Day 441: Our last day on Playa Blanca

We’ve been relatively lucky throughout this trip. No serious health issues (aside from stomach bugs in India, Andrew’s leg infection in Mozambique, and my reaction(s) to malaria meds in Uganda). No crazy transportation malfunctions (not counting our bus accident in Tanzania and losing our luggage for a week in Turkey). No wild robbery stories (except someone lifting my Polaroid camera in Nepal and someone taking Andrew’s camera that was forgotten in a hotel room in Prague). You may be wondering what’s wrong with me, for thinking we were lucky. But all of our hiccoughs along the way seemed trivial compared to stories we heard from friends, or friends of friends, or even what I envisioned happening when I was feeling particularly nervous.

And then, we get on a speedboat this afternoon to go back to Cartagena, and I find myself thinking This is it… This is when our boat falls apart and we’re stranded in the water, bleeding and sharks come to get us while our passports sink to the bottom and even if we are rescued, we miss our plane and then can’t apply for passports because all of our identification is at the bottom of the Caribbean… Because I’m pretty sure it was our “captain’s” first time driving a boat, and I’m pretty sure we were going entirely too fast. Either that, or he didn’t know how to drive a boat, because it was scary. I even asked Andrew where our passports were and then contemplated securing a life-jacket around the one backpack just in case… When we magically arrived back at the dock in Cartagena, we could hear passengers on other boats clapping and thanking their captain for their safe arrival. Everyone on our boat gave a meek “gracias” and scrambled off the boat as fast as they could. Or maybe that was just me… Either way, I was grateful for our arrival.

Day 440: Playa Blanca

Ok, so the cabana wasn’t as comfortable as we would have liked (even with the electricity upgrade) but the view was unbeatable. And, whatever sleep we lacked at night, we totally made up for in the afternoon. We relocated to beach chairs and an umbrella at the bottom of the ladder (up to our cabana) and sat or slept or read or swam for the rest of the afternoon.

 

After being on the move for fifteen months, a couple days like this at the end of our trip is beyond necessary. If you’re not a fan of fresh fish and coconut rice, Playa Blanca probably isn’t for you. Luckily, I couldn’t get enough of it. For dinner, we splurged on a lobster! Life. is. good.

Day 439: Cartagena to Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is a beautiful white sand beach on one of the Rosario Islands off the coast of Cartagena. Per everyone’s advice, we skipped the aquarium/island tour en route, and went straight from Cartagena to Playa Blanca. At least, that’s what we asked for. Multiple times when we were buying our tickets to Playa Blanca. Waiting at the harbor for the right boat was confusing, for everyone it seemed, except those walking around with clipboards and lists of names. 

Once we finally got on what we were told was the right boat (and we did see our names on the list) we discovered we were with a tour group going to the aquarium. Fortunately, after the thirty minute boat ride, we were dropped off first at Playa Blanca. Again, we heeded advice given to us and immediately began walking down the beach  (to the left of where you get dropped off) to get away from the vendors and day visitors. We settled for a cabana steps from the ocean, slipped into our suits, and pulled chairs under the umbrella and didn’t move for the rest of the afternoon.