Paradise

Took a day trip from San Gil to a quaint little town called Barichara with Luke, Rae-Anne, Gesine and Ida and here I had two servings of brownie and ice cream for breakfast. We asked the way to walk to another village called Guane and the four people we asked all gave contradicting directions but we managed to find the path and an hour later, Guane, very pretty. Tried a local speciality called Chicha, it's a fermented maize drink - bloody awful.

On from San Gil overnight bus to the Caribbean coast and a night in a shabby little fishing village called Taganga then with Luke and Ida on to Parque Tayrona which as you'll see from the picture is more than a little bit pretty. To get to the beaches we first took a bus and on the bus we were treated to live adverts, first a guy selling crackers and then a man selling some sort of toothpaste. He had pictures of decaying teeth and gums and seemed to give an excellent presentation, so impressive was his spiel that all but two of the other people on the bus left having bought a packet of the paste and at least one toothbrush! After the bus you have to hike for an hour and a half through the jungle which adds to the fun of arriving in paradise.

After a lazy day, swimming in the bath-warm water, our second night in the park ended sat on a rock looking at the stars and getting a bit deep discussing life, death, the universe and everything. It was one of those perfect travel moments you picture before leaving.

The next morning the reality of Paradise hit in. I was covered in mosquito bites and added a bee sting to my toe by stepping on one barefoot on my way to the showers. My tent and everything in it were covered in sand and mud and I was sunburned all over. Look out through the palm trees to the sea though... definitely worth it.