San Andres

After several months of winter, our first taste of the Caribbean could not come soon enough.  We landed on the Colombian island of San Andres just as an afternoon storm was clearing.  The humidity on our skin was glorious.  It felt like home.

San Andres is not a large island, but our accommodation was a bit further from the main town than we anticipated.  When we arrived at the small family run beachside holiday park we were assured that buses regularly ran to town at a very cheap rate.  The owner was also kind enough to take us to the local fast food joint which was 3kms away for dinner.

We were lucky to have blue skies and sun greet us as we woke up in the morning.  Breakfast was on the front lawn with the beach just across the road.  Pretty perfect if you ask me.  My only issues was that I was having no luck understanding the local accent.  Luckily Cass seemed to have a bit more of an ear for it and was able to order breakfast.  Most of the inhabitants of San Andres speak Creole as their native language.  I instantly took a liking to it.  It sounds strangely like English if you tune out and don’t listen for words too much.

We spent our first day wandering up the beach as far as we pleased before we got hungry and took lunch in a beachside café.  Beach life was going to suit us well.  I had yet to be introduced to the food of the Caribbean, but Cass had previously waxed lyrical of coconut rice with plantain and lobster.  Our lunch did not disappoint with exquisite coconut rice which was buttery, nutty and crunchy with a hint of sugar and lime.

Afternoon storms again came through and stopped us from exploring further.  We were quite happy to spend some indoor time as our skin was only slowly getting used to the sun again.

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We decided the next day to go explore town a bit more.  The local bus which circles the island arrived as promised, and then proceeded to take on more and more passengers until we were literally hanging out the door.  Luckily, we only had to put up with this authentic transport experience for a short period.  Personal space is not really a thing in this part of the world.

After a walk along the esplanade and a quick browse of the shops we heading to a local seafood wholesaler for lunch.  The food proved to be so good that we planned another visit before we left the island.

One of the big attractions on San Andres is the day trips out to small islands including Jonny Cay. We joined a Brazilian couple at our hotel and went in search of a cheap transfer across.  Luckily the Brazilians spoke excellent Spanish as the whole process of booking a ticket on a transfer boat was thoroughly confusing.  Eventually, around mid-morning we took a very swift trip on a small speedboat out to the island.

The island was an absolute picture of Caribbean bliss.  Unfortunately, due to this every man and his dog had come to spend the day here.  There were at least 500 people crammed onto an island no bigger than 100 meters across.  I was quite glad to get in the water and swim out to some relative peace and quiet.  Despite the overcrowding, the island trip was great.  The water was incredibly clear and there are much worse things than lazing back in the sun next to a beach bar for the afternoon.

We seemed to be back at the San Andres airport far too soon, leaving as we arrived with the afternoon storm approaching.  If it was not for the other upcoming beach locations we planned to stay at we probably will have not left so easily.

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