I’d not be telling the whole truth if I didn’t admit I missed the ocean while living in Bolivia. So it was with no little expectation that we rattled along the road in a local bus for the six hour journey from Cartagena to Palomino.
Stepping off the bus by wooden shacks strung along the roadside our first sight of Palomino wasn’t exactly encouraging, but within seconds we were mounted on the back of motorbike taxis and plunging down a sandy track towards the beach. Our first sight of a real Caribbean beach…made all the sweeter by the knowledge that it was snowing in Britain.
The video was taken at a split in the beach where the ocean connected with a lagoon behind the beach. I wanted to walk across but there was a trench several feet deep. Standing in the middle of the split with waves rolling in made taking the video tricky.
When we arrived in the late afternoon the weather was turning, a strong wind was whipping up and sizeable waves were rolling into the beach. We’d arrived just in time for a mini storm. We hadn’t booked a place to stay and the first hostal we tried was full. The second place wasn’t very nice and didn’t have any mosquito nets. The third place we tried, and there are only four places on the whole beach, didn’t have any rooms but had hammocks.
So for our first night on the beach, with a storm looming, we climbed into hammocks. They were pretty comfortable, for hammocks, and had mosquito nets – not that I didn’t put my leg against the net and get a dozen mosquito bites. Being open to the air they were nice and cool in the fairly humid climate.
Not quite refreshed from a night of high winds, falling coconuts and a dog that kept butting its head against my hammock, I went for a stroll on the beach to see what was occurring. Pretty much nothing other than the waves and a few birds were stirring, the sky was overcast and the weather didn’t look very Caribbean at all.
As I returned for breakfast the skies were clearing and the sun was bursting out from behind the clouds. After a little more hammock time, I set off to explore the beach. A truly beautiful 6km strip of sand backed by palm trees, with mountains covered with tropical forest rising sharply behind and only the occasional fisherman for company.
A very happy three hours later I returned, with aching calf muscles and a couple of unsightly sunburnt bits where I’d failed to apply sunscreen properly, to discover that a cabana with an actual bed had become free. Not only that, it had a sea view and a rocking chair – bliss.
The cabana even had an open air shower where you could wash away the heat, sand and salt while looking out over coconut palms and the ocean.