Monday, August 18, 2008

Mendihuaca Caribbean Resort 35 km from Santa Marta

What can I's been interesting so far! From Cartegena, we arranged for a mini-van ride through our hotel to Barrinquilla. Once we got to Barrinquilla, we negotiated (luckily Louise speaks Spanish pretty well) for a taxi ride to the Mendihuaca Caribbean Resort (pronounced "Mendihuwaca"). Of course the taxi driver had never been to our particular resort, but he found it (after just 1 cell call back to his company). He even took us by a shopping mall where we could change dollars into Colombian Pesos (around 1650 pesos/dollar). It took 15 minutes to change the money because Louise (our money changer) had to be finderprinted, etc. We got to the resort around 4:00 (after 6 hours of travel). The staff checked us in to a pretty low-rent room that was dark, smelled of mildew, had 2 bedrooms with 2 twin beds & 1 bath(after being promised a 3 bedroom/2 bath room by the timeshare company that arranged the trade for me). After complaining about the poor room (again thanks to Louise), they moved us into a 2 bedroom/2 bath room on the second floor & promised they would move us into a 3 bedroom/2 bath accommodation by Monday (that's today & they the unit is closer to the beach). In case you are wondering about these pictures, one is of the resort, one is an olive ridley turtle (a grown-up version of the ones released at the Las Olas beach) that we found at the aquerio, and the 3rd is Playa Blanca beach (& yes, it's as crowded as it looks). We took a tour offered by the resort thinking we'd be going to a pretty nice beach. On the way, we stopped off at the aquarium where we saw a dolphin and seal show (again with lots of people), I'm finally starting to understand that Columbia is very crowded compared to Panama. It's so nice here, we probably won't go on many more "tours". Tayrona National Park is on the agenda for Wednesday. Too bad we won't be able to see the Lost City within Tayrona, but that requires a 7 day hike, complete with guides. Well, it's almost dinner time. I've been getting by with green & fruit salads at the salad bar & supplementing with cooked potatoes. Most people here can't understand how I can even be alive eating just veggies. In fact, most of the restaurant staff don't even charge me cuz I eat so little. Last night the woman who owns the restaurant across the street, opened her long-closed restaurant just for the 3 of us (after giving her 20,000 pesos so she could buy food). She fixed me a lovely (& delicious) bowl of mangos, fried plantains, rice & an iceburg lettuce salad with tomatoes. She too wondered how I could be alive & healthy. "Why are you a vegetarian?", Louise interpreted. I responded with "Pura Vida". We are having dinner there again tomorrow night (there's something cool about having a restaurant opened just for you), & this time I'll tell her I'm 85 years old!
Signing off from the Mendihuaca!

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