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Michelle and Dave’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 23 Jan 2008

Location: Cartagena, Colombia

MapDecided to give ourselves a day of rest from boat hunting and have a day trip. We have decided to go with the dodgy captain who leaves on Monday mainly because we have no other choice.

We were picked up at about 9 in a crammed minibus full of backpackers and drove for about and hour along the coast to get to the volcano.

The volcano was about the size of a 3 story house and was all mud with wooden steps up it´s side. When we reached the top we saw a crater about 8 metres in diameter with thick gloopy mud in the base.
The mud reaches all the way down into the earth.

Climbing into the mud was a really bizarre feeling. As soon as you got in a man would pull you to the side and give you a 5-10 mud massage which was amazing. You got used to the feeling of the mud after a while and it was really relaxing. The mud was warm and every so often a bubble would surface to the top.

Getting out was a bit of a struggle because it was really slippy and the mud was coming out of everywhere!!
Once we got out a man took of the thick mud then we walked to the sea and got grabbed by the local woman who washed the mud off us and believe me they wern´t gentle they ducked our heads underwater ripped off our swim wear in front of everyone and gave us a good scrub!

Once we were all clean we got changed and had a beer sitting at the bottom of the volcano then we got back on the bus to a restaurant where we had a really good meal of fresh fish, salad, rice and planatus.

After that we relaxed overlooking the ocean then got back in the bus back to the hostel.

We arrived back into the hostel at around 2pm and a really lucky thing happened. We literally bumped into a captain who was sailing to Panama and was looking for passengers. His name was Peter and he was a tall tanned German in his forties looking everything like the typical eccentric type of person who spends his life sailing around the Caribbean. We weren’t overly keen at first as we wouldn’t have a private cabin and he wasn’t sure exactly which route he was going and when. He have us his number anyway and we said that we might call.

We decided to go to Playa Blanca in the morning to camp for a few days so we went and did a bit of shopping for supplies for there.

We couldn’t get Pablo to commit to a date and the more we heard about him the more worried we were getting so that night we decided to go to have a look at Peters boat.

We walked back down to the Yacht club that night, had a beer, met Peter and had a good luck at his boat which was huge. Its 10 foot longer than the others that we have seen and was built in the 50s out of beautiful teak. Where as the other boats were made out of fiberglass and more modern. This was beautiful with lots of character and a lot more space and we both fell in love with it. It had a massive outdoor seating area, a large wheelhouse with seating for 5-6 people and loads of space, a massive double cabin, a work-sleeping area with 4 bunk beds a pc and a toilet and a kitchen big enough to hold 3 people in it.

By going with Peter we would sacrifice a private cabin and bathroom but Michelle asked if we could have the double bed and he promised us that we could and after sitting and talking to him for half and hour we felt much more confident traveling with him.

He owns a guest house in Italy with his ex wife and lives there for 4 months of the year and spends the other 8 sailing the Caribbean. He has only done this trip twice before and is only doing it now because he needs money so he doesn’t do it as his profession so hopefully it will be a bit more of a relaxed and sociable trip rather than professional.

We are over the moon to have met someone that we can trust and a boat that we love so we gave his a deposit and our passport and left relieved that the searching is over.

To celebrate we sat and got pissed in the yacht club and look forward to our next final adventure.