The journey from Perth was epic in many different ways. The time spent in transit was close to 45 hours and I experienced jet lag, within my already jet lagged frame, at a whole other level. A long stop over in LA gave me a chance to book a bed in a local Travelodge and sleep for 6 hours before jumping on the flight to Bogota.
I landed in Columbia’s biggest City in a trance and without the forwarding address I needed in Santa Marta to be allowed to get through customs and make the internal flight. It was 0500 am Columbia time and they led me to an immigration detention room. No way out until you get the address. My daughter Romany was of course asleep and so once again I was put up against the clock. Could she wake up in time for me to get through customs and catch my plane!!! DE DE DEEEEEERRRRRRRR.
The answer was yes thankfully and after 90 minutes in Airport Jail I was a free man again. Note to immigration officials. Smile please 😉
The passage to Santa Marta was only an hour but I was really flagging now and unsure of which way was up. I managed to locate the departure gate, drank more coffee and headed off.
My daughter Romany met me at the tiny airport and steered me past the stream of driver’s offering taxi rides. I needed coffee and we found a street seller with a pot of Tinto ( Funny eh?) a strong sweet black coffee preferred by Colombian’s. It was the most delightful coffee experience and set the tone for future mornings.
Romany had sorted an air bnb place by the coast of Santa Marta a couple of miles outside of the city. We had a smart apartment; a pool and the ocean just a 2 minute walk away and a pair of talking parrots for neighbours!!!! Brilliant.
Chilling out was high on the agenda for me along with staying awake for the rest of the day. Both were accomplished and we ate, watched a sunset, caught up on all tings and slept. Rom’s partner Jose was going to join us and we had days trips planned along with visits from some of Romany’s Bogota crew, so overcoming jet lag as soon as possible was a priority.
I slept deeply. In the morning after coffee I spent time wandering, as I like to, around the locality with my camera and dipping in and out of the ocean.
Rom and myself took a trip into Santa Marta City and ate, strolled about the place and then hooked up with Jose. Santa Marta was hot, 37 degrees hot.
That evening we had a relaxed time and I introduced them both to a couple of delightful whiskies. An 18 Year Old Bowmore Sherry Cask and Lagavulin’s exceptional 8 Year Old. Ice broken and Jose’s worries about meeting ‘Dad’ were washed away dram by dram.
We hung out with the Bogota crew the next day and one of the lads shot this remarkable short movie on the beach.
In the evening we headed to a place called Tananga on the Caribbean Coast to watch the sunset and do some more chillin.
Tananga is an idyllic fishing village paradise. Chilled vibes all around and the most incredible sunset complete with Pirate Ship.
Later that evening we head back into Santa Marta City for some food and drinks. The streets were alive with colour, music and street performers. Late evening sunsets were beach time, as was sunrise, and I was now settling into a beautiful nature inspired rhythm.
This was the perfect space to be in for the next outing to Minca. Here was a trail up into the mountains and the sacred lands of the Kogi. If you are unfamiliar with the story of the Kogi please take some time out of your day to watch this amazing documentary and visit this Sounds and Colours Blog
The walk was superb. Nature at it’s most resplendent. It was very hot and a tad humid, so the going was much slower than a Scottish hill climb, but the rewards were equally spectacular.
Our time in Santa Marta had come to a close and the next morning bright and early ( a necessity when travelling by public transport) we took a couple of buses to Cartagena.
This place was also by the coast and alongside the new metropolis that had grown there over recent times was a beautiful ‘Old Town’. Photographic heaven for this traveller. Romany and Jose had to leave for Bogota the next morning and I stayed on another night to give myself time to explore, practice my pigeon Spanish and sample the local cuisine. The temperature here was even hotter than Santa Marta and I utilised the siesta protocol to the full. No mad dogs today 😉
Next stop Bogota. See you in the following Blog