South America, it’s been a pleasure – consider yourself traveled!
A great 4 months it has been but it is time to return to reality. Our 7th and final country has been Colombia. I decided to break Colombia evenly up into 2 blogs. The 1st one for Cali, Salento and Medellin – the more Southern places of Colombia. The 2nd one then for the Carribean coast of Cartagena and Santa Marta and then to Bogota for our flight. I planned this for my readers in advance to satisfy their blogging needs. The 1st blog had salsa, coffee farms and a Pablo Escobar tour. I then envisioned a Breaking Bad-esqe grand finale with idyllic beach pictures with Sharika, Sofia Vergara and all their friends popping in. This last blog is not of Breaking Bad quality (that season finale was epic). It’s more like Dexter – disappointing. Or even The Sopranos ending when your first see it – emotions of confusion and anger. The 1st blog trumps this one.
Our first stop was Cartagena. The old town where we stayed had some nice architecture but little to do. I wanted to get a nice beach picture but failed. Not even Shakira or Sofia showed up to share some love and save the day. Instead I had this thing trying to massage me:
I do like taking photos of cuisine in nice places so I thought a nice coffee and a picture of an affogato (espresso over ice cream) would salvage the photo album. No. Nat scoffed the affogato and demolished it before I had a chance to get a good pic.
A typical day for us. Example of Day 1 was: Wake up. Breakfast. Internet. Check Fantasy team and wonder why it’s not doing better than it should. Watch the Netlfix they have. It doesn’t work. Lunch. Internet. Netflix still doesn’t work. Check my online banking and wonder why it’s as low as it is. Walk around the town with Nat. Dinner. Netflix – we’ve given up on you. Beer. Feeling Zzzz in the dead heat. Bed. Day 2: repeat Day 1 and watch Arsenal v Man City on a slow streaming site.
It didn’t hold much hope for Santa Marta as they told us in advance that Cartagena was better. What do “they” know. If you stay at the Masaya hostel (which was more like a hotel), then it surely will be good. It was. The hostel had a roof terrace with a pool, TV, bar, hammock and pool table.
Bogota then was just a quick stop for our flight so nothing to report. Re-reading this blog and makes me wonder why your still reading it. The first blog is much better. If you want to know about the North of Colombia and the nation’s capital, you have to come to the wrong place.
Colombia was a good country. It gets an A- for us. We never planned to do much other than relax after all the treks and sightseeing prior to it:
Good: Coffee was the best in South America, hostels were good, Medellin is a nice city, people are friendly and the day tours are good
Bad: The architecture wasn’t that great. Santa Marta and Cartagena underwhelmed here. It’s a good place to chill but Peru and Brazil rate better as there is more to do in the country as a whole on activities to do.
On a serious note, I do want to thank people who have read the previous 15 blog entries that I have put up. The feedback I received from people was heart-warming. This trip was months of planning and saving (and sacrifice) and was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Not to preach but traveling is something everyone should do. South America has been my 5th continent that I have traveled for at least 2 consecutive months and I truly agree with the statement “traveling is the only thing that makes you richer”. There has always been up and downs when I have travelled – it has not always been taking photos of my legs on a beach every day. But I regret none of it and the last few years have been brilliant. I wouldn’t have met Nat if I didn’t travel (very cheesy from me). I wanted to do something slightly different with this traveling trip. When couples go away together, I didn’t want to check in on Facebook in every city with pictures like this:
The blog was my way doing something I’d look back on in years to come. Of course, I wanted my family to know their baby boy was safe but I also wanted people to know more about South America. Everyone knows about Rio and Machu Picchu but hopefully a few more know more about the Bolivias, Ecuadors and Chile’s. On a personal side, it has given me a chance to let my creative side out. I planned to do a blog on just what things like hostels and buses costs to help other travelers. Then, I didn’t fancy doing something so monotonous and I’m sure my family and friends don’t want to know how much a mixed dorm is in Cusco, Peru (although I do plan to write something about costs soon). I prefer spewing some verbal diarrhoea for my reader’s to digest. It was a nice hobby to have and I don’t think blogs of me commuting to work or my expert advice on what players to pick and leave out in Fantasy football will take off.
Again, thank you for the love throughout my travels in South America. If you have any questions about South America, message me on this blog and I will answer any queries you have. I will leave you now with a picture of that lovely travel quote I mentioned earlier..