Categorie archief: Santa Marta

Januari 29th 2016 Leaving Santa Marta

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Siesta time in Santa Marta

We verlaten het slaperige Santa Marta, en trekken langs de kust van Colombia verder naar het zuiden. De tocht zou ons leiden langs Baranquilla (Puerto Velero), Isla Rosarios, Archipel San Bernardo, Sapzurro en Capurgana.

Dan steken we de grens met Panama over, en volgen we de eilandjes langs de kust (San Blas eilanden) tot we in Porvenir komen, daarna trekken we verder naar Colon in Panama. Daar zouden we terug betrouwbaar internet moeten hebben.

Je kan ons volgen via de menu bovenaan, “waar zijn ze nu?” en je kan ons sms’en of emailen via de richtlijnen in het menu bovenaan “hoe ons te bereiken”

 

(Niet dat jullie veel verschil zullen merken in het aantal berichten dat we posten, he? 😉  )

Colombia es Realismo Magico

We arrived back in Santa Marta on Saturday January 16th at 9 PM packed like two mules, carrying a huge suitcase, an even bigger box and two carry-ons. We had 15 kg over the allowed weight limit in our suitcases and box! Luckily we checked in early and no questions were asked or fees were assessed. We had a hard time finding a taxi who could fit the box. The box was finally put in the trunck of a cab and tied with ropes to prevent it from falling off since the trunk could not be closed. Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures….

Sunday, January 17th, the marina was filled with 33 sailing boats from the world ARC (Around the world Ralley) and it was clear that the marina did its best to please them! The bathrooms and showers were cleaned more often, the garbage was now collected in bins, we all received a free copy of the Columbian Cruising Guide…. We got up early and immediately started to clean the boat. The water that came off the boat was black! It took us a full day to get back organised and have the refrigerator filled but it felt good to be back :-).

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This is what the boat looked like when we came back…

 

Monday, January 18th, we started planning our time left at Santa Marta. We decided we would leave the marina around the 27th since we had paid up till then. We still wanted to visit Bogota and Pereira (coffee region also part of UNESCO world heritage).

Wednesday, January 20th, the sailboats from the ARC did not leave today because there was too much wind to leave the harbour, about 30 KTS. We spent the aperitive with Andy and Gina Hilton from “Into the Blue”. They were one of the vessels participating in the ARC. They ARC started at Saint Lucia the 6th of January and 10 days later they were at Santa Marta, it took us 3 months….They will sail around the world in 16 months and thus only spend a couple days in each location. You get a taste of many things but everything is rushed. They were with their 3 children and two girlfriends on board so in total 7, sailing for 16 months together ! That will definitely be a challenge ! They were all pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the Columbian people. After the 16 months they will definitely be able to say where they want to spend more time and sail at a more leisurely pace. We were happy we could leave the next day to Bogota and explore more of Columbia.

Thursday, January 21st, leaving Santa Marta at 7 AM to catch a bus to go to the airport of Barranquilla. When we got there our plane was delayed because of the bad air quality above Bogota airport. It was already 3 PM when we arrived at the hotel. We immediately left for the city centre, walking… it was only 5 KM… only we forgot we were now at an altitude of 2600m! My heart was not really cooperating, it was only much later we realized that the altitude was making us really tired. Bogota is the 3rd highest capital in South America, after La Paz and Quito.

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Beautiful graffiti on our way to Bogota centre.

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Stefan in front of one of the many Trans Milenia stations in Bogota. The TransMilenio is a bus rapid transit system which is a cheap (1800COP, about .50USD) and efficient way to get around in Bogota. It is almost like a metro but with buses. About 2.2 Mio people use the system daily.

At first, we were not so impressed by the city and were disappointed. The next day though we could appreciate the city better. There are 8 Mio. columbians living in Bogota! The second day we visited the Gold Museum, the Botero Museum and the National Museum.

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We spent 2 hours at the Gold Museum ! The collection is amazing and with an entrance fee of 3000 COP (1USD) this is definitely a must see in Bogota.
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This would be an excellent Valentine present….just thinking ahead.
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Stefan at the entrance of the gold museum. He’s happy I did not insist longer to get the neklace at the museum store. (Stefan says: but she did get the earrings)
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Botero museum: One happy family but for the angry child…
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Typical Botero painting.
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Stefan on the plaza de Bolivar.
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Catedral Primada de Colombia on the Plaza Bolivar.
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One of the many streets in Bogota.

By the time we got out of the National museum we were both beat from walking around the city…. The TransMilenio was packed and on top of it we took the wrong one. When we finally got near our hotel we ate chicken wings for dinner and watched two episodes of Homeland season 5.

Saturday, January 23rd we went to Zipaquira (49KM north of Bogota) by bus. The main attraction in this small town is the Salt Cathedral which is a catholic church built in the tunnels of a salt mine at 200 meters underground.

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Stefan admiring the cross made from halite, the cathedral is 25 meters high.

Although it is all very impressive I found it on the border of being “kitsch”.

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The main square of Zipaquira.
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I enjoyed the little town more than the salt cathedral.

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Happy to have spent a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city we returned back to Bogota by 6 PM. Our faces were sunburned being so high and close to the equator ….

Sunday, January 24th, we had to get up early because we travelled by bus to Pereira (Zona Cafetera) about 357 KM. We left with the bus at 7.30 AM and finally arrived in Pereira at 4PM! Already happy we were not returning by bus but by plane ! The Finca hotel we stayed at (Finca Ilusion) was a winner !

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Pereira by night taken from our hotel room balcony.
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Finca swimming pool. The location was really perfect.

Monday, January 25th, breakfast at Finca Ilusion.

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View from the breakfast table.

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A woodpecker but not sure what kind…dad I will need your help in identifying this one.
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Bay-headed Tanager ? Not sure…
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Bay-headed tanager
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Blue-grey Tanager, or “azulejo”

I could sit for hours and just watch all the different birds coming for breakfast, but at 8 AM we were picked up to have a mountain bike tour in the Santuario de fauna y flora Otun Quimbaya.

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Together with our guide next to a “Chiva” bus. At this point we could hear the Red Howler monkey but could not see them. They make a howling sound as if the wind is blowing…
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Enjoying the stop…
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When we were returning after an uphill a female monkey and baby crossed the road – too late for the camera but this second one followed. Stefan was fast enough to get him before he disappeared in the trees.

In the afternoon we visited Don Manolo’s coffee plantation. It was really a great day. The family at the coffee plantation was so friendly and so dedicated to their product.

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Only the ripe beans can be collected. This is a secure process and only done by hand in Colombia, mostly by women.
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Parchment coffee. This is the stage just before the coffee is roasted. The coffee is sold by the producer in this way. For every 100KG of plucked berries there is 12KG of parchment coffee.
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The Baranquero.
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Hector (Don Manolo’s son) and his wife taking care of our order.
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After a perfect day a swim in the pool with a view of Pereira. Tomorrow it is a full day of flying and bus trips to get back to Santa Marta and Sanuk.
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View of Pereira, city of 600,000 columbians

Tuesday, January 26th, a full day of travelling to get back to Santa Marta, with 2 delayed flights and an accident on the road from Barranquilla to Santa Marta, it was 8 PM by the time we got to the boat.

During all that travelling I read two books from Gabriel Garcia Marquez :

Memories of my Melancholy whores and No one writes to the Colonel. I enjoyed both very much but it is a style of writing that not everybody appreciates.

Friday, January 29th, we are finally leaving Santa Marta, direction Panama. We will not have internet for the coming weeks but you can follow us by clicking on the menu “Where are we” We have food to last for the coming month 🙂

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Stefan is so afraid we will not have enough food on the boat since there are almost no stores in the upcoming locations! We provisioned in Santa Marta.