and guitar. And there was also an awkward 'herbal escence-like' photo shoot that happened while Luke and Sean poured water on each other.. ANYWAYS!

We wound up back at Santa Marta to eat, 'Coloxican'.. Colombia's form of Mexican.. I wasn't impressed (TEX MEX I MISS YOU!), overly priced and no spice.. not everything nice!

We got our party clothes on and went over to pre-game to some salsa & rum at Jorge's in El Rodadero. The dancing scene is quite nonexistent on that side of town, so BACK to Santa Marta we went. Our first stop was the same as the night before, the park outside of it was FILLED with young people socializing and enjoying the outdoors. While we were waiting for the second taxi to arrive, Henry somehow made a Colombian friend that was messed up on some sort of drug and showing him differnet ways to kill someone using your hands. Well.. that was awkward, but all we could do was sit there and stare.

We got there in time for an hour of dancing and drinking, and left to go somewhere NEW and AWESOME! It was called 'El Puerto'.. dun dun dun-duuuuun.. and it was amazing! We got to dance and get sweaty to some reggaeton under the stars! <3 The music was great, atmosphere was bangin.. I'm just not sure how we figured out how to walk home from there!

Colombian people are so vibrant, they have this aura that just can't be unshaken!

Well... except this guy.