Some people’s idea of holiday bliss is to stretch out on a lounger on a beach, soak up some rays or enjoy the shade of an umbrella while maybe reading and sipping a cold drink. That’s great, but it’s not for me. I can’t take hot sun and although I love a good read I prefer to spend my precious holiday time exploring new places and taking photos. I’d much prefer to absorb the local culture rather than the sun’s rays and I’ll take my cold drink in a café with a view please.
Nevertheless I love to see and walk by the ocean. And if that café is by a beach it can be the best of both worlds. So on our last full day in Colombia we decided to take a walk to Playa Mendihuaca and the mouth of the river of the same name.
I’m sharing this little walk for Jo’s Monday Walks.
We followed the rough track that links the stretch of hotels of which ours, Cayena Beach, was one. We passed the entrances to several simple hotels. They then petered out and the track was lined to our right by a grove of palm trees (and beyond that the sea) and to our left much denser forest.
We heard, and occasionally saw, lizards scampering in the dry leaves beside our path.
At one point we passed the ruined concrete shell of a building that brought to mind Pablo Escobar’s much grander, but equally ruined, lakeside retreat.
The track ended at a security gate. Beyond that we could walk through a car park down to the beach. This is lined with simple restaurants and hostels, plus a couple of surf shops. Although it was a Sunday and plenty of locals were here to enjoy their day off, it wasn’t crowded. There was just enough activity to make it interesting but not enough to detract from the attractiveness of the beach and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Swimming here isn’t recommended, and indeed there were red flags to warn against it.
We strolled along the sand taking photos as we went. After a while we reached the river mouth. The Rio Mendihuaca spills into the sea across the sand, creating a large lagoon which, unlike the sea, is ideal for bathing. Several people were doing just that, relaxing in its calm shallow waters. Further away a couple of men were fishing.
We retraced our steps a little and found a table at one of the cafés. It was shaded by some palms and right on the sands.
We sat for some time over cold drinks, watching all the activity on the beach and enjoying the sight and sound of the sea.
We considered having lunch here, it was such a great spot. But there were no small items on the menu and with the usual three course dinner to be eaten later at Cayena Beach we didn’t want anything large. So we walked back to the hotel along the by-now rather hot track, stopping to photograph flowers and a butterfly on the way.
That was almost the last bit of exploring we did in Colombia, but not quite. On our final morning we found time for a shorter walk on the area of beach nearest to the hotel. Although there is a short string of small hotels along this stretch, no one seems to regard the beach areas as private so everyone is free to walk past all of them. The waves were pretty rough and with the scattering of driftwood made a good subject for some last-minute photos before leaving for the airport.
I visited Colombia in February 2023