- Patricia Clay
Things I need to think about: What size pack do I bring? Do I stay in a hostel or hotel? One thing for sure, I'm gonna need to carry hiking boots as it's one of my favorite activities.
Packing for this type of adventure will be very challenging for me. I think my current pack is 45L (55L with the smaller one attached). I need a little more space to put all my stuff plus, where would I put my toiletries? LOL... Ah... guys have it much easier when it comes to that stuff.
This is the bulk of what I'm taking with me and I can tell you right now I'm overpacking. I still have miscellaneous items to fit into my backpack.
I approve this message!!!!
First stop is Cartagena, Colombia!!!!
Keep up to date on future trips.
Google translate is going to be my best friend. I have a roommate from China who speaks very little English. I was trying to ask her about the bathroom.
This is what it looks like when 6 backpackers share a room. Organized chaos and I'm actually okay with it. Everyone is on an extended journey of 6 months or more.
LAWD!!! I don't know why this Colombian money is confusing me so much.
I was pretty much winging it today. The heat wore me down so I ended up at the beach sipping cocktails and supporting the locals.
So I'm on a party bus with a bunch of old people and I'm the only one who speaks English. What in the entire hell?????!!!!
A few good things came out of a total fail. An older man on the party bus was from Poland and spoke perfect English. We talked about his experiences all over Africa. He actually lived in Nigeria for 4 years. I ate something that was deep fried and yummy. I had the opportunity to dance salsa, merengue, and bachata at some club. The best thing that happened is I didn't pay for this outing. Apparently the people on my bus paid in advance.
My point, don't be to quick to judge a book by its cover.
I woke up this morning and had no idea what day of the week it is. I guess that will be my life for a while. I don't think I'm doing much today. I need to pull out my laptop and do a little research. Tomorrow I'll do a day trip to San Basilio de Palenque. This village is mostly populated with Afro-Colombians who are direct descendents of African slaves. I should hire a translator because I really want to have a conversation with the people. Okay...have a great day at WORK everybody. 😁😁😁
Breakfast is included at this hostel. It comes with eggs, but I don't eat eggs. I'm forcing this fruit down. Today I'll be searching for empanadas. So much for losing weight.
Never think you're too old to do anything. A 74-year old backpacker just checked into my hostel. He's from Austria and I didn't want to hassle him for a photo. Live your life people!!!
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
It's about learning to dance in the rain.
This older lady at my hostel shared her pizza with me and then told me if I'm in Germany, her door is open. She lives in the countryside.
I was treated to a yoga session by my hostel mate. He's from France and is a fitness instructor. He's sexy too! Hella Sexy...
Today one of my hostel roommates and I set out to do some hiking at Tayrona national park. It was a pretty muddy hike and not clearly marked half the time. Thank goodness for the locals helping us out. It took us approximately 2 hours one way. I'm not really looking forward to the walk back but it's good exercise.
Today I did the very popular graffiti tour in Comuna 13. Comuna 13 used to be the most dangerous community in Medellin. We took the metro and a bus to get there and once we arrived, had a local guide there to explain the history of community and the meaning of the artwork. I highly recommend it but if you're not able to do much walking, this is not your tour.
Today I didn't want to do much so I took the metro and cable car to Avri Park. I wasn't sure what to do at the park so I did what I do best...ate!!!
My night. I went to a local area with my Belgian roommate and had the time of my life. We were the only tourists there and I'm happy he spoke Spanish. The metro stop was called Sabaneta. Loved all the Christmas lights and dancing.
What kind of person wakes up early in the morning to take the metro and a 2-hour bus ride just to climb a bunch of steps...after a night of partying???
Q: If it was ever one in place. How did you get over the hurdle of being a female solo traveler?
A: I honestly never felt like it was a hurdle. I think we get caught up in societal norms. 5 years ago I wouldn't have even thought about traveling by myself. It was only after a relationship ended that I branched out on my own. I started with baby steps by doing tour groups and cruises. I eventually realized that groups don't really work for me. I love doing what I want when I want.
Early morning walk to the metro. Each metro stop has restaurants, shops, and street food vendors.
I was supposed to do nothing today, but I ended up going in a little hike to Pueblito Paisa. It's basically just a tourist attraction, but the views of Medellin are great. The hike wore me out. I met a random tourist from Berlin who I helped navigate the metro. Then I met a really nice couple from Costa Rica. Little things like that make me happy.
Last day in Medellin. My daily routine has been getting up early to walk to Starbucks for a hot chocolate. It's cheaper here so that's how I justify spending the $.
Final stop in Medellin, Medellin Airport. I really enjoyed Medellin. I didn't enjoy my hostel though. My hostel in Cali messaged me this morning to see if I wanted to participate in the barbecue they're having this evening.
I think this hostel will be an improvement, but we shall see.
Q: How have the Colombian people been treating you?
A: I just remembered something that happened when I was in Cartagena. I walked over to a street vendor to buy water, but he didn't have change (I had large bills because I'm a baller 😂). He allowed me to take the water anyway and told me to come back when I got change. 3 hours later I returned with his change and he gave me a huge smile and shook my hand. Yes, I used hand-sanitizer after I walked away because I'm a germaphobe. Anyway, his kindness gave me a first great impression of Colombian people.
Ladies...meet Pedro. All 6'2 of him!!! He's a bartender at a pub in the Bogota airport. He speaks good English and I learned a lot from him over two drinks. Lawd! I could've missed my connecting flight. Seriously, if you're in the Bogota airport, stop by and say hello.
Okaaay! I just made it to my hostel and guess what? The power is out!!! Apparently there was a storm. The room is okay and I'll be sharing with three females. The bathroom is huge and we each have a big closet. Judging by the drive from the airport, Cali isn't modern like Medellin. Well, I'm thankful to have shelter and I'm not starving. I'll take a shower by candlelight and get some rest. I can't be on my phone all night because I need to preserve my battery.
I like this hostel!!! Fun people and the hosts are so cool!!
OK, Okay, OOOOOK... About last night. This is not a party hostel but we did just that last night. There are some characters up in here.
After all the drinking last night, a group of us went salsa dancing. It was so much fun!
Hard to get up in the morning... LOL
Feria de Cali is the reason I came to Cali. Sooo much fun...so festive. Cali is the salsa capital.
Salsódromo, amazing, too bad the second half of the parade was ruined by the pouring rain!!!
Yesterday was the start of Feria de Cali, which is a week long salsa celebration and the reason I came to Cali. A group of us along with our hostel host went to the parade. Talk about a great time! Colombians love to party. They love to drink and share their bottle of liquor with you. It rained more than half the time, but that didn't stop the party. We have a guy in our hostel who became an instant celebrity. The locals were drawn to him mainly due to the way he danced salsa.
Last night we went to the Grupo Niche concert. The entry included a 6-pack of beer. I don't drink beer so my hostel peeps were even happier.
Last night we started off at a salsa concert and ended at a salsa club. Dancing is definitely my happy place and I did plenty of it.
I even danced with a professional dancer which was pretty cool.
There was a live performance at the salsa club last night. Then the dancers pulled people out of the crowd to dance.
I had so much fun salsa dancing tonight!!!