Santa Marta and Minca

Our next stop was Santa Marta. About a 4 hour drive north of Cartagena. On arrival we both took a liking to the place. It had a much more Colombian feel to it again. Definietly a tourist town but mostly for Colombians. We were staying in a really nice hostel and Fernando the owner really made us welcome. We let it cool down a little and then went for a wander to find some dinner. On Fernando’s recommendation we went to find a pedestrian street full of restaurants which flows into the main square. We settled down for a drink or two, my drink of choice being mojitos and boy they didn’t miss the rum. Delicious! 
The next day we had planned a trip to Minca which is a little sleepy village up in the hills behind Santa Marta. We arrived with a brief plan of walking to the swimming holes and soon found the correct path. Man it was hot! But after about an hour we arrived and enjoyed a refreshing dip in the ice cold water. 
We then started heading back just as the heavens opened so we stopped at a little restaurant with a view of the valley and ate some lunch and listened to the rain fall on the tin roof. But unfortunately it didn’t stop so had to make the rest of the walk back in the rain. 
There was another walk to a view point but by that stage we were soaked and over it. We enjoyed the trip but it certainly wasn’t a must see of Colombia.
On return to the hostel we sat down with Fernando and enjoyed a Colorado gin and tonic. He is a freelance writer who is currently writing a book while running the hostel. This influence comes through in the hostel as there are books everywhere along with some fantastic artwork.
We also met an English couple staying at the hostel and after a few drinks with them we all went out for a bite to eat. They were looking for this restaurant that served seafood cocktails and although Tim and I assumed that it would be like prawn cocktails they assured us it was alcoholic cocktails with seafood in them. Giving them the benefit of the doubt we eventually found ourselves in front of a tiny little diner filled with locals eating cerviche out of plastic cups. We had a little chuckle at their literal translation and sat down on the sidewalk to consume some delicious cerviche. We then went to a cool little bar that was pumping and full of locals near the central square. We drank and watched the antics of the locals dancing or grinding on the bar top to some local beats. A very fun night out that gave us a little headache the next day. But it was definitely worth it! S

On the way to Santa Marta we passed some lovely scenery but some pretty poor villages.

The local egg man.

The hustle and bustle of Santa Marta.

Bags of water.

Don’t know how we missed the bus station!

Local restaurant on the way to the falls at Minca

The icy cold pools were a godsend after the heat of the walk up.

Me enjoying a dip.

Sarah’s Panama hat got a fair beating from the weather on the way back.

Our loca fruit juice man.

Our local cervicheria 

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