Worst two travel days so far. After recovering in Guatape for a few days I headed back to Medellin for one night since I had a flight to Santa Marta the next morning. I decide not to book a place to stay and just wing it, which I haven’t done once this trip. Because the hostel I wanted to stay at was completely booked, they sent me next door to another place.
As soon as I walked in I should have walked back out, this place looked like a dungeon. No toilet paper or paper towels in the bathroom and my only roommates were two annoying American guys. Shocker.
After googling this hell hole online I uncovered this article. Not only was this place remind me of a dungeon, but a tourist was robbed and killed here less than a year ago.
Former scene of a shooting, beds like cardboard, no AC, and a terrible mood= ambien to sleep.
At least tomorrow is a new day!
Before I went to sleep I thought able checking in online for my flight but decided against it.. my first mistake. I waited at the bus stop for the Collectivo to the airport for roughly 20 minutes before I asked the police lady if this was the right place.
Me:”¿El autobús para el aeropuerto parada aca?”
Her: fast gibberish
Me: “Despacio por favor”
Her: more fast gibberish
Because it was taking so long I decided to take the cab driver that had hassled for the last 10 minutes me about a ride share to the airport. I approach him to ask him the price and he immediately begins shouting indecipherable words at me.
The man just called me a Paisa (the Medellin department) bitch. Doesn’t he see my unmade face and tennis shoes? Doesn’t he see my big ugly backpack? I look nothing like a Colombian woman. I’m beginning to think I should just begin telling people I don’t speak spanish well, at least they won’t think I’m being rude.
I don’t know why it happened at that moment but I couldn’t take it anymore, my first breakdown of the trip happened at the bus stop. Tears came pouring out of my eyes. I spent $400 and almost a year studying Spanish, and for what? I can’t understand more than 50% of what anyone says. Everyone was looking at the sad gringa, and I didn’t even care. A lady even offered me a tissue, which I gladly accepted.
Thirty minutes later the bus finally arrived and I hopped on with mascara running down my face. A few minutes and one Lumineers song later and I had my smile back.
I arrive at the airport ~1 hour before my flight, which is fine since I only have a carry-on bag. WRONG. My flight was leaving at 12:15, not 1:15.. it’s currently 11:45. This is what happens when I don’t double-check my travel details.
Because I bought my flight through a discounted ticking website I couldn’t get any money back and was forced to buy a new flight at the airport.
Original flight- $120
New flight- $150
Total $270 for a one way flight
Two delayed flights and one rip off of a cab ride later and I arrive in Santa Marta. Three weeks into my trip and I have yet to break one of my trip rules, but had no other choice because I had to take another 2 hour bus ride to the beach I was staying at.
Rule 1: Never walk alone at night
After waiting alone in the dark with all of my belongings for an hour the bus finally arrived, and of course it was full. Standing on a hot bus next to several guys talking about me for 2 hours wasn’t the highlight of my day. Why can I understand now of all times?
After wandering through pitch black country roads lost for 20 minutes, I finally arrive at The Dreamer in Palomino. I left my hostel at 10am and it’s now 9pm. Exhausted.
Receptionist: “I’m sorry we don’t have your reservation and we have no beds available”
Me: “Excuse me, I made a reservation online”
Receptionist: “Why don’t you have a seat at the bar and we’ll get it sorted out”
By this point I was so exhausted and annoyed all I could really do was laugh and drink the free beers I was given by the bartender. Turns out they gave my room to another Sarah. I got a bed but at the expense of an employee, who had to sleep outside in a hammock for the night.
Tomorrow is another day, right?