365 days ago (as of July 15), Alex and I went our first official date. That night, I got emotional and cried. Then in December, when I met up with him and his friends in Vegas, I thought that 3:00 am on the strip would be the perfect time to ask, “Am I your girlfriend?” I’m pretty sure I’ve offered to cook meals at least once a week and have followed through half a dozen times. Perfect dating material right??
I guess I convinced him somehow because for our year anniversary of our first date, he took me to an island resort on Isla Baru, about an hour off the coast of Cartagena.
We arrived on boat with a half dozen other couples. We pulled up to our resort, Sport Baru, and it was set up like a classic beach paradise. Hibiscus flowers decorated the tables. Lounge chairs with perfectly folded towels sat on the white sand beach. Hammocks were hanging all around. Kayaks were pulled on shore ready to be used. And just like out of some fancy movie, we were greeted with delicious fresh drinks.
It was almost like a luxury field trip. After hearing the run through of the resort (which we understood 60% of), we were dismissed. Most of the people we came with were only staying for the day so they hit the beautiful private beach. We went to check out our room; complete with a private balcony and hammock overlooking the Carribean.
At 11:30, we were promptly taken to another private beach by boat with the rest of the group. This beach was even more beautiful. Blue green water, white sand, palm trees. We enjoyed the warm water and soft sand before heading back to our island for a lunch of freshly grilled fish. Then we got free time! We laid out, went swimming, and took a kayak to another island to watch the sunset.
Once the couples that came for the day left, I realized Alex and I were one of three couple staying the night at the resort. There was a young German couple, and an older Colombian couple. The Colombians had the same short round body and both wore bright yellow tanktops. They did cool things like wear sneakers on lounge chairs. I liked them.
The next morning, we made sure to get a couples massage to rid our bodies of the undue stress we faced from staying at a resort.
Before you give up on this blog and go barf because it’s so obnoxiously adorable, I’ll fast forward to “the incident”.
We took a private boat back because we wanted to catch a 2.00 pm bus to Santa Marta. We were low on cash so when we made it back to Cartagena, we decided alex would stay with the bags and boat driver and I would go find an ATM.
If I had been in traveler mode, I would have paid attention to the cross streets of the dock. But I had a fresh flower in my hair and oil on my body from a massage. I couldn’t be weighed down with such nonesense.
Finding an ATM took forever and I ended up getting turned around. I was also on the verge of peeing my pants. (or bathing suit and skirt in this case). No one would let me use their bathroom and I was also lost and frustrated. So I just took off my skirt and peed in the really clean, gasoline free dock water. I’m so respectable.
At this point, I convinced myself things were looking up. I had made it back to the water and had an empty bladder. But as it turned out, I was walking the wrong direction. I ended up hailing a cab and asked him to take me to the dock. (there are about 500 little did I know) He ended up taking me to where you buy the tickets…back in Cartagena proper and nowhere near the dock. I hopped out when I realized we were definitely going the wrong way. All I had on me were huge bills from the ATM and when he said he didn’t have change, I was so frustrated that I just left without change meaning I took a $2.50 cab ride for $28. Damn.
Since I was back in the main area of Cartagena, I found the hotel we stayed at two nights before because they set up the initial boat ride. Surely they would know which specific dock I needed to find.
The helpful concierge man remembered me and looked up the correct dock. While he did this, he kindly asked me about our stay on Isla Baru. I smiled and said it was wonderful, of course, but all I could really think about was how I was lost and covered in pee/dirty dock water.
He set me up in a cab who of course didn’t take me to the right place. I was close enough to where I quickly found alex, who was clearly nervous about where I had been for an hour but trying to play it cool.
I immediately sat down and cried until I could gain my composure to go to the bus station.
We ended up having to take a later bus but it worked out.
For the whole week, Alex and I have been playfully arguing over who is the better traveler. In all the stress of the incident and facing the embarrassment of being outed as the worse traveler, I convienty left out the peeing in the ocean part, and I told alex I fell in. So alex, I lied. Whoops. Yes, you win at who is the better traveler.