Monday, August 13, 2012

Road Babe Dispatch From Cartagena Columbia

One day, something made me wanna go on a trip to somewhere exotic. I went to my room and browsed a bit online. Must first choose a continent. Europe is so expected. After considering, I decided to return to my Latin American roots and visit Colombia. That was just what I needed. I searched for cheap flights and found a good option.

Two days later, I packed my suitcase and drove my car to the airport. I'd never traveled alone, so this was quite an adventure. Got a little disoriented at the airport and barely caught my plane. I was excited to be setting off without even a hotel reservation. Just open to the adventure. The plane took off and some fear finally set in about traveling alone so far to an unknown place. I arrived at a small airport in Cartagena. Found a taxi with a driver who was Mexican like me. While chatting with him, I learned of a place where log cabins were rented. I loved the pristine natural site immediately. There was no noise except animal sounds.

Feeling exhausted, I went to bed early. Pulled the mosquito net over the giant bed and slept hard. In the middle of the night, I heard a ruckus that scared me, because the cabin had no lock. Anyone could enter at will. Nevertheless, I fell back to sleep easily. 

In the morning, sun rays fell early across the mattress, so I had to get up. Plus, I was a bit shocked by a beautiful blue chameleon who had crawled thru the window onto my bed. Outside, the taxi driver from the previous day was waiting. He offered a tour and I accepted. He stopped to pick up some others, including an unignorable guy who was tall and dark but with blue eyes.

We drove thru a local animal reserve. Giraffes, elephants, zebras, and gazelles were all cool. Yet, lions hanging close on all sides raised the temperature a notch. Had they wanted us for a snack, they would likely have had us. Once out of the reserve, we got out for a walk. I introduced myself to blue eyes. He was from Madrid, Spain and was also adventuring.

The two of us went to a restaurant. The cuisine included meats like crocodile and buffalo. After talking, smiling and blushing at the table for a while, we took a hike. The jungle was filled with monkeys, one of my favorite creatures. It was also full of tarantulas and scorpions, about which I have different feelings. My companion was an animal lover and encyclopedia of animal info.

Still, not all was well in paradise. On leaving, we saw poachers who had caged several monkeys. Most likely for illegal export. Feeling like we were in an Indiana Jones movie, we waited until the poachers were at a distance then released the monkeys from the cages. The primates began to shout and we became the hunted. Running from the angry monkeys, we panted all the way back to my cabin.

I spent two weeks in Columbia. This was undoubtedly one of the best journeys of my life. Suffice it to say, I saw more of blue eyes as well.

Vanessa Monserrat Beltran Jimenez is a model and travel writer. She is from Mexico but now lives in Los Angeles. She welcomes reader comments.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly a part of the world I haven't seen before, Vanessa. Thanks for sharing.