7 – 10 November 2013

I walked about a kilometer to the bus and after waiting a short while it only took an hour to Tayrona national park. Both my guidebook and local people had told me not to bring glass bottles but when I arrived at the park many more things were prohibited: any plactic bag (allegedly to protect the turtles), alcohol (to make money in the park where it could be purchased at high prices), knives, etc. Well, not knowing these rules I brought a lot of alcohol and all my stuff and food were packed in plastic bags, so what to do...? The only way in this part of the world is to accommodate the authorities; first I bought an empty overpriced 5 litres plactic bottle from the people at the preliminary control post (to put the water from a plastic bag) and second I let the military check find a couple of plastic bags at the top of my backpack, so they felt they had done their job... remarkably easy to cheat when you know how to? Foreigners pay 3 times the entrance fee of locals which is a bit annoying especially because the locals don't seem to appreciate the park as much as foreigners c.f. below...

It was only about 5k to my first stop in the park – Castilletes - but with the heavy bags I decided to take the cheap shuttle bus... Beforehand I had been told the park was overcrowded and not particularly nice so I was positively surpriced to experience very few people, a beautiful, desolate, long beach with white sand and a friendly family running the place.... Pitching my tent was expensive (the same as a dorm in town) and facilities were minimal, but who cares with surroundings like this.....

Not much to do but walk up and down the beach so after a couple of nights I continued 8-10k up the coast to Arrecifes. It was a hot and fairly tough walk with all the luggage through the forest/jungle including a number of small climbs – especially the first half to Cañaveral provided several nice views of the beautiful beaches and coastline; also I met no people as everybody takes the shuttle bus to Cañaveral. I saw a couple of big lizards (approx. 0.7 metres including tail) but never got a picture – as soon as they saw me they hid in the bushes... allegedly the park has bis cats, monkeys and other big animals but besides a lot of birds and butterflies I didn't see much else. The second part of the walk entailed more climbs and fewer views as well as hords of locals with their strollers and suitcases on wheels, shouting, playing loud music, etc. - no chance of experiencing wildlife under these conditions... it seems they don't appreciate the forest but only go there to party on the beach.. In Arrecifes I found a campground to pitch my tent – a bit of of town I hoped there would be few people but a big group of young people prevented that... With hours of torrential rain during the afternoon I rested in my tent - my cooking intention was cancelled as it got too late to cook over open fire without light... Instead I settled for some tortillas and went early to bed for a long night of rain.... When trying to copy my pictures to my computer it suddenly died and couldn't restart - I was convinced it was the humidity in the tent (as my clock was also dead) but I had many days of uncertainty before I got it working in Palomino after drying it for hours with a fan... 

I got up early the next morning and walked some hours towards Cabo San Juan de Guia – the park's highlight... With an expectation of Cabo being far too busy and commercial for my taste and clouds coming in already late morning I took my time and enjoyed some of the more secluded beaches along the way particularly Playa Del Puerto and Playa Caiman that I practically had to myself... When I finally reached Cabo it matched my expectations so I wasn't a great loss that it was now overcast. Walking in the morning there had been fairly few people but walking back was annoying with all the locals on the narrow trail – everybody selfishly pushed forward instead of waiting their turn.... Back at the campground mid afternoon I spent the rest of the afternoon cooking; the result didn't match the big effort but at least it was a hot meal...

It's okay to have visited the park but I'm not sure I would recommend it to others – except if they stay in Castilletes. The rest of the park is very busy and my visit was even in low season....  

Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona has a beautifu...
Tayrona National Park
At the park entrance I...
Tayrona National Park
The place was managed ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
A wild parrot though s...
Tayrona National Park
I pitched my tent and ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
The 1½ kilometer long ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Looking back at the be...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
very nice...
Tayrona National Park
At a distance vultures...
Tayrona National Park
One evening I picked 7...
Tayrona National Park
After a couple of days...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Termites...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Busy ants carrying lea...
Tayrona National Park
A pity I couldn't get ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
A detour up to a viewp...
Tayrona National Park
...from where I also g...
Tayrona National Park
A curious hawk/buzzard...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
Stunning views...
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
A moment later i was d...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Because of heavy rains...
Tayrona National Park
The next day I walked ...
Tayrona National Park
Because of the strong ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
It was saturday so lot...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
I climbed these rocks ...
Tayrona National Park
After a longer detour ...
Tayrona National Park
A big beautiful beach ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Geotagging
At the end of the beac...
Tayrona National Park
Early afternoon i got ...
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park
cabo san juan de guia
 
 
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