San Andres & Providencia
Mon 18 May 2009 - Tue 2 Jun 2009 37 °C
Picture by Jorge
We had full intention of making our way to the Colombian Caribbean islands, however, our tickets were booked spur of the moment when we heard there was a seat sale. With E-ticket number in hand, we were booked to leave two days later for two weeks of tropical paradise. This was to be our vacation from our vacation. However, when we checked the weather forecast, it called for at least a week of rain/thunderstorms. Well, you can rest easy knowing that we experienced only one afternoon of rain during our entire two-week stay!
The flight into San Andres gave us the most incredible view of the island and the surrounding waters. The view looked like something from a yet-undiscovered planet out in some far-away galaxy. Never have we seen so many colours in one little stretch of ocean. It really was mind-blowing.
We flew first to San Andres and spoiled ourselves by checking into a semi-resort hotel. We still managed, somehow, to stay within our daily budget. Breakfast was included and it was… awful… until we discovered the local “milk soup” option on the menu (changua). It’s a hot soup of milk and water with potatoes, two eggs dropped in whole to poach, and lots of cilantro. It was delicious and we looked forward to eating that every morning.
Life was good in the islands. We slept well in air-con rooms with comfy beds, happily woke up for breakfast, and enjoyed the beach and HOT ocean water. We also took the local bus into town to get groceries and eat dinner (one of the ways we managed to stay on budget). One morning, after booking our flights to the neighbouring island of Providencia, we even rented a moped. The “renter” decided Jorge wasn’t comfortable enough driving the moped and after K proved herself, she became the official driver (no license or helmet required!). We had the moped for the day and we took it around the island (17kms), stopping off at lovely local beaches, and trying to find ourselves shade whenever possible.
(We would love to say that these islands came without pesky thieves, but it was not the case. In fact, we were followed by two young guys on two different days!?)
We were really looking forward to Providencia after being told often that it was even more beautiful and relaxing than San Andres. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Not even close. However, we still had an incredible time. We decided to stay at a hostel in the “centre” (population of the island: 5,500) which came at a reasonable price WITH air-con and then we rented a moped for the week. The routine that developed included waking up in the morning, walking 3 minutes to the mediocre bakery for breakfast, returning to the hostel to lather ourselves with suntan lotion, riding the moped to our favourite – practically deserted – beach, bumming it for a couple hours, eating our packed lunch on the beach, riding our moped back home, showering, relaxing, having dinner across the street at a cheap local eatery, watching CABLE TV, and going to sleep. Yep, it was pretty much paradise lived.