24.05.2015 - 30.05.2015 28 °C
Before leaving Medellin, the forecast said thunder and rain at the coast. Great. Our flight was delayed due to bad weather in the airport aswel but we left not too long after. We left Medellin on the tiniest aeroplane ever - we thought that the Bolivian one was small! As we descended to the coast we entered a thunderstorm, as predicted, and had to have a second bumpy attempt at landing. The plane was shaking and swaying so much but once we landed the rain stopped luckily. The "airport" was just a shack and a trailer for the luggage. A traveller waiting to leave told us good luck on the boat ride, which we had heard was supposed to be a little, well, scary to say the least. There are no cars there as it is only accessible by plane or boat. So instead we hopped on a horse and cart with an excessively happy smiling man and slowly made our way into the local village and onto the pier where we'd be getting the boat to Capurgana.
When we got the pier the boat had just pulled in and there was this guy holding up his computer while water poured out of it. And, we mean, poured. Not only his computer but all his gadgets and personal items were completely soaked. Kathrin and I gave each other this look which instantly told each other "what the hell are we doing". We were the only foreigners there, we were getting into a boat that just flooded with water from the waves out at sea and it was cloudy and wet. Not the paradaisical week we had pictured beforehand! Eventually the boat left and we headed out to the sea. This boat ride was insane! Over every wave the front end crashed down into the water onto what felt like concrete. It was nowhere near soft. Over almost every wave we were lifted off our seats - I didn't know which was going to break first, my back, or the boat. Best thing of all was, between us this baby in its mother's lap was fast asleep throughout the whole journey. And us clinging onto whatever we could grab ahold of to keep ourselves planted on the seats.
As we entered the bay of Capurgana of course our motor broke down and we had to be towed into the dock. We both breathed a sigh of relief when we stepped off that boat.
After asking a random guy where our hostel was, we made it to our cute cabin style accommodation, right by the sea with really lovely hosts. They even gave us a private room because it was empty, even though we ordered a dorm. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, and we were a bit bummed as we'd been hoping to get a week of sunshine before leaving - it is the Carribean! Nevertheless we spent the afternoon in a hammock and walking round tiny Capurgana which was full of activity.
The next day we headed for the beach despite the clouds and spent the day relaxing, reading and getting washed up in the lovely warm clear Carribean water. The sun poked out a little bit every now and then throughout the day. After dinner, the electricity went out and we had to resort to candles for while. We started a poker game with the other travellers there but I was fast out. Unlucky!
The third day we finally woke up to bright blue sunshine so we quickly packed our bags for the beach again. However, before we finished breakfast a huge grey cloud covered the sky with no visible end. So we slumped in our chairs and washed the dishes. Come on sun!!! Then it miraculously came out again and we spent the day on the beach! The weather there is so changeable. We took the hostel's free snorkelling gear and spent a lot of time in the shallows with some fish that would follow our feet along the ocean floor. There was a really strong current so we didn't venture out too far. I went out a little bit and saw some fish feeding on a reef thing but got freaked out (watched to many shark documentaries) and swam panicked back to the shallows. It was cool... I was cool...
The evening was spent reading in hammocks, eating, chatting and playing cards with other hostel dwellers. It was a very relaxing day, no stress (except for the shark attack) which was just what we needed.
Almost every night there had been a thunder storm and what felt like torrential rain which kept us up. The rain was so heavy and the thunder cracked so loud it would make you jump.
On our fourth day we decided to hike through the jungle to the next town, or village, Sapzurro. We made some peanut butter and jam sandwiches and headed off, and within 10 mins or even less, we were sweating more than we had ever sweat before. It was so humid and hot in the jungle area as the dense growth above us keeps all the moisture in. At one point a squirrel ran across the path in front of us followed by the biggest snake we've seen in the wild. Fair enough it was only the second we'd seen (we saw the anaconda in the Bolivian jungle), but this thing was at least 1.5 meters. It was huge, and was black with white stripes/colours around the head and neck. It was pretty scary but didn't seem concerned with us as it followed the squirrel into the bush. It was really muddy from the storm the night before so we slipped our way up and down the hills all the way until we eventually reached Sapzurro almost 2 hours later. Soaked in sweat and mud, we walked along the deserted beach towards the town. We'd been recommended "El Chileno" as a place to stay by our host in Capurgana. It was one of the first places along the beach and they had plenty of space. The guy working there was really friendly and we chose a private room with a bathroom as it was only £7 each a night anyway. One of the best things about the hostel was that in the back yard they had two massive mango trees with mangoes all over the floor. There was also a coconut tree too. After filling ourselves with delicious mango, we headed into town to the beach. It was cloudy and humid but it didn't matter too much, we just wanted to look. Besides we had enough sun the day before - snorkelling isn't the best angle to stay out of the sun 😕
The beach was empty. It was just what we wanted, bar from no sun.
We bumped into a German couple from Capurgana (they were there on a day trip) and we joined them in the short walk over the next hill into Panama. You can go over to the beach there without officially entering Panama, you just have to show your passport. The beach there was supposed to be "white sand" but the water level was really high so we didn't see much. There were however a bunch of army guys clearing the paths while their machine guns rested on nearby palm trees, and we got a picture with them! Haha. Bit random but they wanted to take a picture with us just as much as we wanted a picture with them! The German couple got the boat back to Capurgana and we headed back to the hostel where I spent the best part of half an hour hacking at a coconut with a machete, to no avail. You'd think the hard shell is the problem but the outer thick, fleshy, fibrous part is a nightmare to get off and requires technique. A passerby/local saw me and helped out. After that I was the "master coconut opener" and opened two more coconuts I'd found the next day in about 15 minutes each haha. Still tough work! We also found an avocado tree, and to our luck, one avocado sitting on the ground. So between the mangos, coconut and the avocado, we didn't need to buy much else haha.
Normally it just rained during the night but it continued that night into the next day when we woke up. It was okay though. We were a little disappointed that the sun wasn't out, but we were still in paradise! And not the luxurious paradise that one might imagine. Pure, raw paradise, with the jungle at your doorstep, no real reason to shower (due to continuous mud and humidity), the view of the sea from a hammock and a good book. Oh and I forgot to mention there were cats. Yes, to top it off there were 4 extremely affectionate cats who wanted nothing more than to be stroked and cuddled with. They would sit outside our bedroom door and wait for us to come out - it was hilarious.
Sapzurro, we learned, used to be the drug smuggling route from Colombia to Central America (and onwards to the USA) during the reign of Pablo Escobar, the infamous druglord, and we were told that it's still in use today - although of course not to such an extreme extent! Perhaps that is why it is still an undiscovered piece of paradise - because no one wants to go there! Haha. Apparently on one of the "smuggling beaches" you can still witness men running around with guns, so, we did not venture over there. They apparently don't bother tourists very much though, so long as you don't take any pictures of them!
Our final day in Sapzurro was beautiful. Instead of making the trek back to Capurgana we took the 10 minute boat ride in the lovely morning sun. Yup, the sun came out on our last day! Back in Capurgana we spent our last day soaking up the lovely sun, swimming in the bath like water and really enjoying our final day in paradise. No stress, no internet, no organising, no pressure. It's was a perfect way to top off our trip and we were heading home in 4 days time!
The boat back to Acandi (the airport town) was not as bad as the previous journey over. The sea was calm and flat so we made it back, dry and happy. The flight back to Medellin was smooth also with no problems as we said goodbye to our little miniature holiday by the beach!
4 days left and we were really beginning to reflect on our trip and all that we'd seen and done.
Almost finished our big trip!