24 Hours on the Pacific Coast – Days 69 & 70

Tues 10th – Wed 11th Apr

Not feeling great, with another cold having rain hold, I have a leisurely start to the day, breakfast in Betty’s…a cute little venue adjoining the hostel, sit and chat to the staff, a wander round Poblado then get to the airport. It’s the little central airport with not much going on, but only 10 mins away from my hostel so much easier (and cheaper) to get to.

Time to board and as I walk through I think this is my plane….but no, I continue to the end to find this tiny little prop plane.

I’m sure this is smaller than the old Bristol to Paris Air France planes!

No refreshments given out in this flight…but they do give our ear plugs. The best thing about this flight is the view…firstly over the metropolis of Medellin. If you’ve watched Narcos, you’ll recognise this view

As soon as we’re out of Medellin, the landscape changes drastically and it’s now all mountainous jungle as we head towards Nuqui in the Chocco region of Colombia on the Pacific coast.

After about an hour, the sea comes into view

and we descend to land. This plays havoc with my ears and I’m now deaf in my left ear.

Bag collected, locate my accommodation on maps me and I set off to find it. My first impression of the place is how poor it is and how few tourists there are here.

I locate my ‘hotel’ and there is no one there. A few hola’s later and a guy comes out. Despite a reservation being made on booking.com he does look surprised to see me….not as surprised as I am st the state of this place thou…

I am shown to my room…which is a wooden cabin. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so dark and indescribably muggy and hot inside. It was also buzzing with mosquitos and the nets on the window were broken in parts.

I ask the guy who else is around and what there is to do….he tells me there are no tourists here as it’s low season there are no tours running. We go ask his friend about possibilities but to just get a boat to the hot springs etc wd cost me over £100!

I have a momentary panic and just want to get out of this awful place and get back to Medellin! There are no more flights today so my plan is to head back in the morning for the first flight that departs at 0730.

As I walk back, I shake off the guy from the hotel and find 2 much MUCH nicer hotels….white walls, white linen, clean, light and airy with no bugs/mosquitoes, so enquire about the price. One comes in cheaper than where I’m booked into so I decide to jump ship! I run back to get my belongings and check in to my new place. I lie on my bed and take stock of my situation…wtf am I going to do here for 3 days!

The lovely receptionist calls her boss, the owner of this new hotel to see what he can sort for me in ways of activities for the coming days.

He arrives and explains he will speak to his friends to see who’s about etc and from what I gather, I might be able to do the things on my list tomorrow or the day after.

He asks me if I want dinner, I wasn’t really feeling it but decide he’s trying to be helpful and I should accept it. He takes me to a restaurant opposite his other business – a small shop a bit like a wilkos!

I have a typical Colombian dinner of chicken and rice for a mere £2 and head to wilkos before walking back to my hotel.

I awake in the morning with a fresh new outlook. I am in a place that is much less developed but this is what travelling is all about and I should just embrace it. With that in mind, I set off to go explore.

I walk down to the beach and although many say it’s lovely…it isn’t ur normal white sand, blue seas. After being on the north coast for so long, it’s doesn’t bowl me over and figure I can’t sit in the beach as there’s too many crabs running riot there! The nicest part of it though is jungle meeting beach.

Leaving the beach I wander around the town. There really isn’t much here at all and it is sooo poor. I smile at people in the street, a few buenas’ then spot a gringo!!!

I approach her and her oncoming friends and ask what there is to do here. One of the 3 people live in this region and tells me there isn’t anything to do but I can get a boat with them later that day to another part instead. I explain I need an ATM in order to travel further only to be told there isn’t one in this place! WHAT……!!!

My positive outlook from this morning has just been dashed. I don’t have enough money on me to leave with these guys, but also don’t have enough money to stay on here any longer either. Not only is there no cajero but nowhere here at all takes card payment either! I frantically pull up the airline website and find the last flight of the day departs in an hour.

I rush back to my hotel, shove my stuff back in my bag, pay for last night and garble in Spanish that I need to leave pronto!

I get to the airport and exasperated explain my situation to the guy on the desk. I can change my ticket but for a fee of 80,000 – which I don’t have! I explain I have dollars so in the end I pay 30 bucks and I’m set to go back.

After you’ve checked in, ur free to leave the airport again so I take a last wander round before hearing back 20 minutes before take off…hoping that the return flight will pop my still blocked ear.

2 hours later I return back to my hostel in Medellin and the girls in Bettys are shocked to see me…I wasn’t due to be back until Friday! I sit down with them, explain what’s happened and have a much appreciated cold beer!!! I think the girls here think I’m well n truly off my head!!!

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