Quoting my friend A who is volunteering with Peace Corps in Manzanillo del Mar: "Volunteers get paid in sunsets". Even if we work hard for no/little money, the life we are living here is so beautiful that it is all worth it. You already know it, there is probably nothing I like more than watching the sunset by the sea. I am not as big fan of sunrises, but there is just something about sunsets and the twilight time that makes me feel relaxed and happy, wherever I am and whatever I have in my mind. Since I left Europe last December, I've been following the sunsets in South America, and by the Caribbean Sea. This collection is mostly a souvenir for myself from these past months, but I hope you enjoy it too.
Ocho Ríos, Jamaica:
Port Antonio, Jamaica:
La Boquilla, Colombia:
Sao Paulo, Brazil:
Playa Blanca, Colombia:
So I've always liked sunsets and I think that I can say that I've really seized every opportunity here to enjoy as much as possible. On top of that, I've developed an other love and addition here: coffee. Back in Europe I never drank coffee, simply because I didn't like the taste of it. It all started in Cuba when often in my casas they didn't have tea for breakfast so I decided to try out the coffee. And it was surprisingly good! Gradually, I found myself buying a cup of coffee on the street every now and then, but that was it.
Then I arrived to Colombia, and at work soon got used to our kitchen staff bringing me morning and afternoon coffee to my office. In the beginning I tried to resist, saying that I usually drink tea but eventually I gave up. Colombian coffee is so heavenly good that I decided to drink it (with a lot of sugar) - and got addicted. Now, it's hard to live without an afternoon coffee every day. and I wonder how I will survive in Europe. I bought myself a small bag from Juan Valdez Café but when that ends I'll probably be miserable.
Besides the best coffee in the world, there are also very nice cafés in Cartagena. I've overcome my dependency on Chai Tea Latte so I don't go to Juan Valdez that often anymore but to small, cozy cafés where I can savour my cup of tinto, and write or read a book. I don't think the café culture is that strong here yet, mostly people just buy something on the street. Thus you can usually be quite undisturbed when you need a coffee break. Here comes my 4 favourites, all in the centro historico in Cartagena. Make sure you try them out when you come here and get tired of walking around in the heat.
Calm, well air-conditioned, good background music, great service. My absolute favourite place to work.
Address: #36- a, Carrera 5 #36174, Cartagena
Café San Alberto
Nice ambiance as well and they sell here the most famous Colombian coffee, that is called San Alberto.
Address: Calle de Los Santos de Piedra, Carrera 4 #34-1 a 34-9, Cartagena
More restaurant-like but a lovely place and calm before/after rush hour. The pastries and chocolate cakes are to die for. I once got a food-poisoning from their seafood salad and thus it is psychologically impossible for me to eat anything there anymore but I'm sure I was just unlucky, you should totally try it out.
Address: Calle de Los Santos de Piedra, Carrera 4 #35-76, Cartagena
A café and a bookstore, perfect combination!
Adress: Calle 36 #3-86, Cartagena
Now when think about it: sunsets and coffee are not my only addiction here. So are for example fruit juices "jugos naturales", avocados, and guacamole with tortillas. I will have to find a way to make my life a little bit Colombian when I move back to Paris, even if I know that the fruits and vegetables just won't taste the same there. And if you know a place there where I can get a jugo de maracuyá, papaya, lulo or mora, let me know. All survival tips are welcome!
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I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!