mayores y más sabios
11.06.2012 - 13.06.2012
So I am now at the age that when I was in my teens I told myself "I be will married and maybe pregnant"... How lovely (thank heavens!!!!!!!) that life doesnt turn out how you wanted it when you were younger!
Being right on the Caribbean, I had a huge choice of where to go to celebrate my day. I had never been to Palomino (a small fishing village 2 hours north east along the coast from Santa Marta), so this was going to be it. I hopped on the bus and off I was! The road follows the coastline, so the scenery goes from empty beaches, to small villages with people selling avos, bananas, papaya on the side of the street to the mountains of La Sierra Nevada.
I stayed at a place called La Casa de Guadua, which is a new eco-hostal. My friend, Javier from Chile is helping Julian (the owner, Swiss) with his website for the place. There is no electricity, just solar panels. I slept in a hamaca overlooking paradise! Early in the morning I couldnt count how many birds I could hear: natures symphony. The finca is about 300m from the beach, along a small path surrounded with amazing calm and beauty.
The beach itself stretches endlessly both ways- you have a choice of hundreds of miles of deserted beaches and rivers flowing from the magical Sierra Nevada. I am a born and bred beach snob (all South Africans are, who can blame us!?), so when I say this place has beautiful, perfecto beaches and sea: it seriously must be something! This is the first time I am completely satisfied and in awe with a beach, outside of SA! Yahhh for Colombia!!!
I spent the afternoon chilling on the beach, reading and preparing myself to turn a year older. That night I stayed up until midnight so that my family could phone me. I spent some time lying on the beach gazing at the most amazing, clear sky I have seen here in the north. Since I dont recognise/know the northern sky, I felt a bit lost. No Southern cross to guide me!
On my birthday I was up early and on the beach. I walked about 20 minutes to the Palomino river and found the perfect spot.
For some reason no one came or passed here for hours. So I had the Sierra Nevada and el Caribe all to myself. I drank some good old Colombian rum, listened to music-belting out songs as loud as I wanted and cooled off in the river. I did miss my family and friends, of course! But it was rather nice to have quiet time to self-reflect on my life, my birth, what I want etc. I did some good soul-searching and I made some really important discoveries.
Later on I met Geraldos, a guy I randomly met the day before. Him and this other chico were trying to get their sea kayak out. They must have struggled for about 40 minutes! But every time they hit a wave they toppled over. I offered to help, but it still didnt help them. Hahaha! Geraldos had told me he would take me out kayaking on my birthday. Wow!! I think I have found a new hobby! It was so fun, and actually not that difficult as long as you keep the kayak straight when you crash into a wave.
Geraldos invited me to his home for a birthday dinner. He is a chef and is going to open a restaurant on the edge of Julians (the Swiss) property. Him and his wife have been living in Palomino for a month now. They are from Los Llanos, which is in the south east of Colombia. They just decided that they had had enough of living inland, so they moved here and are going to start a new beach-bum life. Geraldos cooked up some seafood paella and prawns (sorry Greenpeace, PETA...)
I had a really enjoyable evening, which even included a bit of salsa-ing for which I was praised for my skills. Yahh!!! :-)
This was my first birthday that I was in the company of complete strangers and no cake. BUT, it will be a birthday I will remember because I got to experience how incredibly hospitable and kind Colombians can be. So sometimes its good to be alone, because it opens you up to meeting people you wouldnt have otherwise met....
Later that night Javier arrived and the next day we spent some time playing in the sea: the waves were just perfecto for a mermaid-wannabe!
Thank you to all of you that wrote me messages, emails: they are greatly appreciated! I love you all!
Peace and love, hasta luego...