Jan 30


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The “City of Eternal Springs”  has its own unique character and has made a big turnaround since its notorious days as the center of Colombia’s drug trade.

With Pablo Escobar and company now a part of Medellin’s history, the streets are safe again, you can find easy access to most parts of the city. Although drugs are no longer the dominant economy of trade, the city has managed to build up other commercial and industrial interests (mainly textiles and cut flowers) , and even has a fantastic subway.

The town was founded in 1675 and in its early days consisted of individual haciendas that later became the basis for the many beautiful suburbs that surround the city center.. Neighborhoods are infused with winding streets and much greenery. The entire city is surrounded by lush mountains that harbor quaint pueblos and weekend getaways.

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We stayed in the section of town known as Poblado, and each day we travelled by the metro in to the heart of the city. This vibrant city has many attractions which we tried to squeeze in during our short time here. The tourist information told us we would need at least a week. We spent the days visiting the museum, cable cars and parks., truly enjoyed this modern city.

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World famous artist, Fernando Botero’s painting of Pablo Escobar.

Jan 27


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A fairytale city of romance, legends and sheer beauty, Cartagena de Indias is an addictive place that can be hard to escape. Routine sightseeing tours won’t do it justice so you have to throw away the checklist of museums and instead just stroll through Cartagena’s maze of cobbled alleys, where enormous  balconies are shrouded in Bougainvillea and massive churches cast their shadow across leafy plazas.

Founded in 1533, Cartagena swiftly blossomed into the main Spanish port on the Caribbean coast  and the gateway to the north of the continent. Treasure plundered from the indigenous people was stored her until the galleons were able to ship it back to Spain. As such it became a tempting target for pirates and, in the 16th century alone it suffered 5 dreadful sieges, the best know of which was let by Sir Francis Drake in 1586.

In response to pirate attacks the Spaniards decided to make Cartagena impregnable port and constructed elaborate walls encircling the town, and a chain of forts these fortifications helped save Cartagena from subsequent attacks.

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After a 4 hour bus trip we arrived in this beautiful city to start our inland travel. We will be staying in hostels, farms and inexpensive hotels as we travel around. Next we will do a 14 hour overnight trip to Medellin.


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Jan 09

Settling into to Colombian Lifestyle

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                                   View of the Marina, from the balcony

Leading up to the holidays, the winds increased as they usually do in this part of the world, so there wasn’t even white clouds in the sky. It was going to be a green Christmas.

Every place we visited, we have met very interesting people who we have became good friends with. Our first evening here we met Danny, a man who is visiting his son Stewart and his family. Many nights we meet him on the patio to watch the sunset, and play dominoes, always an exciting time of the day. Stewart, has welcomed us into his home, and at least twice a week we get together for what has become to be known as Curry Night on Thursdays and roast beef night on Sundays. We enjoy his company and his cooking. You never know who will drop in. Some times the table is full but Stewart always makes room for more. He’s a good man even though he talks funny…..LOL.  My contribution to the roast beef nights, are usually Carrot cake. They seem to love it, so maybe we will keep getting invited. Natalie; is Stewarts and Yuris’ daughter, she is very interested in baking, so I have shared my recipe with her so she can continue to bake her favourite cake when I  leave. She is a natural.


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                                      Dominoes on the marina patio

  The view from their terrace has a 360o view of the city below. A relaxing place to spend time on land.


                             Looking east over the Sierra Nevadas


    Ineke and Mike, aboard svConari, are three year members of the Stewarts curry club. They sailed in three years ago and have never left. Its home for them for six months away from England’s’ cold winter. They are a wealth of information, on where to get products or services in Santa Marta. They know, and have traveled most of Colombia. Every boat that comes in, is sent to them. They provide a great service. The marina should be paying them. Great people with amazing stories of their travels, all over the world.

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New Years Eve we decided to go out for dinner and maybe some dancing. Here in Santa Marta the community spend the evening at home with their families. A large group from the marina went out. Most of the restaurants were closed and the others had waiting lists. We finally got seated. The restaurant had to borrow tables and chairs from a closed restaurant to accommodate us. After a few drinks we ordered dinner, the power in the area went out, no dinner for us. We walked around town till almost midnight before we found a burger place on the pier that could serve us. Happy New year was over a burger, a very good one at that. We all headed back to our boats. We learned later…….. the parties don’t start till 1am.       


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We have made so many friends, and I’m sure we will make many more it will be hard to sail on.

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Jan 04

Minca, In the Sierra Nevadas

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The days on the Caribbean coast have been sweltering with very little wind, so the time was right to visit the mountains which surround the northern coast. We met our driver at the office, and after paying the equivalent of about $4, we were assigned a jeep carrying 8 passengers, we set off for the high country.

Minca, a small town nestled into the side of the mountain, lying approximately 14 miles away from the big city, takes about 35 minutes to reach. The area has many things to do with nature all around. Motorcycles, known as Moto T’s are waiting to take you to whatever adventure you choose. Swimming in the cool streams, hiking to the waterfall, or bird watching are the main activities. There is also a coffee plantation or a brewery offering tours, we chose to walk to Marinka waterfalls, a 1 hour hike through the rainforest.

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