Day one in Baranquilla, Colombia

Posted on Posted in Colombia 2011

2011-colombia-1Today I was woken up to Hernando looking through the door. He said he was leaving in 30 minutes after breakfast. I jumped up, got dressed, grabbed my backpack and headed for the kitchen where Hernando’s mom prepared a home made breakfast. A flat corn bread and fresh squeezed orange juice. She also asked if I wanted an egg. I thanked her, but said no. After breakfast I hopped in Hernando’s Series Land Rover and we went to his shop.

I sat around, browsed online for bit. He decided to take me over to the local museum as it contained all local history. We arrived to find the power had gone out. We headed back to the shop again. At lunch time we went to a typical Colombian restaurant. Hernando told me most locals eat soups, even when its very hot. He ordered be a beef soup and some drink. I kind of left it up to him to surprise me. He delivered. The beef soup reminded me of my Grandma’s beef stew, but with much more flavor. Along side the dish came a helping of white rice. The drink was lemonade with molasses as a sweetener. Awesome meal.


After lunch we headed back over to the museum. It was back on its own power. I got my ticket and paid and extra $10,000 pesos for an English speaking tour guide. I usually stray away from tour guides, but since this was a museum of local history all in Spanish, I thought it was worth the money. I should say, $10,000 Colombian pesos is about $10 US dollars. Very hard to get through my head ordering things in “un mil pesos.” So, with my interpreter showing me around I got to see some intriguing pieces of history. Such as all the immigrants who came through Barranquilla during WW1, including Jewish, Arabian, Syrian, German and many others. Plenty about the native tribes who are still keeping to their customs, some about slavery and the Spanish Crown. Tons of interactive exhibits. One of the more useful bits was a wall of slang words. My interpreter pointed to them and explained what each one meant. I can’t remember them now, but very useful if I retained it. After my time at the museum I was escorted to the bus terminal right outside.

Hernando told me the buses run close to his shop and I would only need to walk a block. I got my bus card and was shown how to use it by my guide from the museum. Very kind of him. He told me what line to get in. I shook his hand, thanked him and off I went. I stood in line for five minutes or so and a bus pulled up. I followed everyone on-board and sat down, only to realize I sat in the handicap/pregnant woman spot. I quickly got up and moved on back. The bus took off and passed a few other terminals. I wasn’t quite sure what terminal to exit. I new the shop was on Calle 76, but didn’t know where the terminals were. One terminal I noticed “Salida Calle 60” above where the lines were. I decided to hop out and walk. Walking about a mile I came across another terminal. I jumped the gun. Ended up walking almost 2 miles. Wasn’t bad though. Got a good workout to burn of that great Colombian food and got to see some local shops.

Eventually I made it back to Hernando’s shop where I spent the rest of the day. At closing Hernando and I headed out to his friends house. He needed a hand with Solid Works. It was a crash coarse for myself, as well of the software, all in Spanish too. Then, after the lesson, off to an American styled restaurant with Hernando’s girlfriend, Sophie, and his cousin. The conversation went all over, but did cover his cousins travel to Peru where he ate a rat. Just without the head. That was too much he jokingly said. Vehicles and other trips were talked about as well. All mostly in English. I mentioned to Hernando earlier in the day its nice everyone is speaking English, though was making it hard for me to get back in the groove of Spanish. He then started going back and fourth. Which helps.