Bruised and battered in Colombia

A girl in a pink dress, with a beautiful straw hat, tanned legs and hair as if she just came from the hairdresser… When I follow travel bloggers on Instagram it all looks so perfect! But traveling doesn’t always make me prettier. In fact, there has been times when I was asked if I was abused by someone. Like that vacation in Colombia…

Trekking to Ciudad Perdida: blisters

It started with the 4 day trekking to Ciudad Perdida. A beautiful hike through Colombian jungle. We crossed rivers and passed small villages with indigenous people. The boys and girls both wore simple linen dresses, and the only way to distinguish between them was by their bags (boys) and necklaces (girls).

The trek was heavy at some points because of the heat and… because of my blisters. After two days of walking I counted 7 blisters. The guides advised me not to cut the blisters open, because of the risk of infections in the jungle. Great!

The walking was pretty unbearable at one point, so one of the guides came up with the idea of putting sanitary towel underneath my feet. Let’s just say there’s a first for everything!

After three days of sleeping in hammocks and dorm style huts we arrived at Ciudad Perdida (see the first photo of this article), the lost city. Beautiful and really worth it. But Instagram worthy pictures? Maybe if I brought some really strong concealer to hide the enormous bags underneath my eyes…

Taganga: red as a lobster

After the trekking, I spent some days in Taganga, where my friend Wies lived at that moment. She befriended a lot of local Columbians and we spent our days and nights on the beach. Unlike Wies and her local friends I couldn’t stay in the sun all day and I had to put on sunscreen with SPF 50 constantly. I didn’t want to turn into a lobster (again, see). But once a lobster, always a lobster. Because apparently I just once forgot to put sunscreen on my chest and the sun was unforgivable. I didn’t just turn very red, but even blisters appeared on my chest. Ouch!

I guess I was the talk of the town. All friends of Wies –with their beautiful Colombian, tanned, skins- were laughing and wondered how my skin turned to red? I asked them to please not point at my chest. Just pointing at it already hurt!

Tayrona National Park

In the next days Wies and I visited Tayrona National Park. A beautiful national park, with jungle grounds and an amazing beach! We decided to go by boat. Big mistake! I expected a nice ‘romantic’ boat ride and didn’t realize that we had to ride the ocean.

The waves were BIG! The girls were screaming ‘aaah’ constantly and most guys were strikingly silent. Wies and I also chose the wrong spot on the boat. Where we sat there was a beam sticking out and every time the boat landed from a big wave, we knocked this piece of wood. At the beach, in our bikinis, it turned out that we both had two huge bruises on our backs.

But again, Tayrona really made up for it. White beaches, swimming in the ocean. Sleeping in a tent. We felt so free! But no way we took the boat back. We walked out through the jungle and took the bus back to town!

So bruised and battered with blisters, red skin and a blue back I flew back home. Just add a lot of mosquito bites on my legs and I guess you have a good idea of how I looked at the end of my Colombia trip. No, nobody abused me (thankfully) and yesss it was definitely all worth it! But I’m just curious how other people still look all fresh and good looking after a trip like this!