Isla Palma is about 80 kilometres from Cartagena including a 40 minute boat ride, and it was well worth the 4 hour trip to get there for a couple of days of R & R after 22,000 km of driving over 4 months!

There are only two places to stay on the island, the Decameron Hotel and Hostal Isla Palma.

We opt for the hostel and are two of only four guests, which means we are outnumbered by staff two (or three) to one:) The property was originally owned by a drug lord, and then seized by the government and sold to the present owner, who has had it for 30 years. The drug lord had a zoo, and that still exists though it’s somewhat low key these days.

Here’s the dining area, with Wilton behind the bar. He’s the one and only person we meet in South America who is interested in learning English from me. Of course, I am in heaven! The Brazilian managers say they will try to get him wifi so he can use google translate to converse with the English-speaking guests. This would be really useful as at present literally no-one on the property speaks any English. How cool would that be if he was the first.

The other two guests are snorkelling both days, so we have the beach to ourselves,

and plenty of hammocks to choose from!

There are hermit crabs, each with whatever shell they can find that is their size, and they switch out shells as they grow (!)

Green Amazon parrots, and red squirrels with white chests,

macaws, here mid-flight,

pink flamingoes,

miniature deer,

and one sleepy croc.

So, two very lazy days, with delicious food and drinks, and no driving. Perfect!

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