Day 15 – Mud Volcano, Colombia

I will preface this entry by pointing out that this was completely Bonnie’s idea… : )

Today we visited a natural Mud Volcano about one hour outside of Cartagena in the countryside of Colombia. Being a potter and having an intense love for mud (clay), Bonnie really wanted to go on this excursion. Though I was more interested in the “Boat Ride to the Island Fort” trip, I decided to try something new…

After climbing to the top of this very, very steep 40 foot pile of dirt, we reached the top of this natural “mud volcano” that was situated right next to a mountain lagoon. Initially, it appeared as though all of the people in the mud were standing upright, but it turns out they were actually floating! Once in the mud, you lay on your back and the local male workers give you a quick two-minute massage and then slide you across the surface of the mud to the other side of the pit. The mud is warm throughout with pockets of heat. At this point, I attempted to sit up / stand up, but I quickly realized that my body was completely buoyant and getting my legs to stay under the mud was no easy task. After some struggles and a lot of mud splashing, I was able to get my body upright. That said, I still wasn’t able to stand up as the bottom of this pit was a lot deeper than I could reach. In addition to not being able to touch the bottom, the mud was so thick it was really hard to move at all. I talked to a number of people and nobody was able to touch the bottom of the pit (assuming it had one!).

After about fifteen minutes of this full body mud exfoliation, we headed over to the lagoon to wash off. The lagoon was supposed to be stage two of the exfoliation as there was lots of sulfur in the water (?) Once in the water, the local female workers start vigorously dumping buckets of water over your head and picking the mud out of your ears. Then, they rip your swim trunks off in order to throughly rinse them out. In Bonnie’s case, the lady ripped her swimsuit top off and used it to scrub the mud off her face! As this mud is really thick, the women use no finesse in helping you wash off… Imagine a small child getting a bath from his mother when she is both upset with him and in a hurry! Like I said, no finesse.

All in, this was a really fun experience. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time… Except when I was getting drowned by the female washers. : )

Until next time,