Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rodadero and Santa Marta, Columbia

We spent four days in Guayraca and as we passed the fifth bay, we wished we had planned another one there. This is a beautiful area. But we were off back to civilization - Rodadero looks like a miniature Ft. Lauderdale. Honestly, except for the mountains behind, this area looks like Florida. The beach is lined with high rise condos and hotels, beach bars and restaurants - and tons of people. It was a lovely calm night and after lunch on the beach (and a stop at the well stocked supermarket) we enjoyed a quiet dinner on board watching the action. Pedal boats, kyacks, and sightseeing boats circled our two foreign vessels, staring at us curiously, all very friendly. Many people stopped to talk and welcome us. The next day we took a taxi into Santa Marta, a lovely small Spanish colonial city only 10 minutes away. Among the new high rise office buildings are lovely historic ones now renovated and in use. This photo shows a high end retail shop in a lovely old home. The streets were busy with small shops and vendors selling everything immaginable.

We visited two museums, had a huge "plato typico" lunch, and walked the all over the city - did some shopping too. The picture here is one of our young college student guides. Scott bought two pairs of shorts on the street, one labeled Tommy Hilfinger! Monuments and statues are everywhere in Columbia, often in lovely shady squares.
When we returned to the boats we found that the wind had picked up and now the beach was a lee shore. Our boats were bouncing up and down in too shallow water for comfort. We moved out until we had 40 feet of water under us but still had a restless night. Up at 4 AM for our next 55 miles past the dreaded Rio Magdelena. This huge river, the largest in Columbia, is known for bad wave conditions and extensive debris at its' outlet. Luckily for us the wind calmed down and the seas were flat enough to spot any tree trunks headed our way. By 2:30 we were anchored at our last stop before Cartegena, Punta Hermosa.

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