29th July 2015
You wouldn’t think there’s that much to do in the middle of nowhere. Especially when you’ve chosen the middle of nowhere to chill out for a few days. Well, Palomino proved me wrong.
After a breakfast of fresh mango, papaya, banana, cereals, egg and pancakes, I decided to take one of the hawker’s advice and find the fresh water river that the locals swim in.
Just 15 minutes up the sea shore and I was the only person on the beach. My footsteps were the only ones in the sand and the palm forests, swell of the sea and driftwood were my only company.
Eventually I reached the Rio San Salvador, separated from the sea by a sand bank. Lush forest frame either side of the river, the deafening sound of crashing waves miraculously subsides. A picturesque, tranquil place lays out before you. Perfect for a soak.
Joining me were a couple of fishermen, looking curiously at the lily-white girl sharing their space, floating like a star fish.
Having my fill of bathing and hunger striking, it was time for the long trek back to civilisation. The only people I passed were a couple of tourists and the fishermen who chatted away to me in Spanish and invited me to join them fishing. Brilliant! Their jovial, mahogany, creased faces beamed at me as my hand gestures of ‘big fish, little fish’ and my pidgin Spanish came out to play again to decline their offer.
Bumping into both the American and Dutch girls on the way back, the Dutch girl recommended La Sirena for some good nosh.
La Sirena is the type of place I wished I’d booked. Detached cabanas with thatched roofs and private terraces overlooking the beach.
The restaurant/cafe is vegetarian/pescatarian, has a juice bar, sells Wayuu artisan products and has wifi.
I ordered tofu curry with rice and an energising juice. Amazing, fragrant food!
What with the chilled atmosphere, the view of the beach and the great food and drink, this was definitely my place to be.
After lunch, the American girl and I decided to have another dip in the other river to the west of the hostel – Rio Palomino. It’s only about 20 minutes ‘up beach’ and separated from the sea by another sandbank.
Even though it was more populated, I found it much more beautiful than the Rio San Salvador.
Snowy egrets stalked the banks, horses chomped on the luscious grass, ducks paddled, local families bathed in the shallow waters fully clothed and moored fishing boats bobbed.
Tranquility and relaxation washed over me as we watched people floating in the river and frolicking in the waves of the Sea, all whilst the sun set.
On our way back, we passed the hippy camp hidden away in the trees. A whole infrastructure of dome tents existed, ropes were tied between trees to practice juggling whilst balancing on the tightrope, circus style.
So cool. So feral. So free.
Back at base it was the hostel quiz night! Truly, had I stepped into Butlins by mistake?!!
Pushing my holiday camp prejudice (when did I get like this?) and cynicism to one side (after all I do like a good pub quiz) I decided to embrace the resort and all the fun things it had to offer.
After all it’s hugely entertaining to hang out with new friends drinking beer and mojitos.
And …. we won the quiz!! :-):-)