Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Un Pequeño Paraíso

Normally, you take a ferry to Playa Blanca from Cartagena's harbor. It's very straight forward; you get on the ferry, you get off at the beach. But they don't run on Sunday. On Sundays you have to take a bus to Pasacaballos, then a ferry across the Rio Magdelena, then a taxi across Isla Baru.

As we're walking down the street looking for the bus stop, Temple sees a red bus with Pasacaballos on the windshield and waves it down. It's a 1960's era bus and we're the only ones on it. As we weave through the outskirts of town we get a tour of market day here: everything's for sale and everyone's in the street. We stop in the middle of the madness. The bus fills with passengers and vendors, selling lemonade and snacks. I share my seat with two little kids. As we pull away a guitar player jumps on board and serenades the bus with popular tunes. Everyone sings along.

After riding for a while we arrive in a small town where a sign reads Ferry Turistico. We hop off the bus and are greeted by a man with a sign reading Playa Blanca. He leads us to the river and points to a large wooden canoe. "Dos mil pesos" to cross he says. One dollar. A shirtless old man with a long pole pushes us slowly to the other side where a fleet of motorcycles are waiting. Turns out the taxis we need to take are mototaxis. Before I get out of the boat Temple is already sitting on the back of one with her huge backpack on. I jump on another. I think my driver is jealous of his friend's luck. The ride is long, dusty, and bumpy, but we can't help laughing as we speed along side by side across Isla Baru.

When the road ends, our drivers point down the hill. We walk down and see Playa Blanca. It is worth the trip. We walk along the beach to find D&E Hammocks, a simple structure with hanging hammocks covered in mosquito nets. We claim two hammocks and the palm leafed cabana closest to the water. We basically have the place to ourselves. We spend the next few days reading, swimming, snorkeling, eating fresh fish, and enjoying sunsets.


foster said...

Talk about let your troubles melt away! I'm so glad you found this pequeno paraiso - your beautiful smiling faces son paraiso por mi!

talbert said...

i love the way you two blend in and find the most adventurous way to get where you want to go! (now T. has gmail!) Pictures are beautiful!