One place you cannot afford to miss on Colombia's Caribbean coastline is Tayrona National Park. The best beaches are only accessible by a 2 hour hike after being dropped at the park entrance. We headed off on a, thankfully, slightly overcast morning...the heat would have been unbearable otherwise. Especially with the pace myself and Garfield were setting; Jocky was constantly moaning he couldn't keep up. Nothing new for the Scots, eh? Always runners-up (if they're lucky).
Arriving at Cabo beach, the furthest point before the nudist beaches...a good place to stop, we got the usual spiel from the staff when booking in: only the most expensive hammocks were left, it was that or a tent. There's no huts or dorms here, it's back to nature: communal showers, one shit cafe selling overpriced food, the electricity goes off at 11pm, and no hot water. You get by. Some girls who were leaving told the staff we could have their hammocks. I cocked an eyebrow at the cheats, and they shrugged sheepishly; you need to watch this lot.
Hammocks selected, we rested awhile. No need to rush to the beach...the sun wasn't coming out today. A few beers before lights out didn't do much to help me sleep. A noisy group played guitar (badly) and sang (badly) for hours. Or was it days? Aeons? People staggering back drunk pinged into tent guy ropes and hammocks...it wasn't conducive to a decent night's rest. I'm old and miserable, so stop having fun and let me sleep, you fuckers? I think I'll book a SAGA holiday next time. Might get some P&Q.
Sun up and, despite being knackered, we attempted to swallow the muck on offer at breakfast. Utter shite. The local dog turned its nose up at a piece of untoasted "toast" I offered it. Off to sleep on the beach, then.
Cabo is stunning. A tiny peninsula splits the beaches, huge boulders in the pristine sea softening the blows of the onrushing Caribbean. It's a delightful place to sit and do nothing, or swim out and jump off the boulders into the sea. We whiled away a few hours, needing to cool off in the sea every 30 minutes or so. A few Irish lads we met had bought tickets for the boat back, and told us there were spare places. Garfield "Mr Decisive" was left with a casting vote, as Jocky said Boat, I said Walk. By the time he'd decided, all tickets were sold, and a 2 hour walk it was. It's easy to have your mind made up for you. And besides, it's a nice walk, and good exercise when all you've done is drink beer and smoke weed for 10 months.
We'd decided to head off at 1.30ish, and the clock ticked towards 1pm. At that moment we heard a familiar voice from afar. We heard her before we saw her; complaining about the boatman bumping her and her current companions off the list. Bleached hair, Essex accent...this girl spoke on a frequency guaranteed to grate the nerves. Think Jade Goody. We'd seen (heard) her at our hostel in Taganga...sat on a table of 6 girls, none of them getting a word in edgeways for two whole hours. Believe me, this girl can talk. We nicknamed her Bigmouth, or Don Don Don after Ben Kingsley's rant to the bathroom mirror in Sexy Beast. (Don Don Don later proved better, because we could refer to her without her knowing when she was around). So she's walking up the beach in our direction. Jocky's frowning at me, Garfield burying his head in a book, despite there being ample sand around. I look around us, horror dawning on me as I notice a gobshite-shaped, empty patch of beach right next to us. Shit.
Sit down she did, still blabbering on, the girls with her apparently mute and not being given the chance to prove otherwise. Recognising us from Taganga, she started chewing my ear off (not literally, of course...that would be horrible). She asked me to take a photo of her and the girls in the sea, and I obliged. Scanning the results, she asked who the "bald dickhead" was behind them in the shots, making a throttling motion with his hands and gritting his teeth? I informed her that that was my friend and non-compatriot, Jocky. She seemed non too pleased, but we were all amused, obviously.
So off we went, Don Don Don giving us a valid reason to actually fuck off on time for once.