Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back from Santa Marta

We returned to Bogota late Saturday night after a delightful little week in Santa Marta. It's a bit off the beaten path in terms of tourism, but Santa Marta is definitely worth a trip. While it lacks the glorious historical achitecture of Cartagena, the city makes up for with its calm, its tranquility, and its ease. For us, it was exactly what we needed.

We traveled with the Grandparents, in fact, we paid their way. It was a nice thing to do, a sort of thank you for the many things they have done for the wifecita over the years. But, traveling with the Grandparents isn't always the easiest thing to do. I may not have mentioned it in this space before, but Grandfather has Alzheimers. He is in an intermediate stage, not terribly grave, but significant that one notices. Grandmother was paranoid that he was going to be uncomfortable traveling to a new environment since he tends to forget where he is at times. Fortunately, it was a fear that needn't have concerned anyone. Grandfather was quite comfortable, although, over the course of the week he probably asked where we were ten times a day.

Of course, Grandfather was doing so well that Grandmother stubbornly decided to not give him his night medicine, a clear liquid that helps with memory. So, one night we were sitting in their hotel room having a chat and Grandfather stood up and just left the room without a word. This was disconcerting. We quickly chased him down and this was when I saw the truth of Alzheimer's on his face. He had no idea where he was. He only knew that he was hungry. And that must have been terrifying. It was a brief vision into the future, a future that is not terribly far away. Fortunately, after administrating the medicine he seemed to calm down. And he was great the rest of the week.

Santa Marta is not the typical caribbean city. Due to its unique geographic position, wedged between the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, there is a near constant breeze that manages the heat, making the climate delightful. The water is much the same. Snow from the Sierra Nevada melts, forming rivers and underground streams that flow to the sea. Thus, the ocean is much colder than one would expect. When we went scuba diving we had to use wetsuits for otherwise we would have frozen and been quite uncomfortable. Of course, scuba diving in Santa Marta is a bit more challenging than in Cartagena. Not only is the water a good bit colder but the current is a good bit stronger so much so than an inexperienced diver will spend more time fighting to maintain position or follow the leader than seeing the wildlife of flora and fauna that populate the ocean floor.

We didn't want to return, truth be told. Coming back to the cold, dreary climate in Bogota was depressing. Of course, this is where the life is, so this is where we are. But we have Santa Marta in mind. It is the kind of place one goes to relax and as such would be perfect for retirement. Maybe someday we shall find ourselves there more permanently.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Political Favorites
Guilty Pleasures
My Global Position