Due to a total cock up with communication at the reception our start to a relaxing island trip was a little stressful. Abi and I told the receptionist that we wanted a cab to the airport at 8.45am and he agreed to order us one. Eric joined us at our hostel for breakfast and the receptionist came to tell us something which I didn’t understand a word of but nodded and waved as though I did. So we finish breakfast and are waiting for this no show cab, Eric and I run off to get us all take away coffees because the watery sugar cup of ‘coffee’ we had at breakfast was not fit for human consumption. 9 o clock rolls by and we start getting nervous and decide to order an uber (super cheap in Colombia), as we’re piling in the receptionist comes running out, gabbering away and pointing at some random man who’d been hanging around the hostel for ages. Turns out when he’d come over to us while we were eating breakfast he was trying to explain that the taxi driver was waiting on us but we could take our time – tranquillo. Poor bloke was sat there for half an hour watching us sit on our phones, do a coffee run and then order an uber (we cancelled the uber and went with the cab). Checking in was an absolute mare. We stacked that as well. Stood in a queue for at least 30min before being told (as we got to the front of the queue) that we had to do the check in queue first and THEN we could stand in line for our tourist tax ticket – arf. We finally manage to check in (becoming more agitated as the staff are more interested in having a convo then checking us in and with only 5min until our flight starts boarding). We practically run through the airport, chucking our stuff through security, I don’t even bother repacking my bag, simply grab and run. We get to the gate (of course it’s the one at the end of the terminal), again stressed as there’s zero sign of life. Have they all boarded? Are we too late? No….boarding won’t commence for another 15min, South American time. For the first time I’m quite glad about that. A short two hour flight (and a cookie each) later and we were in San Andres. Of course no taxi knew where the air b&b was so that was interesting, but on arrival we were gobsmacked. The little apartment was perfect and the views were stunning! I completely adored our hostess who lived in an apartment below us – she’s adopted 5 street dogs and one cat, had them all taken to a vet & properly taken care of.
Our mate Milan (who we’d met in Salento) was already there and we all went immediately to the beach. It was hoooot but the water was amazing. We took it easy with beers and Cuba libres, saw some of the wildlife (a crab, which Milan just HAD to poke and it came scuttling towards Abi and I – screams are on video), and then switched to coco loco. Dear god. Hollow out one coconut, add; Rum, Whiskey, Vodka, Gin – not measured, just pour, and a splash of (coolaide?) and you get the worlds most alcoholic, disgusting drink. A few Cuba libres and sips of this bad boy had me giggling over everything.
Dinner that night was our cab drivers recommendation, lucky for me they had steak in a nearly all seafood restaurant – only had to remortgage the flat for the meal. We decided as it was a Sunday that beers and card games were a must. I’m genuinely terrible at the ‘guess higher or lower’ card game so didn’t feel great the next day.
We decided to rent a golf buggy the next day organised by our excellent hostess. We drove into the town, got snacks and our gang flower necklaces (we’re cool ok). Spent forever looking for breakfast and settled on the Juan delvez coffee chain. Eric got us there safely, but then it was Milans turn to drive..I swear he has zero spatial awareness. I spent half the time enjoying the scenery and the other half shouting ‘MILAN’. He’s one of those ‘yeah but did you die?’ drivers.
We found our own little area of beach which was absolutely stunning, and a place further down for drinks. We spent the afternoon in and out of the water and drinking / snacking, what else do you want to do on a Monday? Eric and Milan took the golf cart off for some more exploring and Abi and I got to know the local beach dogs. Abi drove us to Ecofiwi Lodge so we could book a see through kayak tour of the Mangroves the next day – her driving was my favourite, sorry boys (guess who wasn’t allowed to drive).
Dinner that night was mediocre at best (we weren’t super lucky with food). We saw a lot of people with the virtual reality goggles on, absolutely freaking out. Which (with alcohol) was so entertaining to watch. We were offered a go and Milan stepped up to the plate…and stood there, completely and utterly unimpressed.
Eric and Abi cooked up a storm of a breakfast next day. Ok so all we had were eggs and bread but still – they cooked (thanks guys). We headed to EcoFiwi lodge, chucked all our stuff into a locker, sun creamed up and went to the kayaks. I think we all tripped at least once (not the only klutz)! Milan and I were in one Kayak and Eric and Abi were in other (they didn’t know it but Milan and I were racing them everywhere #competitive #wewon). Our guide was fantastic, hilarious and a little bit of a pervert. He got Abi to hold a sea penis..I mean slug, stating that his was as big as if not bigger and he was well reputed for it – truly terrifying. He found a jelly fish and kept telling us not to touch it because it was poisonous…as he was holding on to it. We got to snorkel around the mangroves, spotting fish, more jellyfish that we could touch and felt extremely weird (may have squealed), and a crab. The way back was just as stunning and Milan and I managed to pick up some trash (the EcoFiwi tour encourages it and then recycles whatever we bring back).
Back at the ‘reception’ we were given bits of food to try, some amazing banana bread, fried fruit but I couldn’t tell you what it was other than delicious and Tuna (which I did try and did NOT enjoy – not a fish eater – quickly washed that away with whatever amazing fruit juice they had on offer).
We decided to walk back to our ‘local’ beach and unfortunately I didn’t have my speaker with me so instead Milan and I passed the time trying to rap Eminem songs, or playing german songs off my phone and at one point he rapped (and translated) a really weird Dutch song (about breakfast and a break up or something). We all did the classic ‘I’m on holiday and having burgers and beer for lunch’, lay on sun beds (in the shade though) and finally headed back up to the air b&b.
Abi and I got an ice cream each from our ‘hostess’ – she’s very entrepreneurial (went out for sprinkles the next day to make her ice cream an extra 1000 pesos more expensive). That night we took our hostesses recommendation for a local style restaurant. I throughly enjoyed my meal and it was finally at a backpacker price! One odd moment we had was a man barged into the restaurant and started stuffing his face (literally) with the plate of unfinished food behind me. While it was a bizarre experience and honestly a little uncomfortable I couldn’t help but think ‘good on you’. Obviously hungry (possibly drunk) and that food is only going to go in the bin (unless they recycle their wasted food on to other people’s plates and dear god I hope not). We walked around the town after dinner, long story short Milan and Abi had had an entire conversation about a statue (that was not a statue but a person) and I’d walked around in my own head checking things out. When we did a second loop past the same statue, I freaked out as it’s eyes moved and exclaimed ‘OH MY GOD ITS A PERSON’. So Milan made me give him money as he was clearly doing a very good job but then both he and Abi rolled their eyes at me for having completely blanked on the entire convo they’d had about the man only giving away the fact he wasn’t a statue by his eyes.
Back at the hostel we bought beers off of our hostess and played more card games which I’m shockingly bad at. Arf. Milan and Eric left for the airport early the next morning to catch their flight to Cartagena and Abi and I left later for Bogota. It was a fun mini trip to a stunning island.