Mud, mud, glorious mud!
Well, this weekend was certainly an experience! Early on Saturday morning a group of us set off, direction Cartagena, to the Volcán de Lodo Totumo - which roughly translates as 'The Calabash Tree Volcano of Mud'. Catchy, eh? As you may have worked out, the main activity at this volcano wasn't exactly sightseeing, but rather getting our hands - and all the rest of our bodies - rather dirty!
After having paid a small entrance fee of 5,000 Colombian Pesos (about £1.50), we clambered up the steep wooden steps towards the top of this mini-volcano. Peering down, you could see a mass of grey-coloured bodies in a pool of gunge about 5 metres down, that someone (rightly) commented, looked a lot like the orcs from Lord of the Rings being born... So, naturally, we decided to go and join them in the mud below.
And there we were! We were greeted with a friendly massage when we entered the pool, which was interesting, especially as the mud made you float more than usual, so you kept turning round without expecting it. The experience was warm and not too unpleasant, although the smell did put me off a little, and if you got some in your mouth it was awful! It was also pretty hard to stay upright, as there was so much buoyancy that you ended up with your hand in someone's armpit, and your feet in-between their legs, or worse...
Once we came out with our new slimy skin, we went into a nearby lake to clean off. To finish the day, once we were nice and clean, we headed to a nearby restaurant for some arepas con huevo (think Colombian pasty with egg inside) and patacones con queso (fried plantain with cheese) - mmm yummy!
All in all, we survived the ordeal, and I have to say, it was pretty fun! Apparently very good for your skin, too. I'm not sure I'd do it again, but you have to try things once, right?