50somethingnomads

Colombia – NOT Columbia! The best fruit and coffee we’ve ever tasted! 🇨🇴

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When googling “what to do in Colombia – the first post I see is “So I got stabbed in Colombia” from Nomadic Matt😳! Not an encouraging start, but he also writes very fondly of the country. By the time we arrive in Cartagena, we’ve watched 3 episodes of Narcos and are prepared for anything – apart from the whole of the old town having a power cut for 14 hours!! Our lovely hotel turns sweaty, dark and dank and the staff seem to give up – at which point we decide to move to an Airbnb where they promise electricity and much needed cold showers. As it’s a last minute booking, we agree to collect clean bedding and make the beds ourselves but it takes us well over an hour to find the place, wandering the blacked out streets with all our luggage, in the humid heat – Nomadic Matt’s stabbing incident at the front of our minds😳! We arrive safely but have to sit in the stairwell of the block for another 40 minutes, with just the light of our head torches, waiting for the keys. Finally we get in, the power is back on and we even have a shower each to cool down in! Next morning all is back to normal but Tony needs some “me time” so I go on a coffee tasting tour with a mum and her 2 grown up children from Florida/New York. We slurp our way through too much delicious coffee, getting high on the caffeine. Until only recently most Colombians drank Tinto – sugar cane sweetened water with instant coffee added 🥴 – they have now realised the quality of the coffee they produce and are the second biggest producer of coffee in the world – mostly from the 550,000 privately owned and small (2 hectares) farms who often only earn $250 a year from their raw beans, however things are improving. The fruit in Colombia is unbelievable – Mangoes, papaya, Lumo, soursop, grenadillo, cherimoya, pineapple… we ate huge cups of freshly peeled and chopped fruit on the streets for about £1 – traditionally served by women in brightly coloured dresses and with bowls of fruit on their heads! On our last night before heading to Cuba, we found a local bar with great salsa music blasting out of a huge old sound system, and chatted to Efren, a university lecturer at the bar, he tried to convince us that moving to Cartegena would be a great move! Who knows!!!!

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