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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bolívar, Colombia

Jan 5, 2010 - The $78,000 dinner

Two lengthy flights took us out of Brazil and into Colombia yesterday and have left us trying to sort out the cost in USD and relative cost compared to other services in-country of a $78,000 dinner and a $8,600 taxi. The exchange rate here is whack--$1,900 COP to $1 USD! But Cartagena, our first stop, is amazing. The inner city, walled in from the rest of the town, is quaint, colorful and friendly. Off for some exploring and beach time today. Perhaps a mud bath and mangrove swamp tour tomorrow. I <3 vacation.

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Amy J. in South A.

Nov 15, 2009 - Cartagena

After our long stay in Medellin, we made our way to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. It was a long bus ride, but it was nice to be on the road again. Unfortunately the heat in Cartagena is oppressive and hit us like a slap in the face upon leaving the air conditioned bus. We found a room near the old town, turned on the fan, and tried to sleep. Cartagena is the famous Spanish port town where they stored the plundered gold from Peru prior to sailing it to Spain. Due to this fact it was subjected to numerous attacks and attempts to take the...

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Oct 19, 2009 - Tiburon!

So we didn´t get the kitesurfing lesson, although we got a pretty impressive show. We also got VIP access to one of the nicest resorts on the island from our friend, Daniel. One of the perks of this was elite view lounge chairs and free drinks and food! A very nice change of pace from the cheap hotels we were staying in the first few nights. Daniel then took us out for snorkling (also free) on the massive coral reef just off the island. It was hands down the best snorkling that Kim and I have ever done in our lives. The coral structures...

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Oct 16, 2009 - Bus rides and Mud baths

Arrived in Cartagena mid-afternoon on Tuesday--what a change from everything else we´ve seen so far in Colombia! The city is surrounded by water and ancient walls to prevent pirates from attacking, it almost reminds me a bit of Cadiz in Spain. All the old colonial buildings have been maintained and it has a very european feel. Sidewalk cafes, narrow and winding streets, open air markets, and cathedrals and museums galore. A grand castillo sits on the hilltop above the city. Our first night there we met up with some travelers we found in...

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Oct 8, 2009 - Cartagena, Colombia

10/01/2009-THURS/Cartegena, Columbia. Villa Colonial hotel. Made contact with shipping agent to meet with them the next day. Went to a hostel that I had contacted before we left from Panama and they never heard of us and had no rooms available. So they called another hotel that had rooms and Roberto came and took our baggage and walked us to our home for the next week, Villa Colonial hote. A very nice rose in a garden of weeds place. This was run by a family, the Mom and Dad, were there every day running the place. They had two children,...

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Aug 31, 2009 - Colombia: Cartagena

We are now back in Cartagena for the third time, waiting to catch a sailboat to Panama on 2nd Sept. We had planned to do some more sightseeing here but unfortunately both came down with the flu and I think for me a possible infection for my leg. So instead of sweating around Cartagena we have spent most of our time in our room under the fan, me on antibiotics to ward off any germs in my knee that might be hanging around. Except for the first day when a flash flood caused an electricty blackout around Cartagena. We managed to be around the...

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Aug 22, 2009 - Colombia: Cartagena

From Lima it was an overnight flight to Bogota in Colombia and six hours in the airport struggling to stay awake for our next flight to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Luckily we found a hotel with aircon in Cartagena (stinking hot there!) when we finally made it and crashed out for a while. Cartagena is a gorgeous city with Spanish architecture and a walled old town and wandering around and getting lost the crumbling back streets is most of the fun. We arrived on a public holiday so all the locals were in the streets drinking and blaring...

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Aug 1, 2009 - Colombia.....and home

We survived! Colombia, the land of the FARC, M-19, cocaine and kidnappings... happens to be absolutely lovely. Probably the most modern and civilized country we have encountered thus far. To be fair, we stayed away from the guerrilla hideouts in the mountains and apparently “ Plan Colombia”, the US financed ($ 1.3 billion) anti-narco plan, is working quite well. In Bogota, we stayed with Senora Norah, Bo and Erin’s nanny’s mother. (random, but so fortunate ) Sweeter than an oblea (local street treat of two giant wafers with caramel in the...

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Jul 22, 2009 - BOGATA

The bus ride was a long 11 hours, but comfortable as it was a luxury overnight bus. Got to Bogata about 9am after leaving at 8pm the previous night. Saying goodbye was really sad. Adri and Laura came too. Adri goes back to uni in one week and Laura has friends in Bogata she wants to catch up with. Adri lives with her cousin Lina in an apartment in the heart of Bogata. i met Mario Adri´s boyfriend and Lina's boyfriend Andreas who both live in other apartments in Bogata. They are both such gentleman. After breakfast we went with Mario, Laura...

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Trip Journal


South American trip

Jul 21, 2009 - Columbia

Columbia – famous for coffee, plastic surgery and pristine coastline – infamous for cocaine, drug trafficking and at one time the highest kidnap rate in the world! We had no illusions as to the reputation and potential dangers that faced us as we arrived in Columbia but our heightened senses without doubt added to the appeal and ultimate enjoyment of our time in this beautiful country. When we began planning this trip well over a year ago it took more than a little persuasion to get Cath on board. The Holleys, although a little nervous,...

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Jul 5, 2009 - CARTAGENA

We woke up this morning feeling much better, and it was time to check out old town in Cartagena. We had seen all the new and modern buildings when we entered the port, and old town is quite the contrast. A very old wall entirely surrounds the city. The buildings are very similar to Antigua, and Granada in their age and origin. We were amazed at the cleanliness of the city. Numerous times we came across city workers cleaning the streets, even on a Sunday. (I doubt there are unions or overtime pay here) Once again we reminded of the contrast...

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Jul 4, 2009 - Casa Viena

We were awake fairly early. Last night we had met up at Café Del Mar with Hamish, Rich, and Ben, and later Geneva, Stephanie, Vicki and Hubert (now referred to as group of 4) joined us. Manuel and Olivier were staying on Tropicbird. We had drinks at the café and watched the sunset. Unfortunately the clouds weren’t cooperating and blocked most of it. Cory and Elaine had dinner at a small restaurant near the hostel. It was very much a family run operation. The lady was carrying around her young baby, and her daughter we figured was around 8...

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