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Wrapping up Colombia, On to Peru!

Magical Medellin, New Year Frolicking, Visiting Middle Earth

sunny 32 °C
View Blissfully Wanderlost on ebmarnp's travel map.

We finished our holidays in Colombia, first with a metro cable ride and then a tour of the botanical gardens in Medellin:

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Then we traveled by bus over over mountain roads to a small town outside of Cartagena called Manzanillo de Mar:

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Not pictured, blaring reggaeton 24 hours a day!

We spent New Year's Eve in Cartagena. We had dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, I Balconi, then strolled the streets, looking at the lights and following the crowds.

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Check out our fireworks here!

This guy didn't manage to stay awake for the sunrise:

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But we did!

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Next, we caught a flight from Cartagena to Lima via Panama, and arrived, mysteriously, in Middle Earth:

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What else to do but check out Museo de la Nacion...

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And the astounding private collection at Museo Larco...literally thousands of pieces in storage, yet open to the public.

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And a simply incredible public collection of pre-Colombian pottery, fabric, jewelry, and statues.

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And one ring to bind them!

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These are the ruins in the neighborhood of Miraflores, two minutes from where we are staying at Rivendell:

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This city, this entire country, is one amazing layer of history and culture after another. Where will we go next? Only this guy knows:

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Posted by ebmarnp 20:10 Archived in Colombia Comments (2)

Christmas in Medellin

semi-overcast 20 °C



The last week has been a whirlwind of settings, adventures, thick and thin, and holiday cheer.

A week ago we were camping in idyllic Tayrona National Park, outside of Taganga, with picture perfect sunsets during the day and hurricane force winds blowing the tent over at night. We hiked out of the jungle in true adventurer fashion and rode motorcycle taxis back into to town, just in time to catch a 18-hour overnight bus to Medellin, a beautiful, modern, mile high city squeezed in between mountains. Near the main coffee growing region of the country and famous for it's transformation and nearly-perfect weather year round, Medellin is an amazing sight and a wonderful place to spend Christmas.

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We have shopped at the mall, taken a cable car up the mountain in a residential neighborhood, and toured the botanical garden.

But mostly we have just taken some time to enjoy food, drink, and the customs that we miss most from home.

Like cookie decorating!

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And loads of presents!

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And eating till we collapse in a food coma!

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Soon, we will head back to Cartagena for New Year's to remember, and seeing as how most of the locals head to the coast for their celebration, we will be in good company.

Posted by kevindhodges 15:01 Archived in Colombia Tagged beach camping holidays Comments (3)

Football Frenzy and Taganga Tranquility

Enjoying the best of Colombia

sunny 31 °C
View Blissfully Wanderlost on ebmarnp's travel map.

We are making slow progress towards Tayrona National Park, which has within it some of the most beautiful beaches of Colombia.

First, we had to make a two night stop in Barranquilla to pick up a package. We were fortunate enough to be invited by our hostel owner to a local football game the next evening.

It was the quarterfinals of the Colombian league championships. This was a match in which the local team, Junior, was expected to defeat the guests, Chico.

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This game had everything you would expect at a typical American sports game: a never ending supply of beer, fighter jets overhead, fights in the stands, the steady pulse of drums and horns, and thirty-five thousand throats demanding victory. The only difference: there was as much drama on the field as there was in the stands. Players were horrendously injured but miraculously, within minutes of being carried off the field by the Red Cross, back on their feet and ready to play.

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At the half, the crowd began to get ugly. Junior was down 0-2, until...click here

Fortunately, the game ended in victory for Junior, 2-2. We still aren't sure how a tie was a victory but that didn't stop us from celebrating the glorious defeat of Chico!

Onwards! Through Santa Marta and to Tanganga, a small fishing village outside of Tayrona National Park.

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This picturesque little town is slowly awakening to tourism as it is rapidly becoming a hot spot for diving.

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One of the main roads...

Fortunately, we found several secluded coves and beaches that are only enjoyed by the local fishermen.

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Possibly a new resort?
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We are both enjoying the clear green water, the dry air, the surrounding hills dotted with cacti, and a side to Colombia's Caribbean coast that we didn't expect.

Posted by ebmarnp 10:35 Archived in Colombia Tagged football beach Comments (3)

Castles and Torture

Week 2 in Cartagena de Indias

semi-overcast 30 °C

Before we move on tomorrow to Barranquilla, I thought it would be nice to post some assorted pictures from our adventures of the past week. When not seeking shade during the day at our hostel, getting lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone streets, or sampling local delicacies from street vendors like arepas (cheesy corn fritters), we have seen a few sights and done a few things.

Palace of the Inquisition (which thrived in the New World as well, apparently):

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Ouch!

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Notice the fifth rope, for guys.

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Closed for the season.

Assorted sights around town:
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???

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Pegasus, Colombian national animal.

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Fruit hat.

Finally, today for Liz's birthday, we spent all morning at the huge Fortress of San Felipe de Barajas:

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Fallin'!

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Stylin'!

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Defendin'!

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Smilin'!

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Tunnelin'!

Now we depart for a delicious treat for Liz: sushi! We hope it doesn't involve torture.

Posted by kevindhodges 15:28 Archived in Colombia Tagged museums statues Comments (2)

Carrr-tagena

A pirate's favorite city

semi-overcast 28 °C


Since Friday we have been wandering the streets of the old walled city of Cartagena de las Indias on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It's truly an inspiring example of colonial architecture and Latin American color:

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And chess is still played in the city square.

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These guys must have been hot.

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But she was cool.

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After a big night on the town Saturday, we decided to wallow in the mud at the Volcano Totumo on Sunday. It is, literally, a pit of mud:

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And we got in it!

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It certainly was one of the strangest sensations of my life. Men rub you down with the mud, women wash you off in the river, little kids take your picture. It's a family affair. But here we are clean as ever.

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When life gives you a mud volcano, you make a tourist attraction out of it. Of course.

Posted by kevindhodges 08:15 Archived in Colombia Tagged volcano city party mud Comments (4)

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