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.
In my last post I talked about the emotions that came along with celebrating two years of travel. Now, I just want to share some of our favorite moments through photos. Also, we have a big announcement! We feel so privileged to have spent another year living out our dreams and also realizing that this is where we want to take the future too. We are super excited to announce the birth of two brand new blogs!
Over a year ago when we first visited Lima, we had an incredible opportunity to eat at one of the best restaurants in the world. Astrid y Gaston is more than just a restaurant but an experience in and of itself. The tasting menu I had back then, was one of the top meals of my life and I wondered if it could ever be matched. You can read about my experience here.
Recently, the restaurant has moved to a new location and the space matches the food in terms of fantastically beautiful. Casa Moreyra is a historical house (the likes of where people like San Martin, yes-that San Martin, once lived). It's absolutely breathtaking and the tasting menu we tried was even better than our last experience.
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.
Well no, not an actual, real baby. But we are pleased to announce the birth of our new idea! Together with the help of www.comosur.com, and us here at ‘infusedexposures’, we have combined forces to bring you ‘Comosur Docs’. These are basically brief documentary, narrative-type pieces that detail places we have visited (mostly food-focused). We’ve kept up this blog for almost two years now and thought it was high time that our readers get a chance to actually come along with us on some of our adventures.
Keep in mind we are not experienced at video making nor are we professionals. We are shooting with equipment not made for this and have no budget or lighting. It’s just Laurent and I going off doing our thing and recording and editing it. And we want to share that with you.
We aspire to get better through experience and we hope to give you a little taste of some of the things we have been doing on this continent!
Our most recent video was about our visit to Salamina, Colombia and details how sugar cane gets turned into a product called panela.
In Colombia we also had an opportunity to visit a coffee farm in Salento where we got to witness the entire coffee-making process from bean to cup! So we made a two-part video about that.
Our next two videos will feature hot restaurants in Lima, Peru. One of these places is rated as one of the best in the world and the other is a newcomer that’s destined to be on that list as well. Stay tuned! Big things are happening!
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.
Laurent and I arrived in Cartagena, Colombia on April 29, 2014. This was to be the start of the second half of our Latin American journey and we couldn’t have picked a better place to begin! Bold, colorful and simply irresistible, it’s sure to win over even the most critical traveler.
We traveled north up the Peruvian Pacific coast, first stopping at the Islas Balestas near the town of Paracas, followed by the Afro-Peruvian village of El Carmen which lies in the province of Chincha. Peru has many influences including Italian, Spanish, Japanese and African. Chincha and especially El Carmen are at the center of Afro-Peruvian culture. From native drumming on the cajon (a drum made out of a box) to African-inspired unique dishes, you can feel the rhythm in this dusty yet charming town.
The history of El Carmen dates back many years ago when the Africans first immigrated to Peru and were enslaved to work on local haciendas (farm estates). The culture was born out of that time and has remained strong today. Afro-Peruvian dancing and music, exemplified by festivals like the Verano Negra or the Festival de Danzas Negras (held in February & November, respectively), remain at the core of El Carmen.
Pisco, sand dunes and ancient, mysterious lines carved into the desert floor. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of the southern Peruvian coast. The area around Ica, Peru offers up some striking sand dunes that will make you feel like you are in the Sahara.
We took a plane from La Paz, Bolivia down south to the Bolivian wine country to a city called Tarija. The south of Bolivia often gets slighted by the more famous and larger cities in the country like Sucre or La Paz. If you find yourself tired of the dirt, noise or high altitude associated with these other locales, why not hop on a quick flight to sunny, laid-back Tarija and its surrounds? Vineyards, bodegas, and dry desert rural valleys are calling you!