Life’s a Beach, but Don’t Show your Papayas

I like coffee a lot. I mean, I’m no connoisseur or anything, but I know good coffee when I drink it. I thought the coffee in Cuba was good… it was, just not as good as here. Here it’s stand-your-spoon-straight-up strong. Dark and rich, this is the kind of coffee that will Put. Hair. On. Your. Chest…or take it off.

Don't be deceived, it only looks harmless...
Don’t be deceived, it only looks harmless…

And earth-shatteringly strong coffee is a great start to a great day at the beach.

Playa Blanca is one of the rare white sand beaches in Colombia. Not that I’m against brown sand, it’s what we have at home, but nothing says the tropics like white sand an turquoise water.

No matter how young... life's better on the beach!
No matter how young… life’s better on the beach!

Playa Blanca, like everything else here, is not exactly straight forward. And when I say that, I mean it’s not easy to get to. For the most part, it takes a taxi and a boat and a bus to get there. Or it used to, until the very smart people at a hostel down the street thought, why don’t we buy a bus, charge people $25 to take it there and back? Because what kind of place makes it difficult to get to the beach that almost everyone wants to go to? It’s like saying, Come to Niagara Falls, but please use every method of transportation you can think of, and several hours, to get there.


The biggest beach problem (I know, the words problem and beach shouldn’t EVER be in the same thought) when you’re travelling solo is what to do with your stuff when you want to go into the water? My problem was expertly solved by the lovely Daniella from Argentina (so lovely in fact that all day long the boys on the beach kept dropping by to chat with her). Daniella came on the same shuttle as me and almost immediately asked if I’d like to split the cost of a palapala and two beach chairs. The little shelter acted as a “safe zone” that no one crossed, keeping our stuff safe all day long. Genius.


And what’s that about not showing your papayas? It’s Colombian slang for not showing your valuables.

Papayas safely stowed…



0 Replies to “Life’s a Beach, but Don’t Show your Papayas”

  1. The coffee alone would be worth the trip……. Sounds like you had a great day at the beach. I love how you seem to magically find people wherever you go. Safe travels to Santa Marta today.

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