Bonjur! KC and I made it safely and uneventfully to Barranquilla, after three plane rides and 17 hours of journeying. Made our way in the dead of night in a speeding taxi with a driver with only one eye to our hotel, Barahona 72, on an unassuming street in the El Prado district.
After sleeping like logs, we enjoyed watermelon juice, scrambled eggs, papaya and a club sandwich for breakfast (weird but good) before venturing out into the now awake and lively city of Barranquilla.
If I had to compare Barranqilla to a US city, I would call it a Cincinnati. Not a huge city, no world-known attractions, overshadowed by other bigger-and-better places, but full of character, characters and micro-cool activities.
We decided to play it low key on day 1 and walked down a main artery for about an hour before landing at the Museo del Caribe (Museum of the Caribbean), which was a six-level bunker-looking square structure filled to the brim with Colombian/Caribbean information. The muesum was newly built and the exhibits were very techie/interactive. We had a great time, guided by a personal English-speaking (thank gwad) guide.
First regret of the trip: not brushing up on my Spanish. The accent is so different and thick here that it may not have made a difference, but we have found ourselves in a few different situations that would've been more efficient (but way less fun) had we been able to converse a little better.
But that won't stop the Beans Sisters. :) After the museum, KC enjoyed some carne asada (beef set lunch), which included veggies-and-bone-marrow stew, thin steak (I was going to call it a "meat thing" but KC edited), rice, french fries, salad and a creamy chickpea salad (all for $3) while I enjoyed a Clif bar. :)
THEN, WE TOOK PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! Like it was nothing. Instead if hoofing the hour walk back, we caught the R2 bus (thanks to recommendations from our museum guide and smiling gestures from the bus metrotransport ticket lady). We felt empowered. We're just about to head out to dinner/evening activities, so I'll wrap this post up here. To be continued. :)
Tomorrow we're taking a 10am bus to Cartegena, which will be a totally different backdrop from Barranquilla.
Weather here is so-humid-it-is-hard-to-breathe hot. My hair is huge. I actually broke a sweat on our morning walk. But we love it. It's what we've been waiting all summer for (no thanks to Polar Vortex).
Okay, that's it for now!
1. Outside of the Museo del Caribe
2. Word wall on the 2nd level of the museo. Features words only used in Barranquilla/Caribbean spanish dialect. Personal favs are "chevero", which means "cool/nice", yuca, which means potato, but is used as an insult for people with big feet and "guayabo" whuch means "hangover"
3. Kitten sitting under KC's chair at lunch.