Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Color Me, Colombia--Part Uno.

To put my past week and a half, my trip, in the simplest of terms:

I spent some of the most wonderful, most fabulous days in Colombia with a group of equally wonderful and fabulous people.
In a few words:
gorgeous, colorful, historic, chock-full of personality, heritage, and a very rich, deep spirit that is palpable.
See for yourself.

    Pictures speak louder than I can with my affinity for mindless rambling, which you know I just can't resist indulging.

International flights made mildly entertaining by my girlfriends.

 
Our lodging, Casa del Virrey, located in Cartagena's "Old City" district, surrounded by the historic city wall.
 
Fourth story, my room, which led outside to the outdoor seating areas and hot tub.
 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared and served to us by the lovely duo, Katia and Ana. 
 
 
I would often wake earlier than everyone else to watch Katia and Ana work and chat with them over coffee. Those early mornings were some of my very favorite moments of the entire trip, I cross my little heart.
And this one morning, poolside, in our backyard directly out of our first floor's terrace, I studied the preparation of arepas that Katia and Ana had planned for our breakfast.
 
While I was busy doing that, others were busy as well.
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Dinner- just the way I prefer it.
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Ceviche prepared beachside by locals and enjoyed beachside by yours truly.
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We hired a local and his 14-year-old son to drive our group, via TINY moderately-motorized fishing boat, to Isla Blanca, a breathtaking but rustic island about an hour away. The boat ride to Isla Blanca? Lengthy but scenic. The boat ride back? Like a two-hour wild water ride at Universal Studios. I was saying my goodbyes, confident that, at the very least, I was going down in a blaze--well, wave--of glory in Colombia.
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     A restaurant there, owned by our boatman's brother, was nestled in a tiny hut, facing the water. The gentleman went out to the ocean, proceeded to catch our lunch, display them to us on a tray before cooking them...and then, he returned with this about an hour and a half later. (Note: the ENTIRE FISH was cooked and plated...no frills)
Almuerzo was served!
Snapper, wild rice, small greens with tomato salad, and delicious tostones.

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As I look out my window to the snowy, sleety mess that is New York City in January, I'm comforted and simultaneously haunted by the two images below.
 
 
Morning coconut water, anyone?  
 
 
 
Cafe del Mar, on top of Cartagena's "Old City" district's historic city wall.

 
Panorama settings on the IPhone blew my mind. I'm easily impressed by the extent of technology these days, apparently.  
 

Nightlife--The view from the deck of a little salsa dancing cantina, where I shook my tailfeathers..er, I mean...my little Torn by Ronny Koby a-line swoosh-skirt.
 
Colombian night at the disco. I'm not entirely sure why they adore their balloons, and balloon hats, for that matter. But hey, people were clearly out with a vengeance on a Saturday night.
 
Tab? Paid. Free love? I'll take two more, por favor. 
 
 Taken on Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Incredibly appropriate. Chao Racismo is right! We're all human. We're all worthy individuals. International love.
 
A Cartagena streetcar named...Chevrolet.
 
 Walking the "Old City" wall, looking completely disheveled, thanks to the winds whipping over the rocky beach. Can a girl get a ride?
 
One of my favorite street shots. The architecture, the streets themselves, in the walled "Old City" district, where we stayed, was charming, rustic, and just the way I'd envisioned. This area was much different, far richer, far better (in my mind) than the condominium-ridden and high-rise tourist district. Each scene, each block told a story about Cartagena's past, its people, and its present. There's spirit lurking in each handle, each door frame, each wall, each poster, and each painting.  



 
...TO BE CONTINUED.
 I don't want those little eyes of yours to grow weary now.
Don't fret- This girl will return soon enough.

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