Sunday, June 12, 2011


my last two days in bogota were significantly better. i recall some drive by shooting (of landscape compositions) with jairo's mom, some bad pizza, some long bus rides, fresh cut fries for breakfast, crepes and waffles, lulo juice and jairo's audition for jazz al parque. o ya, and fried fish and an alerta concert! not exactly in that order...

now, i have been back in toronto for a week today with mixed feelings. i ache for colombian or travels of some sort, but i scored a sweet apartment and am readjusting to my life as i left it. i start working again on wednesday, i think this is the longest i have ever been without a legit job since i started working 9 years ago. time to make money and save money so i can escape again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

am i hot? or am i cold? am i hot? or am i cold?

my chest is sweating like mad and at the same time i have chills. i got cold hands, cold feet and a cold nose. i am feeling pretty superb to say the least.

only 2 days left in colombia and a bed is my best friend.

temporary hiatus

ok, let me try and recap my past two weeks. in villanueva, we had no internet and my phone could not find service.

 in villanueva
 juice to go.

jarol painting.

at some point we went to riohacha to visit lido's gramma. i was nervous, because lido's gramma is a scary costeƱo. however, i must sayshe was really nice to me this time.

in riohacha.
 lido's gramma weaving a hammock.

 lucian, jesus and santi. my favorite colombian boys.

 back in villanueva.

while in riohacha, lido found out her her cali trip was extended from 2 days to 5 days. instead of sitting in villanueva, i decided to come have some fun in bogota. i caught a car to valledupar and flew to the city. jairo met me at the airport and i stayed in a really nice hostel. to my surprise, i had my first hot shower in colombia. simple pleasures.

in bogota.
 is that nestea salad dressing?
 my room.

 luna w/ santi's model farm.
 sunday at the market.

 that's me in there.
 why not?
 luna, santi and i.

 fly catcher.
santi buying cacti.

sharp things.

my photos.

back in villanueva. stressed because my visa is going to expire and we had nothing legit confirmed for venezuela... only sketch instructions on how we were to cross the border without a permit. i wasn't down for this and after some thought neither was lido. so, back to riohacha to go to the DAS. To my surprise, with a few flirtatious smiles everything went really smooth. now, i can't remember if we went to valledupar that day or the next day, but we went.
last saturday, i said my goodbyes to mami mello and flew to bogota again. now, here i am. saturday jairo and i went for dinner at crepes and waffles. sunday we went to an outdoor market and yesterday i was so sick in bed from the altitude. let's hope today is better.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


a side story to start: i am officially addicted to oma’s chocolate covered coffee beans and just now, i came to understand why they are all melted together. i took ample precautions from bogota to villanueva transporting my precious beans hoping that they would arrive alive… and they did! however, i suppose when the power went out the other day the freezer melted and that was the end of my beans… but now i have chocolate covered coffee bean bars.

also, in taganga i saw a lizards tail fall off and wiggle in the sink as it ran away.
alright, so the past few days i have spent a lot of my time editing and organizing the mess of photographs and footage that i have accumulated in colombia (and will probably do so for months to come). my days here are quickly disappearing and my mind is going crazy contemplating what steps to take next. where am i going to live? where am i going to work? (in toronto of course). i'm not excited, but i'm trying to stay positive. really i am just strategizing a new way to hustle my way out again.

this post has  been lingering as a draft for days now, patiently waiting for a legit connection to be uploaded. we came to riohacha today, back on the coast AND fortunately for our sanity... there is high speed wifi. now, lido and i can be online at the same time.

life is beautiful.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

the caribbean coast

i got home late tuesday afternoon. it was a hot, sweaty and dark welcome back. we lost power at about 11pm and didn't get it back til late yesterday afternoon. i spent my morning sweating while studying and my evening doing laundry while it rained. i'm going to try and recap my week traveling the coast...

(wed) day one:
villanueva-valledupar-santa marta-taganga

left villanueva around 8:30am. lido and i caught a car to the bus station in valledupar (i felt like she was my mom setting me free. this was my first trip in colombia without her). my bus left valledupar at 10am and I arrived in santa marta at 2pm. jairo, my new yet good friend was flying from bogota to santa marta to meet me. his flight was delayed so i occupied myself until about 5pm when he finally made it.

we took a taxi straight to taganga, a small fishing town. we had to drive over a little mountain to get into taganga and the view was insane. jairo had arranged for us to stay at a friend's, but she was away in palomino and left the keys with a neighbor... but the neighbor was in santa marta, so we waited... walked around, saw the sunset over the water and... waited some more. my day was full of waiting, but it was no problem and well worth with it, we had lots to talk about.

the house was huge and attached to a bar that his friend also owned. she had a cat and two dogs. one dog had balls so big that they wagged like a tail, if he got too close they could slap you. once we settled and showered we went out and bought some rice and plantain... i can't remember exactly what else but i know we cooked a late and delicious dinner.

(thurs) day two:

i think, for breakfast we had eggs, sweet plantain and toast. then, we went out and bought some fish because the neighbor who had the keys offered to cook us lunch. while she cooked we went about a five min walk down to the beach and climbed over a small mountain to a more secluded place to swim. the water was really warm and salty, but refreshing. then, we climbed over another small mountain to see the view which was really pretty, but decided to go back and get some rest.

the heat was getting to me and we were getting hungry. so we napped and ate the fish with salty plantain and rice. for dinner, we had left overs. this night was the beginning of a series of stressful events to come before bed. i'm not sure, but i think i passed a kidney stone. shiiiiiiit it was painful (i've had a few for years now).

 lulo fruit. we made juice. 

(fri) day three:
taganga-santa marta-palomino

so... i woke up feeling fine, but slightly concerned about what jairo had been thinking.

we had the same breakfast and then started to make our way to palomino (further east across the coast) located just across the guajira border (not so far from villanueva). everything went pretty smooth. we caught a bus right away to santa marta, where we bought all of our groceries and then another bus to palomino. the ride was tight, but the view was really something to see. i think it was a couple of hours before we arrived.

now we had to find our way to "the farm" where we were going to camp... at this point i had no idea what to expect. we took our bags to the side of the road and were about to call a moto taxi, but turns out the guy standing beside us was the guy we were about to call. so, he called his friend and we hopped on the back of their motorcycles and away we went. so refreshing.

the farm wasn't so much a farm, but a sandy plot of land full of palm trees, someone's home and a couple of cabins that backed onto the caribbean sea. luckily for us there were so many palm trees because someone (i won't mention any names, but it wasn't me) forgot the poles that hold up the tent. so, after a tragic moment of realization we came to a solution and tied the tent up to the palm leaves. it was very professional, but thankfully the guy we were renting from helped jairo put a shelter above our tent because apparently it rains a lot... and it did, a lot. but we survived and after i made us some sandwiches with pita, green tomato, mozzarella and cilantro. delicious. o i almost forgot, we made pasta for dinner with a garlic, cilantro and onion butter sauce. also delicious.

plantain fields.

 the cabin behind us.
the massive crab we encountered on our was to the washroom. who knew crabs climbed trees? jairo heroically chased it away as the crab threw balls of energy to counter attack.

(sat) day four:

we started the rest of our days off with vanilla special k, banana and maybe something else... probably sweet plantain, eggs and maybe oranges. food was a key enjoyment to our trip and we both really enjoy cooking, so you will have to bare with the food details. we ate in front of the sea and were usually accompanied by a black dog. we waited for the sun to cool off and then we walked down the beach to find where the river meets the sea. probably the nicest beach i have ever swam in.

when we got back to camp, we showered and hit the kitchen again. i forget what we ate, but i remember a crab crawled up from behind the stove and she was carrying eggs... it seems she got scared because she dropped the eggs and started eating them. it was so gross that i still get creeped out thinking of it. nasty. it rained again, but we survived.

 a river in between where we were camped and where the river meets the sea.
 the sea just about to meet the river. it connects off to the left of the photo.
 can u see the crab?

two boys on a raft in the river. just looking down the river was scary enough that i don't even want to imagine what lives in it let alone in the jungle around it. eek. we only swam near the shore where it met the sea, unreal.


 the crab that crawled up behind the stove carrying her eggs.

(sun) day five:

we woke up, had breakfast and this time walked the opposite direction to find something strange. HUGE tires and a lot of pretty sea shells.

 our view from the tent.
 three pelicans that flew over us while we ate.

 fresh coconut.


 starfish. jellyfish.
 small green parrots.
 eating everything we had left. (carrot rice, fried onions, eggs w/ cilantro, onion and tomato, fried potato, fried sweet plantain, pita with mozzarella, green tomato and cilantro).

(mon) day six:
palomino-santa marta-taganga

well our last morning was really chill. jairo went for a jog and i walked along the beach. we ate, swam, packed up and made our way back to taganga.

back in taganga.


 our guide dog.
buying fish. eating fish.

(tues) day seven:
taganga-santa marta-valledupar-villanueva 

and like everything, our trip came to an end. i caught a bus and came back to valledupar and jairo flew back to bogota... well he tried to. the traffic was too congested so they had to fly to medellin, so he missed all of his classes (he is a music teacher).