Santa Marta, Santa Marta (Distrito Turístico Cultural E Histórico), Colombia
Things I am grateful for:
My family and friends
My silk cacoon
And for the love of God, toilet paper!!!!
I have been in Colombia now for almost a month and I have decided that I love this country so much, I'm gonna stay for another 3 weeks:) before I meet Sarah in Peru.
Here are the highlights so far:
Nicest ppl I have ver met around the world except maybe ppl from Thailand. More exotic fruit than I can possibly consume and things I have never seen before but I sure am trying to consume as much as possible! Hostels are the bomb as it seems the best place to meet friends and fellow travelers an get advice on where to go. Most beautiful beaches I have ever seen except once again Thailand. Amazing street food and I haven't been sick from any of it yet, but that may be because everything is fried in oil here.
I have ventured to Santa Marta, Minca, Tagana, Parke Tyrona and Cartagena which are all along the coast and now I'm headed down to the coffee region where it's cooler an in the mountains... Fingers crossed nothing happens to my feet again lol:) Colombia is a 3rd world county but as my friend Anthea says, who wants to be called third world, so I'll do my beat to explain it in other ways. Colombia like not Latin countries has both the extreme poor and the extreme rich and there really isn't anything in between. It looks a lot like Mexico but they try so hard to be like the USA which kinda made me sad. They don't seem to have as mug trash on the streets as Mexico does and for a reason I can't figure out no one here likes anything spicy!!! They put a pound of sugar in everything, love their sweets and damn are hey sweet and fry everything. I noticed that all of the ppl look like they are pregnant, even the men and I thought back to my science and that oil is bad for the heart and causes a person to have a gut and that would explain the massive guts! Arepes are a specialty.... They can have an egg inside or fried cheese or meet and then it's deep fried and you have a soda or jugo naturales with it. The juices you can have with milk to taste more like a smoothies or with water and man are they amazing!!!! With how hot Santa Marta is I have been living on the juices! The fish is fried but delicious. A traditional meal is made up of rice, meat/poultry/fish of some kind and platanos... Sometimes they have fried plantains. If there is a salad it's usually onions and tomatoes or shredded lettuce but not much. Thy don't have a lot of vegetables, but fruit is everywhere:) street food is skewers of meet with potatoes and onions or cheese arepes or if you are lucky you can find empanadas but they are nothing like the Mexican empanadas. The cheese has a ton of salt in it. I was able to ins places that sold salads which I immediately scarfed down. Food is delicious but it's definitely not helping me loose weight! People here seem to be very happy with the little that they have and wow do they love to dance and their hips can move in ways I wouldn't have ver imagined:) I do try to copy them and while I don't have the finesse that the women here possess I cam keep the beat and have a blast:)
Because of the poverty, robbery is pretty normal but Colombians will chase down the young boys and beat them up to get their stuff back, where gringos just hand everything over when they see a knife. No one likes having curly hair but with the humidity, I'm not sure how the hell they keep their hair straight!
Driving in Colombia.... Oh my!!!! Envision a two lane road going in opposite directions. Now imagine the two lane road turning into a 5 lane road but the width stays the same. Horns are used a lot as cars pass each other straight into oncoming traffic and turn just before getting into a crash while motorbikes and bikes move in and out of all the cars and somehow this actually works as I never one saw a crash!!! Talk about aggressive driving, this is chaos that somehow has structure to it. Have you ever been behind someone really slow and wanted to pass them but you could see someone coming in the other direction and it's illegal to pass on the shoulder. Well now you can not only pass on the shoulder with people walking and motorbikes dodging but you can also speed up really quickly and pass the slow car in the opposite lane before the oncoming car reaches you! Buses even do it! I will admit I don't want to try driving and I'm an aggressive driver but this just looks crazy... I think I'd get too stressed out lol:)
My friends and family know how scared of spiders I am but with the massive amounts of mosquitoes and bugs, I find my self grateful for spiders and bats alike! The jungle is a crazy place but it's beauty is incomparable!!
I see more stray dogs in the streets but no cats... Either the dogs are really good at hunting the cats, the cat live on the roof tops or the street food I've been eating that's so yummy is really cat... I hope it's one of the first two!
These are some of my impressions of Colombia thus far and I must admit that overall, I'm in love with this country and hope that more ppl come to visit this beautiful place and pls do ignore the government telling you it's dangerous as it's really no more dangerous than any other place in the USA or the world for that matter.