Family Time Part IFamily Time Part I

In total we have 4 locations we visit together with mum (Muttern), my sisters and Christian (Swana’s partner): Cartagena, Santa Marta, Pereira/Salento and Bogota. We have now covered Cartagena and Santa Marta and are off to Pereira / The Coffee Triangle. We stay 4 nights in the area and then head to Bogota on 1st January to get ready for Gela’s and Juan’s wedding!

On Josina’s birthday just before Christmas, the family arrived in Cartagena. We had to leave our pretty awesome apartment and headed over to the hotel they booked for all of us near the airport. It was great to see them and after lots of hugs and laughs, we checked in and despite Jetlag made our way back into the historic part of town. One of Josina’s many wishes on her special day was to ride on of the horse carts through town, and to be fair, it was pretty cool. A few presents, big dinner and lots of ice cream later, we headed back and I think Josina had an awesome birthday. The first birthday for one of us on our trip, next one will be my one. Let’s see where we will be for that one and for all the other birthdays.

And just like that it was Christmas. Despite clear messages that we can’t take any presents with us, somehow the aunties managed to smuggle in the odd present for the kids. Similar to Christmas in New Zealand, it didn’t feel like Christmas, it’s just a bit too hot in the Caribbean’s. Still a special time with family and the kids enjoyed it very much. Last year we had family over in New Zealand, this year Cartagena – let’s see where and how we will spend Christmas next year.

On Christmas Day we took a taxi over to Santa Marta, about a 4h drive. Checked in to the next hotel which had a very nice breakfast buffet and an even nicer swimming pool. We had three days in Santa Marta and the highlight of this part of the trip was our excursion to Minca, a small town up in the mountains. Next thing ticked off the bucket list, we all saw humming birds – and plenty of them. It was absolutely amazing seeing these little birds zooming around us at arms length! We even saw a Toucan but just very briefly flying past us with no chance of taking a picture. Hope we will get another chance for that on our trip. The other day we spend visiting the Tayrona National Park but the trip we booked at least was pretty average. Confirmed our thinking about booking tours which is pretty much that we won’t do it again if not absolutely necessary and rather take a taxi or rental car and explore ourselves. Anyway, the trip was taking us to a beach in the park, followed by a short boat ride to a completely overcrowded snorkelling spot (where to be fair, we actually saw some nice colourful fish), back to the beach, some lunch and then back to the hotel.

That’s pretty much the first part of the family holiday, we are now in Salento and this is much more to our liking. It’s a small, beautiful town in the mountains near Pereira in the coffee triangle.

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Visiting Uruguay was always a dream of mine. Talk to any South American and they will likely tell you that this is one of, if not the best country to