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We left the smoggy Bogotá for some days in a non-capitalistic Caribbean paradise. I’m not talking about Cuba, where the mentality is probably as capitalistic as it can be. There is another small island, where there are hammocks on every beach and no one cares to charge you for the use. Where there are enormous seashells on the shores, and no one makes a business of trading them, simply because they belong to nature. This small Colombian island, near Nicaragua, is called Providencia.

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The first stop when flying from Bogotá is inevitably the island of San Andrés.

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I would call San Andrés a commercial inferno. But some people like it. We were just sleeping the night here while waiting for the ferry to take us till Providencia.

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A food recommendation, though, is the first restaurant across the street from the airport. Cheap meals with the locals.

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And quite tasty.

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Finding a cheap accommodation was practically impossible, but as it was only for a night we chose the one nearest to the ferry dock.

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Finally, it was time to leave San Andrés.

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We chose the catamaran instead of flying as it was much cheaper, at least for us who are permanent residents in Colombia. But I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. At least not in the winter when the waves are 5 metres high and the catamaran only 4 metres.

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I had no idea it was possible to get this seasick. Sorry for mentioning it, but I threw up 11 times during the 5,5 hours journey. I have crossed the stormiest sea in the world, the Drake’s passage to Antarctica, but this was worse. We were told that the sea is much calmer in June. But if you’re travelling November-February, take the flight, it’s worth the money.

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We did arrive safely eventually.

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Soon we were sitting in a taxi with reggae music on full volume. It turned out the raizal taxi driver shared my love for South African Lucky Dube.

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To the left in the photo, the dive instructor and actor Felipe. Do see the film Keyla if you ever have the chance. It’s said to be the first movie in creole and it was recorded here on Providencia.

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The island is incredibly green.

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We checked in at Juan Carlos’ posada in Aguas Dulces or Sweet water bay as it is called by the raizales, the inhabitants of Providencia, who prefer speaking English over Spanish as it is much closer to their native creole. This was the most affordable option, and the cabins have kitchen and all that we needed.

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It’s a two minutes walk from a small beach with no tourists. However, there really weren’t many tourists on the island anyways.

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Sweet water bay is not the prettiest beach, but you’ll want to rent scooters and explore the island anyways, and the scooter rental is 1 minute’s walk away, as is the store if you want to cook your own food to save money.

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Juan Carlos showed us around and helped us negotiate the price of the scooter rental. Next chapter about the first day of exploration – coming soon…

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