Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Colombia: Take My Breath Away

There is a warning in our Lonely Planet guide for Colombia that says “Spend some real time here, both on and off the gringo trail and there’s a danger you might evangelize like this (about Colombia) one day too.”  Also the new tourism Colombia slogan states: “The only risk is wanting to stay.”  They couldn’t be more correct.  After almost three weeks here, the stunning beauty of the terrain, the people and their personalities has left us speechless.

Ridgetop town of Valdivia, Colombia.

Our first taste of the Andes brought us to the ridge-top perched town of Valdivia for lunch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Love in the Time of Swollen Feet

Our first South American destination was the fairy tale city of Cartagena, Colombia.  Originally, we only planned on staying a couple days, but loved it so much that we stayed for five! 

The city felt like it was straight out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel … and we found out that Love in the Time of Cholera was set here.  Colonial architecture abounds, and we spent hours just wandering the streets of the historic downtown seeking out places from the book, which both of us just finished reading.



Cartagena sights.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sea Legs

In the last week we’ve travelled from Panama to Cartagena, Colombia aboard a sailboat.  It was an unforgettable adventure in more ways than one.

Panama and Colombia are separated by a road-less wilderness called the Darien Gap.  We opted to make the journey via water rather than air for the unique experience and the chance to visit some of the most beautiful Caribbean islands along the way.  There are many sailboats which do this trip for backpackers, and the standard is 4-5 nights including 2-3 days in the Kuna Yala (San Blas Islands).  We had heard horror stories from some of our friends of rough seas, dangerous captains, and crowded boats, so naturally we were a little nervous beforehand.  We booked ourselves aboard the Tango, a 34 foot sloop owned by a French captain named David.

The Tango anchored in Cartagena.

From Panama City, all that was left was to ride across to the Caribbean side and wait for our boat in the town of Puerto Lindo, near Portobelo.