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“You live in Bogota? How do you manage it? I have heard that in Bogota it gets so cold that sometimes smoke comes out of your mouth.” A conversation with a San Andresano.
The wind picks up rendering the onshore breeze an impediment to a planned trip out to Johnny Cay. I don’t mind, others are bothered, but they’ll get over it.
You have to allow yourself to be embraced by beach time. There’s no timekeeping here. Just as the salty breeze hardens smile lines into crevices at the corners of your eyes, your nose hardens and begins to flake as you have forgotten to re-apply sun block and your flip flops are but a tattered reminder of holidays past, so must you become at one with the unworried, so-laidback-it’s-positively-horizontal-vibe that washes over everything once you hit the Caribbean.
My theory is that on a beach holiday you have to approach things in a typically philosophical manner. One that requires nothing more than wondering where next to eat out when and only when that hunger pang strikes, what book to read and to leave everything else behind, in particular your cellular phone.
Having been to San Andres on three separate occasions over the space of 14 years a great deal has changed in my perceptions on what a Caribbean island should resemble and what I am looking for in a holiday. Previously I would have wished to have seen and done everything from Johnny Cay, to the Aquarium, Morgan’s Cave and so on. Now my priorities have mellowed somewhat.
I want no more than to drift about in a haze of late sleeps, belly full of freshly cooked fish, perhaps enjoy a rum-laced coco loco later on, and forget the worries of Bogota. This is what San Andres represents for me.
Renting a mulita – a kind of 4x4 version of a golf buggy – we could escape the hotels and tax free shopping of downtown San Andres and venture out over the island. Each time I have visited San Andres; this has been my favourite activity and allows for a freedom of movement and thought. And of course, being a native English speaker I get to test my knowledge and understanding of the creole spoken here.
That our mulita broke down only 4km past the San Andres airport bothered me not. We were in good company as only in the opposite lane the public transport bus had come to an unplanned halt as well. This is life.
And what to do as one waits for the mechanic? Well, we found shade beneath a leafy tree and gazed out over the mar de los siete colores.
San Andres and Caribbean idyll.