Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th October – Tatacoa Desert (attempt)
Big bus day today! What was a 6 hour bus ride turned into 7.5 hours to get to the town of Neiva where I switched buses to head to a place called the Tatacoa Desert. I hadn´t been able to book any accommodation in advance so I was slightly worried when a large number of people who looked as though they were dressed to go to a rave jumped on the bus as we headed off on the 1.5 hour trip to the desert! My suspicions were confirmed when we arrived at the site of the rave – way out in the middle of the desert and completely ruining my idea to experience some tranquillity, hiking and amazing starry nights without any light pollution in sight! I was super worried that I wouldn´t be able to find anywhere to sleep, but luckily for me, the first place that I asked, the astronomy centre, could offer me a hammock on the front porch – not perfect but beggars can´t be choosers! It was actually pretty cool sleeping in the hammock for the first time and I could see a lot of stars in the sky and then the rain came in just a foot away from where I was resting. It was actually really cool and I got quite a bit of sleep. The rave was going to continue for another night though and I really didn´t want to stick around with the hammock and security situation so first thing the next morning I got on a motorbike out of there! The nearest town was Villavieja which was full of people with muddy looking shoes trying to get on the bus back to Neiva. Things weren´t looking too good! But luckily for me this huge type of Chicken bus – open at the sides so you could jump in and fit heaps more people with open air windows – rocked up about half an hour later. Before I knew it, I was back to normality in Neiva and then onto a bus which would take me to a place called San Agustin – a place where I could see some ancient burial sites – an hopefully there wouldn´t be a rave! Once in town – with no phone battery and no reservation once again! I found a really nice hotel called the Treehouse. The rooms were super expensive but I thought i´d treat myself to a nice night of luxury after my desert trauma! Unfortunately, the restaurant was the most happening place in town until about 2am! My Columbian bad luck streak continued!