On our way across the ocean from Easter Island we stopped at another beautiful island, Mo’orea French Polynesia.
Our arrival to the island of Tahiti was amazing. The entire flight is greeted by Polynesian dancers and singers right on the tarmac as we disembarked the plane. True sign that this is a tourist destination I think. Our transfer to our hotel greeted us with leis as well. They are beautiful but made me sneeze uncontrollably.
This was one of the stops I was most excited about on our journey but honestly I can’t even say why. I think the remoteness is romantic maybe? Easter Island at least to me is one of those places that sounds so far away, so magical that I really wanted to see it for myself. As an added bonus it really broke up our flight travel across the Pacific. An easy 5.5 hour flight from Santiago and then another 5.5 hour flight to Tahiti where we are staying a week and then New Zealand. I need to ease in to the relaxation I guess.
Dani still gets excited every time I make this hostal meal which is one of about four staple meals we make. Hostal meals need to be quick and with minimal ingredients.
I call this one Poor Man’s Paella
Sometimes I really miss cooking. Other times, whipping this up (which takes 15-20 minutes) seems like too much work. But each time I make it sure enough Dani says it is “the best thing in life ever” which she usually says about my cooking.
After such an amazing time in Medellin and Bogota, I had fairly high expectations for Cartagena. What could be more perfect than heat, sun, sand, Colombian hospitality and a richly preserved colonial city.
Unfortunately, our accommodations here left us with a pretty terrible first impression. It was the first time in our five months that we decided to leave a booking early. I don’t really want to go over the details because in the simple life Dani and I lead we have talked about it non stop for the past three days. I am over it.
Thankfully moving to the old city completed reversed this poor impression! Cartagena does feel much different compared to the other cities we visited. There is a definite Caribbean vibe here which is super interesting. The old city is colorful and full of life and people (who all dress quite fancy… I do feel a bit underdressed going out in travel clothes at night)
We have been fortunate enough to be here during some sort of music festival so we were able to listen to some live orchestra music yesterday evening.
Also, what I can not get enough of is mango with salt and lime. There is SOOOOO much fresh fruit in the streets here it is amazing to have it so readily available for snacks. Thankfully all the fresh fruit is curbing my ice cream habit (for the time being anyway)
The weather has been hot, hot, hot! It still gets dark quite early so peak sun is about from 11-2 where it has been 30+! Pretty amazing!
Only one day left here and we are going to be spending it on Baru, on playa blanca. We saw some photos from some fellow travelers and it looks amazing! More photos to follow!
I feel very privileged to have visited Medellin at this time. It is a remarkable city where the spirit of innovation and change is nearly palpable.
The hospitality of the people was immediately apparent on arrival here. We arrived at the airport and took a collectivo into town. The driver recognizing we weren’t 100% sure where we going let us know he would let us know when to get off. This is a kind gesture but what really took it over the top was when we arrived at the stop the driver removed our bags for us, hailed us a cab, informed the can driver of where to take us and said “Buena suerte y felices viajes” It is this type of kindness that we have experienced over and over again in Colombia but especially in Medellin.