It was time for relaxi.. as not said!

After being resurrected from the land of Tayrona National Park back in the digitized world, we immediately made out way to Palomino a small beach town a half hour part from the park. The town itself is very small, it only has few restaurants and little tourism, it’s however growing in number of hostels. Why? It’s common practice to have drink in the hostels (act as bars) and then head to the beach jumping into the fray of beach parties during a sunset until the sunrise.

Tired but still happy

Hold up! I know you’re already imagining the American spring break style maxi party, but NOPE this is all in your head… come on, at least let me finish before you started fantasizing!

Arriving at our hostel, exhausted from the adventure in the Tayrona National Park, so we settled in quietly by the pool. The plan was to relax and figure out what our next steps would be once we left Palomino. We could never have expected that just as we were about to get to one, Andrea’s friends would showed  up right there in that very same hostel. A bit like the girl I met in the jungle, Andrea met them in Costa Rica a few weeks before and now they were traveling through Colombia, just like us.

We ended up creating a little community and having dinner together. We, along with Frencise and Andrea, went grocery for the evening: a more than arduous task despite the small size of the town. It took us almost an hour just to find a grocery store that had everything we needed… probably in the meantime the others thought we got lost lost at least three times.

Finally back at the hostel we set down cooking while listening to Latin music and dancing all together. Oh well, Pura Vida! Once dinner was ready we moved outside to eat.

Not really in Palomino for party, but still happy and having a good time hanging out with new people and relaxing in front of a drink.

The following day we had planned a leisurely tubing trip in Palomino river. This is the most famous attraction that the town is known for and… as well as the main attraction if not the only one…

After breakfast, and repacked our stuff for the umpteenth time it was time to leave again. We were going to be picked up by the tubing company when…. “Taaaa… taaa…. taaaaa….” Giorgy was getting nervous.
“Taaaaa… taaaaa… taaaaa….” A strange feeling was growing in my belly.
“Taaaa,,,,taaaaa…..taaaaa….” until a group of motorcycles pulled up in front of the hostel: our tubing pass, of course. I swear I almost had a panic attack, I wasn’t ready to trust a stranger on the back of a motorcycle… not again and especially not here in Colombia. The scars from my accident in Nicaragua still burned my skin, I wasn’t ready to take on the road on two wheels yet.

Thanks for coming back with a car instead.

Luckily after a few exchanges and a very understanding receptionist who explained the discomfort to the guys, they left to return 5 minutes later and retrieve us in the car. The trip took about 10 minutes followed by about 15 minutes by walking along the river with some beautiful green inflatable donuts on the shoulder. Obviously the longer one walks up, the longer the tubing descent will be.

On the way up, Andrea got kicked in the ass by a native for the simple fact overtaking him politely asking permission. A decidedly nervous giggle broke out on me and I almost threw my donut at the idiot. Thankfully our guides were quicker than my instincts and stepped in to discover that the guy was drunk and was taking his daughters tubing. A very interesting family…  inappropriate… I still feel sorry for the girls.

At some point we reached a stream turn right and there where the start of the tubing was! Not even time to tell us that we already had our butts stuck in the donut floating away downstream. Along the banks of the river, life is full of agricultural fields, pastures with pigs and cows, native birds, families washing clothes in the river while children washing themselves while splashing about.

The descent can take between 3 and 5 hours depending on how long you want to walk up the river before floating away with the donut. Our descent began around 10am and we arrived at the bottom at 2am, so we stayed under the sun during the hottest hours of the day, obviously without wearing sunscreen… (G for Genius). When we got to the bottom, we had the same color of artificial crab meat sell in rolls at the supermarket, made of improbable shades of orange and dehydrated like thirsty camels after a week in the desert. Andrea took the brunt from the three of us having a terrible headache due to lack of water.

I have to admit that at one point we were quite fed up with this extreme floating relaxation, so much that we decided to paddle out using flip flops to to speed up the process reaching the bottom as quickly as possible. Nevertheless it was a fun experience dodging twigs, rocks and fallen trees with the aim of not scratching our booty on the bottom.

The floaty (editor’s note: yes this word is invented to get along to the whole article, it sounds good! Let’s make it a trend) ended on the beach, from which in 10 minutes walk you could return to the hostel in a walk immersed in the green of the forest.

I can assure you there are better, or at least smarter, ways to approaching a day of tubing than we did with hindsight:

  • First of all, wear a swimsuit (editor’s note: Giorgy didn’t specify why she did this so I’m going to write down few hypotheses and let you choose the one is more appropriate: G has been tubing naked that’s the reasons why she talks about scratching her butt on the rocks, G has decided to go tubing in a ski suit, G has been tubing in latex suits);
  • Flip-flops (essential as paddles, trust us);
  • Waterproof bag with drinks;
  • Sun lotion (if you would like to avoid becoming red shaded like us);
  • and waterproof camera (which we obviously forgot, so we ended up with few if any photos).

What makes sunburns worth it? There may be many answers, but tubing across Colombia’s Palomino river is definitely one of them.