March 01, 2013

Päivi and Santeri

Press HERE to see a slideshow
from Santa Marta.

Fish in the Market
Fish in the Market
Päivi and Santeri
IMG_4068: Paivi and Santeri at the Mercado
The Beach in Early Evening
IMG_4074: Beach in Early Evening
Vegetable Cart
IMG_4059: Vegetables at the Mercado

Betty and I met Päivi and Santeri eight years ago in Buenos Aires. They are from Finland, but they have been citizens of the world for the past eight years. They are nomads, living here and there and everywhere. They are both 42 years old. We met them again six years ago in Cambodia, where we traveled together for two weeks. We keep up with them on their blog spot and on facebook. We consider them good friends.

When we first announced our trip to Colombia, we got a note from them saying that they might join us in Colombia. They were planning to visit Jamaica and Trinidad. Much to our surprise, they arrived a few days ago. We spent a long time talking with them, catching up with our lives and changes in our lives. It was wonderful.

We shared several meals with them doing all the cooking. They have become vegans in the years since we last saw them. Except for the morning oatmeal, Betty and I are totally incompetent in vegan cooking. What they prepared for us was very good. We explored a bit of the city together, especially visiting the open-air market. Betty did not go to the market. The last time we visited the market, she almost got sick from the odor of the hanging meats.

We had been really enjoying the house we rented in the city. It is far from perfect, but it is an old colonial style house. The only fault has been the afternoon heat. We must close up the living room in the early afternoon as the temperature rises. How hot is it? When we wake in the morning, it would be 75f (24c) and 95f (35c) in the late afternoon. The heat has become unbearable for Betty, especially because the house is not aligned well to catch the wind.

Again - other than the heat - the house has been great.
That is until last Tuesday, shortly after the arrival of Päivi and Santeri. We were all siting around our kitchen table in deep conversation, when the landlord's agent - Pedro Torres - just walked in. He has said that he would need to get things from time to time from a backroom that we cannot use. Suddenly he had a hostile attitude. While I do not speak Spanish very well, I understood that he did not like that our friends were visiting. He did not seem to care that they were sleeping at a nearby hostel. Just their presence set him off. He sent me a hostile and hurtful email, where he told us to vacate when our month was finished on the 15th of March. We think all his bluster was made up, because he wanted us to move so he could rent to other people. We had been thinking about leaving early anyway, because of the heat. The next day he came again to show the house to other potential renters. After they left, he picked a fight with me. I told him that we would be gone on the 15th. There is no way that we would stay longer. Santeri told me that they too have had problems with landlords in the past. Generally, they leave immediately - to lessen the risk of them stealing something. I think that it is good advice.

Päivi and Santeri left yesterday. They enjoyed visiting us. They were not sure where they were going but they let me know that they went to Cartagena. They liked it less than Santa Marta. They would like to leave Colombia, but there is no inexpensive way to head north. There is NO road to Panama. The sea voyage by speed boat is very uncomforatable and costs more than $200. The airfares are very high, $280 to $360, for a half-hour flight. They are going to try to find a little village, somewhere NO tourist tread. We wish them well.

We are going to stay here another two weeks. Then we are going to Barranquilla for a few days. Then we will go to Cartagena for a couple of days. After that we will be going back to Florida. The cost of changing our tickets was almost what we paid for them to begin with. So the advertised $50 change fee at Spirit Airlines is totally false. One must pay $125 per ticket and the fare difference. The total change cost for the two of us $630, which is just about our original return ticket cost. Nuts!

Toasting Santeri
IMG_4071: Santeri Toasting

Posted by bill at March 1, 2013 01:57 PM

Wow what a story Bill! It is so wonderful to hear that you meet up with other world travelers. Travel and stay safe. We have had 10 inches of snow here in MN. But, the forecast is for sunny days in the 40's the weekend of 3/8. So goodbye snow. Margie San Roman

Posted by: Margie Sanroman at March 6, 2013 08:12 AM

Hey Bill,
Susan and I are staying in an apartment on the 2nd floor in Hong Kong. We are here for a month. Last year we stayed for 3 weeks, and wanted more. It is a perfect flat with a balcony overlooking our little, very busy street. We can people watch for hours. Then we have a balcony that's looks out into the courtyard. Food is delicious, as are the fresh fruits, and vegetables. People are so friendly. We applied for visas and are thinking of taking bullet train to Beijing to see the sights.
Shoveling, and hauling firewood was getting old, we needed a break.
I got my protégée running the biz while I am gone. Weather home single digits to twentys, and snow.
Take care! namaste! I enjoy your travel blog. David

Posted by: David and Susan Askue at March 6, 2013 06:13 PM

BRAVO.......SO nice to read you. Jim & I were in Victoria when I received a call that my Maman ( Yvette is 99 yrs old )hd been taken to Hosp' I left ( we were in a home so Jim had to stay & get all organized foe month end ) on Feb 22 & have been at hoap. since. Jim came home last mon. Why Yvette is still hanging on is a mystery.......There she is There.........
Be happy , so happy that you are care free.enjoy..hugs to u both xxxps the couple , our nephew Charles & Czech wife had a beautiful gilr "Evelyne Rose" Charlesdoing post doc & has been invited by researchist from NY. We met at their wedding ..sure goes by fast xxxxxxxx

Posted by: lise nicholson at March 10, 2013 05:22 PM