Sunday, 28 January 2018


My teaching contract ended in November, so I popped over to Puerto Rico for a few weeks. 
Here's what I saw/thought/learned:

I did a whole bunch of stuff, so it'd be nuts to try and list everything and the prices, but two things of note:

1) Jetblue seem to do the cheapest flights - I got from Medellin in Colombia, to Florida, then to Aquadilla for $230. Then, back with Avianca for about $300. These, however, are/were holiday periods and, as an example, July flights to Puerto Rico (using the route above) is less than $200, with a return ticket around $300.

2) I think there are three bioluminescent bays around Puerto Rico, but I went to La Parguera - there's a nice promenade with some bars and restaurants there.

Don't be put off by the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, either - the island will undoubtedly take a while to fully recover, but there's still tons to see and do, and people are very welcoming.

And now if you'll excuse me, it looks like I've got another teaching job lined up so I get to stay in the bamboo for a while longer! No idea where the next AWOUND THE WORLD WITH WAYNE will take place, so here's to unknown adventures, wheeeeeee!

Thursday, 7 December 2017


A quickie:

A super cheap day out, this one, if you're in the Quindio region of Colombia. You can hop on a bus to Salento from Armenia for 3,100 COP and stop in Boquia after about 30 minutes (the stop is right where there's a bridge over a river and a bunch of hostels/roadside restaurants). You'll know you're in the right place if one of the hostels has a big praying mantis sculpture outside it. 

Aaaannnnddd that's the cost. 3,100 COP return, of course, but you don't need to spend any other money, unless you want a bite to eat (and then prices vary, but if you take at least 10,000 COP you'll definitely be able to get something filling). Oh wait, I just remembered there's a guy you've got to pay 2,000 COP to as you're technically on his property, but we got a free tinto (small black coffee) and decent conversation from him, so that's nice. 

So, just over 8,000 COP for a decent day out (that's about $3 USD) - the trek isn't too difficult (though it was really muddy at certain points) and there's a little waterfall you can hike up to, as well as a nice 'hidden' river (that has crabs in it, so watch your toes).

[Prices correct as of November 2017]

NEXT TIME: I won't be in Colombia! But where? WHERE?! Tune in to find out!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


Tatacoa desert is situated in the northern part of the Huila region in Colombia – the closest city is Neiva, with the picturesque town of Villavieja an hour from the desert itself. It's very hot, so if you go remember to pack shorts and plenty of sunscreen!

Our bus from Armenia cost 40,000 COP each and only took 7 hours because the minibus driver was a maniac. There are a ton of companies that travel there, so check them all out and don't be afraid to try and get a discount (we did, because we booked four tickets at once). There are fairly regular truck-taxis going from the Neiva bus station to Villavieja and then on to Tatacoa, and it costs 15, 000 COP for a one-way trip (which lasts an hour).

Tatacoa is basically a road, with a few hostels along it. Villavieja is the closest place for actual shops, and there are nice hotels there, but they're more expensive than the places in Tatacoa. We stayed in a hostel called Sol de Verano for two nights, which has rooms available for 20,000 COP a night (which is VERY cheap), although they charge for meals (breakfast was around 6,000 COP and lunch/dinner were something like 10-12,000 COP each, but the food was really nice).

Our room slept four (two single beds and a king bed), had a working fan at night (it was stifling in the room, despite it not been entirely closed-off from the outside world) and the toilets and showers (with cold water) were outside (but private).

The desert has a few different areas to walk around, though we stuck to the 'red' part and easily killed a couple of hours during the morning then another couple of hours in the evening. There's a ton of bird life in Tatacoa and, if you're lucky like us, you'll get to eyeball some lizards too.

The return journey cost another 15,000 COP each, with another group discount of 40,000 COP each to get back to Armenia (which took a bit longer, but mainly because it was a proper coach and we stopped at a pandera (sort of like a service station, but not fancy at all) for maybe 30 minutes so everyone could stretch their legs and get a bite to eat.

So, looking at transport and hostel costs only, you'd be spending around 150,000 COP (with meals extra). We also spent a night in Neiva itself, but I wouldn't recommend that, mainly because the city is really hot and there's bugger-all to do there, other than check out a few okay bars and a blindingly-lit pool hall.

Oh! And one last thing, that was impossible to capture in the video or in photographs: the night sky in Tatacoa is incredible for star-gazing. There's an observatory there that charges, I think, 10,000 COP, but we just sat out in the hostel car park after 10pm (when all the lights were turned off to save electricity) and got to marvel at one of the most beautiful sights on the planet – you can even see the hazy glow of galaxies! I tell you, it's astounding, and if you only go to Tatacoa for one thing, go for that.