One from the Colombia Black Hole Archives…
I’m vaguely disturbed about the fact that I may not be cut out for South American travel.
Before I arrived here, aka: while sitting in an office in the rainy Melbourne weather, I had grand visions of trekking through Colombian, Peruvian and Chilean mountains, a healthy tan and perfectly balanced backpack my only accessories. I’d be swimming in waterfalls, camping under the stars and reaching summits only slightly out of breath.
Looking back, it’s plausible these images came directly from the Kathmandu advertising campaign because my only International Travel experience to date totaled a 10 day resort-based honeymoon in Thailand and a week long work conference in Hawaii. Also resort-based.
Now I’m here and have travelled the ‘countryside’ of Colombia for a grand total of maybe 3 days maximum, the rest of the time being spent in hostels in what is essentially a city. I haven’t been camping and have only seen one waterfall on a 20 minute trek down a creek, the entrance to which I arrived at in a fairly new four-wheel drive.
And yet, on settling in at my hostel this morning, which I meticulously selected for its hotel-like qualities, I nearly cried at the presence of a tiled bathroom, completely void of mould or chips and with enough room to set down my clothes and toiletries bag side by side. I practically kissed the hair-dryer (hair-dryer! this place isn’t a hostel!) and ran my hands over the distinctly polished wooden chairs, relishing the fact that there was not a plastic leg in sight.
Also, the bathroom is INSIDE the dorm room, which made it possible to solve my usual forgetting of a towel with a dripping dash across the empty bedroom instead of piling clothes onto my wet body in order to retrieve the drying apparatus with a semblance of decency.
I haven’t even been camping yet!!!!
It’s a little bit disappointing to discover I’m not the next Jane Goodall. Well, not Jane necessarily because apes smell something rotten. But I thought maybe I could’ve studied lions perhaps, from a hide up the trees of Africa. A hide with running water. And air conditioning.
So I’m a city girl. The only place concrete should not be covered with something shiny is outside a building preferably next to a fully functioning drainage system. Coffee shops need wall to ceiling glass windows, candles on the table, black and white canvas prints of Audrey Hepburn on the wall and something deliciously Cafe del Mar playing over the surround-sound speaker system. And the waiters should instantaneously understand what I mean when I say “A Chai Latte please”.
It’s always helpful to discover your comfort zone, as disappointing as it may be.
As long as the next thing on the To Do List is to Get Out Of It!!