So did we manage to meet up with Dave Reilly?
You bet we did. And for making it all this way, the man kindly took us out for dinner that first evening. We would have settled for simple food but it ended up being probably the best seafood I’ve ever eaten combined with a superb atmosphere and outside temperature. Perhaps not a coincidence we returned the favour several days later and returned here, our treat this time. Thank you, credit card.
It’s been over two decades since we last saw each other and considering the rather remote location we find ourselves at, well it made for a super-special reunion and an unforgettable few days.
So where on God’s green earth are we…!?
This may shock you as it did us back when we had to look up where Dave said he was and for us to join him.
And here is the island on a wider scale to provide a clearer perspective. I mean look how much closer to Nicaragua and other countries we are than Colombia’s mainland all the way to the right.
Introducing San Andrés island to you, folks. Day to day we really can’t believe just where we are in what really does feel like Paradise.
It’s an island that Christopher Colombus himself is said to have visited between 1492 and 1500. In the late 16th century the Dutch used the island as a safe haven from pirates and smugglers but the first real settlement came in 1628 when the British arrived. Did our former Empire know no bounds!?
Admittedly it is pretty cool to hear the older generation speak English in that famously well-known Caribbean accent. So there are actually three spoken languages here with English being the least spoken. Spanish, obviously, but also Creole. San Andrés Creole is based on English, although amusingly, it was difficult to understand. A Creole is a person of mixed African and European descent.
Catching up with Dave has been really great. We’ve shared a few cans, okay, many cans reminiscing and conversing about our shared passion for travel and his ten-year journey of exploration. Thanks to his accrued local knowledge, we’ve been able to indulge in some great eateries and do things we almost certainly wouldn’t have if we hadn’t met him, including hiring a buggy (known as a mule) and traversing the entire island…! Something I’ve always wanted to do in the past when having landed on an island. At only 26km squared, it was possible and we did it stopping off along the way intermittently, as you would. In fact, one of our random stops proved to be our favourite photo moments.
I was surprised how well I took to driving again after so long and on foreign roads but we didn’t encounter too much traffic when doing our full island lap so we got away with it thankfully and without drama. Besides, there are really not many rules here. It’s very much “island life”. I mean, Dave occasionally drives his scooter with a can in his hand, without issue. No joke.
As you know from the last post, we had to book a return flight back to the mainland. We did so in the knick of time enabling us to get here. We selected 3 nights that we felt would have been enough for a catch-up reunion and sampling of an island.
Our return destination was the country’s capital city, Bogota. This is also where we fly out of the country from towards the end of the week. Naturally, we would aim to visit and stay in the city for several days before departing. However, the word on the street is that similar to Medellin, they will enter a severe lockdown sometime soon. Arrrgggh.
Now, this word wasn’t Gospel so we weighed up this information and decided that we would allow fate to make our decision in the sense that IF we could change our flight without any cost, then we would extend and stay here for a few more days. But that’s rare, though, isn’t it?
During my frantic airport booking at the airport those days ago, I specified a top ticket. I recall it not being an expensive upgrade and only did so due to prevent luggage restrictions we encounter occasionally. Anyway, this ticket choice would prove to allow us to change our dates for free! Yippee. Cannot deny that we weren’t thrilled to extend our stay here so let’s see what else we can get up to in the days ahead. Right, Dave – what do you have in mind….?
Check out Vivian’s video – it’s a cracker.