Tayrona, Colombia

6th October 2019

Last night, through the determined rain, I arrived at Tayrona National Park. It’s a protected area at the northern peak of Colombia, with pristine white beaches, towering palm trees, exotic birds and swinging monkeys. You could say that visiting here was the main reason I came to Colombia — for months I had been envious of other travellers’ tales of this paradise.

I arrived late in the evening and was once again the only solo traveller at the campsite. After taking out the things I needed, I stored my backpack in a locker and went to find a hammock to sleep in for the night — another experience that lured me into coming here.

The first hammock I came to had a huge red spider wrapped up inside it. Naturally, I moved to the next one. This one — I noticed after getting cosy inside — had a gaping hole in the mosquito net directly above my face. It is a privileged position to take, but in my opinion, a mosquito net with a hole in it is not a mosquito net.

The third hammock I tried was perfect and I nestled in happily, falling asleep to the sounds of ocean waves and the occasional coconut dropping from it’s tree.

My sleep was peaceful and I was happy to wake up as the sun did. Breakfast was both expensive and unimpressive, but I was thankful to have any food at all.

Later, I’ll regather my belongings — all soggy from yesterday’s trek — and move onto a different campsite, simply for the sake of variety.

For now, it’s time to find shade by the shore in this intense heat and bat away the vicious flies and ants that find me so tasty. The day-pack I’ll take with me is broken, my sandal strings are hanging on by a thread and my journal is bent and mucky. But, I have music and joy in my bones and nature to observe.

Most importantly, I have gratitude for all the things that come my way on this tumultuous, fruitful adventure.

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