Monday, May 6th, 2019.
Day 10 of Colombian Caribbean Highlights by Bamba adventures
“Santa Marta to Riohacha (public bus)
Departure Time: 11:00 hrs.
Departure Location: Terminal de transporte Santa Marta: Cl. 41 #31-17, Santa Marta, Magdalena
Duration: 3 hrs.
Bus Company: Unitransco
Arrival Location: Terminal de transporte Riohacha: Cl. 15 #11-1 a 11-129, Riohacha, La Guajira
How will you get your tickets?
Please print the attached voucher and head over to the (bus company) counter at the bus station with your ID in order to receive your tickets.”
What was offered by Bamba on their website as a shared van service from hostel to hostel “Today, you will be picked-up from your accommodation at around 10:00 to travel from Riohacha, the starting point of your tour to Punta Gallinas and Cabo de la Vela. Check-in into your new accommodation and relax to get ready for the following days filled with adventure. Overnight in Riohacha.” somehow mutated to a public bus ticket. Never book Bamba again.
So, after hostel breakfast, I take my small luggage (big luggage stays under the stairs for free “perfectly safe”), call a taxi (it is only 2 eur), squezze into the smallest chinese gar ever and start the race to the bus station. I survive. My taxi driver uses wirds in spanish which are obviously not greeting to his fellow taxi driver friends. Spanish seems to have a huge variation of craft language or my taxi driver has a enormous vocabulary.
At the bus station I go to the Unitrastito counter, tell the non english speaking lady with google translate, that I donot want to sit in the last row beside the toilet and get my ticket. Catholic girl, very protective about her Jesus.
She waves in direction of a room with AC. Everybody is in the small room, nobody is outside. I got a bus number on my ticket and watch out. The TV shows telenovelas, like “reich und schön”, but okayed even worse.
The bus leaves at 11:30 am. Colombian time informations are mostly cirka. The bus is full. Time by time the bus stops, somebody gets in and makes you a top promotional offer (for food, sweets, cold drinks, souvenirs), of course the driver gets something for free upfront, 15 min later the guys leave the bus somewhere completely in the pampa the bus again. The last guide is weird, he doesnot sell anything, must be a politican or preacher.
3 hrs later I get off at Riohacha Bus central and walk to my happiness hostal. They give me a room first floor, 5 beds, because it is more quiet. The hostal is at a super noisy street.
The hostel pool …
Then I walk and look for a Claro service center to register my phones IMEI. Since some days I get weird SMS, that they will lock my SIM, if i donot register my IMEI. They do this here to prevent phone theft. You need to register at latest 14 days after SIM activation. The girl who sold me the SIM in Cartagena promised me, she registered my IMEI. Cell network providers are all the same. First google maps adress of Claro shop is closed long ago. A girl in an electronics shop across the street tells me the new adress. I go there, Sushima shopping mall. I wait an hour, the girl (non english speaking but google translatable) fills out 8 (!) pages, copies my passport, takes a fingerprint and done. I correct Google maps.
They sell their phones according to the back plate. That’s what the others see.
I go to the supermarket, buy water and yogurt and then to Restaurante Lima, a peruvian restaurant with highest score in Riohacha on TripAdvisor.
I find out that Happiness Hostel booked with “Alta Guajira Tours” the Cabo de la Vela and Puntas Gallinas Tour. The guy at the reception tells me, that I can upgrade from hammock to bed anyday. I go to bed and watch Game of thrones Season 8 episode 3. Next day in the morning we will go further up north.
Accommodation: happiness hostal.