What strange ways we find pleasure in life.
At 4pm our dune buggy picked us up and off into the sand mountains we sped, way more than half drunk we revelled in the adventure; the drivers take carte blanche with your existence, rallying around the peaks and troughs at breakneck speeds, belly down on makeshift snowboards you nose dive down giant slopes, we played like children in a monster sandbox and finished the day drinking more by the side of our now broken down buggy.
Alongside climbing volcanoes at sunrise in East Java and walking with dragons on the island of Flores, the Santa Cruz trail immediately goes into my top three adventures of this year long trip thus far.
Seven months into a years adventure, these are the things I hadn't anticipated I would learn out here, little nuances in this myriad of experiences that have put a smile on my face and may even have had some longer lasting, more important effects on my overall character and outlook on life...maybe.
It's three days and 30km of absolute beauty, of conversations with strangers not marred by smartphone interruptions, set to a soundtrack of silence only broken by the songs of exotic birds and rushing water...
From the taxi back we watched a guy strolling the busy high street in broad daylight, getting nostrils deep in a bag of Colombia's finest/or worst, who knows. I smiled to myself, Medellin was super aggressive, and I liked it.
Backpacking on a budget especially is all encompassing, and for the most part overwhelmingly positive (i’ll cover that next time), here I have chosen three things that grind my gears, completely subjective of course, with a travelling lifestyle. Bare in mind throughout that this all makes up maybe 10% of the whole experience, I adore this life.
Embraced by ocean on the very north western tip of this great continent, it has bones of fortress walls and a belly of multicoloured colonial buildings, rhythmic salsa drums provide the heartbeat that pumps a melting pot of humankind through its narrow pastel streets...
The final death throes of our visit were spent awing once again at the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy of a billions of suns orbiting our Milky Way, 130,000 light years away. To put that into perspective, anyone in that galaxy peering back through a telescope at us on that night, would have seen a primitive mankind yet to leave Africa, and watched Neanderthals still roaming the plains.