Time to tackle the other thing to do in Santa Marta: Tayrona National Park. We decided to get a guide this time to help us with the language barrier. Eduardo was friendly and knew things about the local ecology, although he had some strange views about the Solar System. Yep.
We stayed at the Rio Piedras eco-hotel, which meant another Colombian hut experience. This one was under construction. Without going into details, Mel did not leave a great review on Trip Advisor. She feels guilty for being the “ugly American” whenever she is dissatisfied, but at the same time she feels obligated to teach the world good hotel management. For example: Dust your fans once in a while!
The kids at least got to swim in a pool. Unfortunately, the included dinner occurred at 5:30 p.m. sharp, about 1 hour before the whole place closed down. So at 9 p.m. the kids were starving and bored. Mel forgot to bring games, and the kids could only read for so long. In fact, Allie was so bored she pulled out another tooth!
The next day was fun. We had a long, hot hike through beautiful Tayrona Park that concluded with gorgeous beaches and excellent food at a beach restaurant. We ended up riding nimble horses back through alarmingly skinny areas between giant boulders. Well, we all rode horses except Allie. She rode a donkey and loved it! Mel is thankful she learned the words, “derecho” and “izquierda” before getting on a horse who liked to take the lead. The Burnetts have found yet another way to ensure your butt will hurt the next day.
Mel doesn’t have anything clever to say at this point. She has a lot of thoughts about Santa Marta and what she would do with it if she were in charge. She feels Santa Marta’s slogan should be, “Santa Marta: Come Back Later. We Aren’t Ready Yet. ” The Burnetts are going the “wrong way” up the Colombian coast in more ways than one, coming here after Cartagena. But Mel’s been the “ugly American” in this post enough already. So that will be something you will have to ask her about someday.
We turn our eyes now to Aruba, and wait for good winds.
(Okay, that’s not going to happen, but we are hoping for at least less than 25 kts in our face…)