Spent the last week working from morning til night at the dive shop. I commandeered their computers and racked my brain for long lost HTML knowledge. It was boring, pedantic work but still made me homesick for my old computer saturated life. I thought I'd have lots of time to complete the site but every night around 6pm I'd hear a familiar call 'Sanyu, want to go diving tomorrow?'. I couldn't resist the opportunity to go out diving and even better I got paid for it. Not much, mind but pretty cool!
On the Sunday before, I'd had the opportunity to go with the dive shop on a dive to a cavern about an hour and half away by boat. Everyone wanted to go so we headed out early in two boats eager to check out the site. It turned out to be somewhat of a disaster for me. Everyone was so excited that all protocol went out the window. Nena gave a ludicrously short dive briefing and told everyone to hurry up and get in because the water was really choppy. We had 1 captain, 2 instructors, and 3 divemasters on our boat. they all geared up quickly and hopped into the water and immediately submerged leaving me to help 3 of the 4 paying tourists with their gear. Nene surfaced after a few minutes and yelled for me to hurry up. Fuckin Nene. I was rushing around so much I tossed the last tourist in without checking that his air was on!
I jumped in, turned the guy's air on and immediately started to descend to the group where I found them stressing out that one of the divers was missing. I'm practically in a panic at this point and it showed in my air consumption. I was sucking the stuff down like their was no tomorrow. We got to the cave but I didn't know that we were taking turns with lamp (Dive briefing, hello!) and just charged in in the dark. Pretty scary I'll tell you. By the time I found my way out of the cave I was breathing fumes and had to ascend breathing from Lily's air source like a rookie. All back in the boat, we headed to a beautiful beach called Playa Cristal for our break. I had a few words with Lily and Rosa on helping me help the divers get suited up and leaned back to relax. The next dive was much more relaxed and we saw some beautiful corals but about 30 minutes into the dive Nene called me over and asked me to surface with the guy he was accompanying. You can't really argue underwater and I am the most junior member of the team so I said OK and went up only to hear Max ribbing me 'No air again, Sanyu?'. Arrrrrggggh. I sucked it up hard. Fucking Nene!
My last night in Taganga was spent out with the girls that work at my hostel, Casa de Felipe, Laia with whom I went on the Lost City Trek and a few other travelers. I was tired before we left but after a shower and a little rum and coke I was good to go. They played hours and hours of reggaeton and we danced til my feet hurt. Leaving Taganga was hard so I was lucky to be accompanied by a cool German girl I'd met the day before. After a five hour bus trip we hopped in a cab and directed him to our hostel in the old city. We caught a bite to eat and went to bed to catch up on some sleep. My first full day in Cartegena was absolutely horrid. I ran around from Bank to Bank trying to find someone who would let me access money in my account. I can still use my bank card but I need a large sum of money to take with me to Cuba. A friend of mine was able to do it a few weeks ago but it was a pain in the neck. We I had no luck and finally sucked it up around noon and tried to get in contact with my brother, Edward, to try and wire me money. But with Hurricane Ernesto getting ready to bear down on Cuba and the Florida Keys, there's a good chance I won't even leave tomorrow so all this stress will be for naught. The worst part was just that the old city in Cartegena is so phenomenally gorgeous and I had no time to really appreciate it. At least I'll get to see it on my way back (more on that later)!