The infectious vallenato music is thumping out from almost every corner. An open-air party bus passes by the palm-lined street and the smell of the Caribbean Sea is heavy in the air. It’s Friday night in Santa Marta and things are starting to get down. Like many other places in Colombia, years ago this scene would have never existed. Drugs and prostitutes ruled the crumbling colonial streets here in the very same places where, today, vendors sell beach chairs and sarongs to tourists passing through.
Posts tagged ‘sunset’
Santa Cruz de Mompox, or simply Mompox (spelled also Mompos/j), could certainly be considered one of the roads less traveled and one that contains many treasures for those willing to seek it out. This historic city, which lies on the Rio Magdalena, is far removed from main roads, making getting here an adventure in itself. The 16th century colonial architecture is extremely well preserved and earned the city a nod from UNESCO back in 1995.
The driver, if you could call him that, swerved precipitously around yet another car followed by a truck, passing on the right,. Yes, you read that correctly, on the right! He must have been going about 95 mph on a curve! Passing on the right during a curve!! Didn’t he ever see those trucks indicating which side was okay for passing and which wasn’t? Apparently not.
This is a continuation of my last two posts about trekking the circuit in Torres del Paine. Click here to read part 1 (which is an introduction to the park) and click here to see part 2. Part 3 was the most challenging of the trek but with the greatest challenges, also come the greatest rewards.
Three years ago, Laurent & I made a month long trip to Patagonia. We trekked around Fitz Roy from the village of El Chalten for 3 days. I never imagined that three years later, I would be lucky enough to be back in this incredible landscape. But here I was.
Doesn't every country need it's own Switzerland? Snow capped alpine vistas surrounded by striking azure lakes and greenery, wooden chalets with wood burning stoves and delicious chocolate. Did we somehow fly to Europe? No, we are just in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. I have no idea why it looks like Switzerland here but it does. It's like you stepped into the fifth parallel or something.
After the storm came in Cabo Polonio, it continued to be rainy and dreary. So we decided to start our journey back. This meant going west back towards Montevideo. A long bus ride on a very crowded bus (where Laurent had to stand for over 2 hours!) deposited us back off in the city. We stayed there overnight, had another fabulous steak dinner and the next afternoon, we left for Colonia del Sacremento.
Discovered in 1680, Colonia sits right on the water and was a crucial smuggling port back in the day. The Portugese and Spanish fought heavily over it. But in the end, the Spanish won.
So here is when my love affair with Uruguay got hot and heavy. It began in Montevideo, not because Montevideo is the most exciting or the most beautiful city but because of the vibe there. Muy tranquilo, they say. Argentinians might make fun of Uruguay and Montevideo. They say yes of course it's muy tranquilo, laid back and friendly. It can be all of these things because Uruguay is so small. Like a man with a bigger penis, they smugly write everything about Uruguay off because they are so small. And it's true. It's the second smallest country in South America. It's not a question of size though. It could be small and terrible. But it's not.