Monday, 10 July 2006

Photos from Los Llanos (see old post)

The holiday house.

In the pool.

The statue of Mary in the garden.

By the pool


Photos of the Holiday House in Santa Fe

Cumpleaños Fiesta de Paula

Awesome, a photo. Finally I´ve been able to upload something! This was taken on Saturday when we had to hop out of the pool for Andrea.

Santa Fe Antioquia

This weekend I traveled north west via Medellín to celebrate my friend´s sister (Paula)´s 29th birthday. What a party!!!

Their holiday house is in the colonial town of Santa Fe which was the first capital of Colombia. This place is historic, stunning! Their house used to be a school, but the old convent kind, with really high ceilings, courtyards, and corridors running along the outside. The whole place has been renovated, but luckily you wouldn’t know it. It’s one of the best renovations I’ve seen. All the sandstone tiles are old, most are broken, the electricity has been wired using the original system and the pool has dark blue tiles making it look more like a pond then the Versace hotel at the Gold Coast. One of the elements I loved most was the outdoor living, even paintings have been hang up outside!

On Saturday we spent the whole day lounging around in the pool. There was a random English guy there as well, and because he hardly knew anyone he spent the whole time taking photos with his monstrous camera, so when he uploads them onto his website I´ll create a link. Everyone was drinking vodkas and aguardiente, which I believe is completely wrong. Anytime you’re in the sun you need Piña Coladas or at least Mojitos. Luckily I brought a bottle of Bacardi Coconut Rum with me and found a bottle of premix colada cream in the fridge and fresh orange juice… ummmmm too good. Before long everyone was begging me to make them one as well.

Now with the drinks flowing we needed some entertainment and who better than the famous model Andrea Serna. Yes, this house is so beautiful that a photo shot was being conducted with the bar and pool as the backdrops. Of course all the guys couldn´t believe their luck.

Paula had organized for the day to be catered so we were treated to platters of mixed meats and dips served on trays to us while we were in the pool from about 11am. I was horrified, but not surprised to find that all these plates had been entrees and that the main course of lunch was to be served at 5.30pm. Ooooo. Too much!

Their property also has horses and an original carriage with iron wheels. So after ´lunch´ just as the sun was setting I was taken on a private tour of the town… really, I couldn’t believe it. I felt like a princess. It was more romantic than the Sex in the City scene with Carrie and Big - pity my gorgeous tour guide was gay! Quiet a few people were out in carriages, the squares were packed with locals, ´cafes´ over flowing with people and music. I really felt like I had gone back in time, in the days where the boys visited the girl´s houses but had to stand outside like Romeo and talk with them through the wooden barred windows.

But back to the party. The music was pumping, an unusual mix of Latin and house music which was interspersed with random 80´s tracks and other favourites like The Macarena, remember summer of 1996? Everyone was completely gone and all of a sudden it became an outdoor karaoke party with all the girls singing… because I knew none of the words I thought I´d have a little swing in one of the hammocks hanging under the trees. Big mistake, I fell asleep and didn´t wake up till the early hours of the morning by which time the party was reduced to about 5 people.

Yesterday we drove back to Bogotá in record time. 4 hours and 45 minutes. Fernando could challenge Montoya! I have to say I´ve never seen driving like it. I had to hold on because with so many twists and turns I would have been sliding all over the backseats… but I can honestly say the trip was so smooth I thought the car was an automatic. We listened to the final World Cup game on the radio and I had to wonder what it was like at Federation Square with all the Melbourne-Italians.

Tonight I´m off to Cartagena with Catalina, so I´ll update again next week. XX Again, no photos, they won´t upload!!! Ahhhhh!

Thursday, 6 July 2006


Last week I went on a 12 hour road trip north of Bogotá to the tropical city of Bucaramanga. One of the things I love best about road trips is covering a large enough distance to watch the landscape change and this trip didn’t disappoint. We went from the cold high mountains of Bogotá with pine trees, through farming districts and past lakes, then the sun started to shine and banana trees were in abundance. Following this we passed through harsh grey mountains with no vegetation and valleys cut by a single line of water with slopes so steep only the mountain goats can survive.

On the way we stopped at the small historic town which I can´t remember the name of. It was all small white buildings with green painted highlights and cobble stone streets. The village was perched on the edge of a mountain, overlooking a gorge with an even larger mountain range on the other side.

As is the layout for all towns here, the centre square was the hub of the village. After viewing the magnificent church I was preyed on by hawkers selling Hormigas Culonas…. Sun baked Ants! And they definitely didn´t taste like chicken! As I was trying to get the offending morsel dislodged from my back tooth I was shocked to see Liz by a whole bottle of them as a gift for Stephy. Yuk.

Back on the road I saw my first harvest of tobacco, huge bunches of green leaves growing like lettuce. I was surprised to see some of the plants growing on an almost vertical slope because most of the terrain is so mountainous.

At lunch time we stopped in San Gil a popular town for white water rafting and visited a Parque Natural - El Gallineral. It was like steeping into a mystical fairytale. The trees were mammoth made even more spectacular as they were covered in hanging moss, orchards and ferns.

Returning to the road I began to regret partying so hard the night before (getting home only 1.5 hours before leaving!) and eating that damn ant. Because as the roads twisted and turned in their descent and then accent of the Chicamocha mountain so did my stomach.

But I have to go now, Stephy needs the computer. I´m sorry that again there are no photos, I´m still having problems trying to upload. Hopefully I´ll work it out soon.

I´m off to Medellín tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn – so I´ll post again on Monday.