After a few days of sweltering heat in Cartagena, we were ready for a taste of the Caribbean. Though Cartagena has beaches, those craving palm trees, rum-filled coconuts and white sand head to Playa Blanca.

We boarded a ferry that took us through the busy harbour. As we left shore, we were surrounded by magnificent tall ships flying flags from all corners of the continent.

They were part of a regatta making its way around the continent in celebration of 200 years of Latin American independence. If you ask me, a grandiose trip is the absolute best way to celebrate your independence.

The ferry let us off at the Oceanarium at Isla Rosario, where we gawked at turtles, sharks, manta rays and dolphins.

Calina and I were preoccupied with locating a seahorse in a seemingly empty fish tank when we were herded back onto the ferry.

Our next stop was Playa Blanca, a long white sand beach with calm, bright-blue water. We separated from the day trippers and walked along the beach to find ourselves accommodations for the night.

I had my heart set on camping in a hammock, listening to the roar of the ocean as I swayed gently in the night breeze. With some dishonest salesmanship, I convinced Calina of the orthopaedic qualities of hammocks.

We spent what was left of the day playing music and Calina taught me a folk song her dad sings called, “The Girl with Thunder in her Hair”.

Our hosts, from whom we rented the hammocks, served us a dinner of fresh fish and coconut rice.

It was so delicious, it took no time at all for us to devour it completely.

The woman who served us our meal returned a few times to bring us drinks, each time with increased friendliness, then increased belligerence. We realized that we hadn’t been drinking alone, and thus the sensation of falling asleep to the roar of the ocean was substituted with the sensation of falling asleep to the roar of a drunk.

With a great deal of experimentation we were able to get comfy in our hammocks. We positioned ourselves diagonally to minimize spine curvature then made further adjustments as various body parts became tingly from lack of circulation.

Eventually our raving hostess quieted and the experience became closer to what I had hoped for. We fell asleep and awoke with the sun the following day.