colombia {day 8} rodadero

I’ve been slacking in the blogging department this week due to a bad head cold, but I’ve got lots of awesomeness lined up for next week, so hang in there!

To celebrate Good Friday, we decided to head to Rodadero (“the Myrtle Beach of Colombia,” as my friend calls it). In other words, an ironic place to spend Good Friday, or any day with religious significance.

We decided to run up a mountain and then down the other side to Rodadero, equipped with backpacks with all we’d need to enjoy the day there. After running along with my bag flopping all over the place, all I have to say is: I feel your pain, Quasimodo, I feel you.

This reminds me—why isn’t there a plethora of YouTube videos of fat kids running to catch buses wearing backpacks? That is the funniest sight EVER. Running while wearing a backpack is awkward. Fat kids are awkward. Trying to catch a bus that’s about to pull away is awkward. It’s a trifecta of amazingness.

But back to Colombia…

We arrived at Rodadero before 8AM, but the beach was already filling up with vacationing Colombians. And those vacationing Colombians were already ripping shots of Aguardiente (a popular Colombian liquor that I have reason to believe was crafted by the devil himself…more on that in the next post).

We opted for some freshly squeezed juice instead of hard liquor and then spent some time walking around the marketplace. There I bought some expensive and 100% authentic Ray-Bans (they cost $4 and were advertised as “Bay-Rans”), and some equally expensive and awesome rings.

When it was time to lounge on the beach, the place was PACKED. Imagine a crowded Cancun beach during Spring Break, multiply that by 10, add lots of neon mesh and—voila!—you have Rodadero during Holy Week.

We got our bronze on, dined on some delicious fish soup (well, ok, “delicious” might be a strong word—but it was certainly authentic), and then took the most outrageous bus (if you can even call it a bus) back to my friend’s place. The bus had no door, which wasn’t surprising (most public buses around Santa Marta either have no doors or just choose to never close them). It was also decorated like a great-grandmother’s basement. If your great-grandmother did a lot of Ecstasy and was a DJ in her spare time. Add to that the fact that our driver was bumping Colombian house/electronic music and going 750 mph around mountainside roads and the result was one ridiculous ride. I probably should have been scared since I was sitting next to the open door with no seatbelt to keep me flying out of it, but I was too busy videoing the ride on my iPhone to care. Hey, I wanted to tweet it later, can you blame me?

Speaking of having skewed priorities, once back at our home base in Santa Marta it was time to do what I’d been DYING to do the entire trip: Get manicures. Before you write me off as an embarrassment to mankind, allow me to explain the GLORY that is a Santa Marta manicure. Remember Mimi from The Drew Carey Show? If she had a love child with Tiffany “New York” Pollard, that offspring would be rocking one of these manicures. If you’re not catching my drift, allow me to spell it out for you: neon pink with glittery floral detailing. This, my friends, is my idea of comedy.

Showered and rocking the hottest manicure on the equator, we headed back to Rodadero (via cab, not crazy bus driver) to watch the sunset from Burukuka’s gorgeous patio up on a cliff overlooking the ocean. On the drive we encountered two groups of teenagers in the middle of the road throwing pineapple-sized rocks at each other—talk about a gnarly fight. Luckily our cab escaped unscathed and hopefully…no one died?

It was unnerving, but nothing a bottle of wine and gorgeous sunset couldn’t fix!

When the sun had set and I’d taken 400 pictures of it, it was time to head back to Parque de los Novios for dinner at Ouzo. The only problem? A telephone pole had collapsed and there were live wires blocking the only street leading out from Burukuka. The even bigger problem? Some men were trying to remedy the situation by flicking the sparking wires around with sticks. Brilliant.

We managed to escape via a trek on the beach and made it to Ouzo for the best meal I had in Santa Marta. I had the langostino special and was one glass of wine away from licking the plate it was so good. Inhibitions still slightly intact, I refrained.

After dinner it was time for Aguardiente shots. It tastes like someone fermented liquorish and toothpaste together, but it’s authentically Colombian and I was all about immersing myself in the culture so…I may have had a few.

It was my last night in Santa Marta so we made it a late one. Once finally back at my friend’s host parent’s house around 3 or 4 in the morning, I made the considerate and completely sober decision to wash my face using one finger so as not to make any noise. Because rubbing soap on one’s face is OH SO LOUD. And using one finger instead of your whole hand is OH SO PRACTICAL. And OH SO MUCH MORE QUIET. Gotta love Aguardiente-influenced logic.

In case you missed it:

colombia {day 1} traveling to the equator
colombia {day 2} taganga beach
colombia {day 3} parque tayrona
colombia {day 4} parque tayrona & snorkeling at playa de amor
colombia {day 5} cartagena
colombia {day 6} cartagena & the never-ending search for la cevicheria  
colombia {day 7} quebrada valencia & costeno beach

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