*Covers face and sneaks to the back of the class*

Funny-Surfing-22

Sooooooooo………

I have been back in my glorious Barranquilla for almost 3 months now and I had planned to continue strong on my blogging wave but I ‘wiped out’ again!!

Here I am back on my board, ready to catch the next wave.

PLEASE ENJOY THE RIDE WITH ME DUDEEEEEEEE!!

😀

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Cali – Colombia Girl, it’s unforgettable!!! (Throwback post)

So one of my first trips was down to the beautiful city of Cali!!

I decided to go on a city break to Cali in October as I had some days off work and wanted to dedicate time to the ‘Salsa’ capital of Colombia and maaaaan they weren’t lying!!

From it’s Afro Colombian roots on the pacific coast to it’s controversial medical tourism industry the city definitely has a lot of ‘salsa’, in all sense of the word. The Colombian department of Valle de Cauca has a diverse landscape and various cultural realms to uncover so if you can, explore explore explore!

With my travel homie Mr L, I arrived in Cali mid afternoon and we got a very reliable and quite safe bus from the airport to the Central bus station where taxis would be more reasonable.

After a beautiful trip through some of Valle de Cauca’s countryside singing along to some classic salsa *cue Edgar Joel – Hasta El Sol De Hoy*, we arrived at the terminal, got a taxi to our hostel.

A 4 days break at ‘El Viajero Hostel’ was just what the doctor ordered. Following the advice of my travel bud we didn’t book in advance as sometimes the charge a booking fee and to my relief they had space so we were escorted to our bunks and made ourselves at home. (P.S. I always book in advance, I had a mad moment and let him take control…… not for the faint hearted, better to be safe than sleeping in a park!)

Will now speed up the review and give you my highlights of this beautiful city:

  • SALSAAAAAAAAAA!! – I fell in love with Salsa during my year abroad in Havana, Cuba so this was right up my street. El Viajero hostel supported this love and exceeded my expectations. Free Salsa classes everyday (kinda sweaty room but you know Latino steam and all that hahaha) and nightly outings to various Salsa spots around the city. GO GO GO!!
  • La Menga – An area in North Cali, full of mainstream clubs where people end up stumbling to after the salsa slows down and the can spin no more. I went there twice for a reggaeton and dance refresh, it should be around 8 mill COP in a taxi at night from El Viajero.
  • Cali Walking Tours – A small business set up by a young woman who had spent some time in London and wanted to take the concept back to Cali for tourists. A very nice 2 hour tour (By the way i’m not a great tourist and I managed it. For the freeness it was informative and interesting). At the time it there were 3 people voluntarily doing the tour at different times but I expect as the company grows so will the amount of tours and guides. Ask in your hotels for more information but think they meet on Tuesday and Thursday outside La Iglesia de La Merced if that helps…… (See slideshow for pics of the tour). Tip well and support the cause!!
  • Down-town Cali – I didn’t get my camera as I am no damn papaya but it was pretty much the same as any other down-town area. A lot of shops and markets selling everything and more. An experience to say the least but some hidden lunch/almuerzo gems are to be discovered there too.
  • El Viajero Hostel – Reasonably priced considering they have a private pool and bar. Some sites say they have hot showers, now these ‘hot’ showers are solar powered so best believe you better be in your towel, shower puff in hand when that water heats up cz I tell ya a cold shower in a cool climate is no fun!! Otherwise good fun with breakfast included!
  • Climate – Cali is a generally hot city but beware of the random cold spells that can pass by. I went in early October and it was only hot in the day. Come night time if you weren’t a bit drunk, you were layered up in most of your clothes to get some sleep.

I know there is so much more to see in Valle de Cauca and this is only a snippet of it’s beauty. I have made a promise to myself to see more the places I go to and not just be a sexy sloth!!

Here are the momentos of my time in Cali, Colombia 😀

p.s. Shout out to my homies Monika and David!! Can’t believe we all didn’t take photos together!!

Been gone for a minute, now i’m back with the jump off!!

arnie im back

Apologies for the pic but I felt Arnie would soften the blow of my return!!!

For those who have faithfully blogged over the past year I salute you with both hands. I thought I was strong and could hold on forever but no….. nope…. I wilted liked a defrosting rose. Foreign living got me way too excited!

But as I am I strong believer of ‘nunca te rindes’ = never give up, here I am ready to roll on the next film reel and press play!!

So I will give up a quick update on my life since August 2015 (Cringe! has it been almost a year!!) and will be doing random throwback Thursday posts to highlight the best bits.

Sooooo……..

  • I spent August until June 2015 working at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla.
  • I travelled to Cali, Medellin/Guatape, Cartagena, and Santa Marta as well as 2 trips to Florida, USA to see my lovely family.
  • Started teaching Undergradutes Level 2 English (University curriculum = A1 Level in my opinion).
  • Made some AMAZING friends.
  • Moved into my own ‘cute as a button’ studio flat!! (A la Carrie from Sex and the City).
  • Found a beautiful love in a hopeless place (wouldn’t expect anything else for me!) and yes it’s still going strong!

And most exciting of all……. I’M ABOUT TO DO IT ALL AGAIN!!!!

As me and Barranquilla are absolutely mad about each other we have decided to continue our transatlantic romance and embark on a 2nd year.

Only change will be my place of work which will now be at Universidad del Atlantico, which is one of the best public universities in Barranquilla and the Caribbean coast.

So keep your eyes peeled for Throwback Thursday updates and saddle up for a new year with the loca with the fro a.k.a ME!!

😀 Thanx for having me back!!

Breath of Fresh Air

balcony view

 

One of the reasons I moved into my new place…… The view is soooo me!!

The small colourful comfy house in the bottom left is my laid back attiude mixed with the modern taller buildings in the back which are my city girl side. ❤

I don´t like trees but these beauties are full of mangoes, guavas and other yummies so yep!! I LOVE THESE TREES!!

Breath of Fresh Air was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

1st Road Trip to Salgar/Puerto Colombia

What a semi-week here in Colombia!!

So since my last post i´m glad to announce (thanx to Couchsurfing.org and Sarah), we have found a new apartment!! (Applause) QUICK I KNO! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

So to celebrate our new digs (any reason to party lol) we were gratefully accepted an invite to expat mixer of foreign teachers in Barranquilla. Was a great night full of vodka, rum and dancing as it should be……. no aguardiente YET tho!!

I met some wonderful people that night and no doubt will be partying with them again soon. ❤ I was put in touch with a lady we will call S through a former assistant from the British Council so Sunday i paid her a visit in her town, Salgar.

The journey should have been straight-forward however in true sunday style, Sorry Lionel Richie, IT WAS NOT EASY!!! Instead of 1 hour journey on a bus, i had to hitch a ride in a colectivo (small mini-van that goes along the route) to the entrance of a nearby town, WALK HALF A KILOMETRE to the town centre where God heard my sun scorched cries and put me on a connecting bus to where i needed to be.

S lives in a lovely apartment RIGHT ON THE BEACH! It was a cloudy day so it wasn´t bikini time but i was sooooo happy to feel sand and sea water again!!

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S and I walked along the beach have good old gurlie chats about our lives and impressions of various societies (S has lived in A LOT of countries).

beach view

 

Before long we decided to meet up with 2 other teachers K and E who were nearby and go for dinner. I met these ladies at the same party, you will be hearing more about our future travels once we organise everything! They were coming from puerto Colombia which was further along the coast. AFter a few cold drinks we made our way to an amazing pizza place. Although the pizzas are DELICIOSOOOOOO, the service is well tempremental to say the least!

At around 8, i decided to head home as it was a long journey for me, managed to negociate a deal with a taxi driver who dropped me back to my door with no drama at all.

Had a really nice day and am soooo happy to meet people on the same wavelength as me.

Now bring on the week!!!! :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Road Trip to Salgar/Puerto Colombia was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

Touched down in QuillaTown! :D

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Heeeeeeey!! I´m hoooooome :D

After a lovely few days staying at Royal MetroPark Hotel in Bogota with my team (who I miss dearly….) I have moved up to the Caribbean coast, my new home for the next 10 months.


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I´m now officially a Language Assistant at Universidad del Norte. Along with new bestie Callum a.k.a DonGringo.

Had the most insane flight to Barranquila where the plane attempted to land then due to strong winds, had to pull up again before coming in for a shaky landing. I think my fingerprints are moulded into the seat handles forever! :D

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WE GOT A WELCOME NOTE AT THE AIRPORT, WHOOP WHOOP!!

From the airport, we met our helper/new homie Marian who has been showin us around the city for the past 2 days. We walked around the amazing campus of Uni Norte (which has a cinema, restaurantes and even a hair salon ON CAMPUS!!). We also met some of the team we will be working with inc Sarah from Fulbright. :D

Then later on in the day we were shown to our homestays and given time to settle in.

On Thursday it was a Bank Holiday (19 per year!) so I decided to check out the local shopping centre BuenaVista, was a nice place with various clothes shops and restaurants. Good AirCon too!! I braved a bus there and back which was interesting, I made it there fine however on the way back I thought I was lost and got off to get a taxi, only to find I was a few blocks away!!! NEXT TIME I WILL MAKE IT ALL THE WAY!!

 

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<3´in my new Colombia Bling!

I´m currently living with a lovely Colombian family which consists of a couple, their Daughter and Grandaughter. Although the set -up is ideal to get used to Barranquilla itself, I know i´m going to want more privacy and closer social circle. Decided to try and find an apartment with Callum as we have a similar vibe.

Mission: Bachelor vs Bachelorette pad (2 Bed Apt)

SO IF ANYONE HAS ANY CONTACTS…… HOLLA AT YOUR CHICA!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Touched down in QuillaTown! 😀 was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

My arrival in COLOMBIA!!! Part 1

So the day of my departure finally arrived and i must say through all the chaos and preparation, it all went quite smoothly!!!

As daunting as long haul flights can be, i was SUPER excited to start my adventures in Colombia with the British Council.

Arrived at Heathrow with plenty of time to spare, check in my case mountain and pay for my extra case.


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Consisted of 2 x 23.3 kg suitcases, hand luggage case and tote style handbag! (Was quite reasonable at $70 for an extra case in comparison to $200 if your case is overweight!!)

After farewell to mama, I went through security and made my way to my gate. As usual, being the magpie that I am, only realized my flight was closing as i’m wandering aimlessly round Boots! MAD DASH to my gate which was miles away I made it to the plane.

After bustling my way through with my insane handbag and rollie-case, mid-way into economy I realized I had ‘Seat Number 7′ and when I looked up at the seat number were in the late 20′s. As I turned around I realized…….

*Drumroll please*

I HAD BEEN UPGRADED TO BUSINESS FIRST!!!! OMG!!!

I scrambled back out of economy like a bat outta hell and settled into my cove ready to lap up the luxuries :D I don’t rightly know how I did it but i’m not going to question fate!

Here are a few sneaky selfies from my flight:

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Me & Teddie chillin

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My courtesy Disaronno & Sprite…… 4th i think that was!!

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LOVELY MEAL!!

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Snoozy Selfie while fully reclined in my cove lounger ❤

Overall it was a very comfy flight with polite service and tasty menu. I thank my lucky stars I can tick ‘FREE FLIGHT UPGRADE’ off my bucket list!!!

THANK YOU UNITED AIRLINES!!!

P.S. Anyone travelling to South America or anywhere in general to be honest, PACK EXTRA CLOTHES IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE. My main suitcases were delayed by 2 days and if i didn’t have my hand luggage on point, I would have been in fiddle to say the least!!!

 

Part two TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

My arrival in COLOMBIA!!! Part 1 was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la