Another island, another golf cart, another circumnavigation

January 29th, 2013, Providence, Colombia

Here are some pictures from our clockwise circumnavigation (by golf cart) of Providence. Providence is even smaller than its sister San Andrés. However, it took us just as long to circumnavigate because we got stuck at Roland’s reggae beach bar at the bottom of the island. First we were distracted by the beauty of the beach and then detained by the 2 hours plus that it took for our lunch to arrive. [It was so delicious that we almost forgave Roland for the long wait.]

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January 30th, 2013, Providence, Colombia

Tony decided to wait for us in the main square instead of joining a boring troll through the grocery store.

Mr. Robinson encountered Tony in the main square. Mr. Robinson was initially hoping for a little money. However, when he discovered that Tony was English, he took the opportunity to berate him for abandoning Providence to the Spanish in 1672.

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Passage from San Andrés to Providence

January 24-25th, 2013, San Andrés to Providence, Colombia

Both islands belong to Colombia and are part of the same Colombian department but they are surprisingly different, especially given that they are only about 55 miles apart.

Interestingly, even though the islands are 55 miles apart, we sailed 119 nautical miles to get to one from the other. Providence is north and upwind from San Andrés. To our credit, we did sail most of the way — motoring less than 5 miles in total.

We left San Andrés mid-morning and arrived in Providence around the same time the next day. We stopped at Cayo Bolivar for about three hours on the first afternoon. There we lunched and snorkeled.

The statue at Cayo Bolivar.

The statue at Cayo Bolivar.

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An overnight to Haines Cay

January 20th, 2013, Haines Cay, Colombia

For a change of scene, we pulled up anchor off Nene’s Marina near San Andrés town and motored out to Haines Cay, a very popular tourist and local destination. It was Sunday afternoon and the place was hopping with local boats and tour boats. Pete and Tony took the dinghy ashore and checked out the two little islands — sampled a beer at each.

Here's the first island.

Here’s the first island.

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Botanical Gardens in San Andrés, Colombia

January 16, 2013, San Andrés, Colombia

Our favourite attraction on San Andrés to date is the Botanical Gardens (el Jardín Botánico de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia). The garden has only been open for three years, so some of the plants are still small, and the garden itself is not huge — but the whole experience has been brilliantly designed. We opted for a guided tour. We were with a Spanish speaking group; however, the local guide moved between Spanish and English fluently; I really don’t know how he did it, quite amazing. [Also, fun for us to hear the Spanish version too — we got a free language lesson with the price of admission.]

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First Baptist Church in San Andrés, Colombia

January 16th, 2013, San Andrés, Colombia

Having grown up in a Baptist church and having been all over as a tourist visiting churches of other denominations that are of historical interest — I was quite taken with, for once in my life, visiting a Baptist church that is a historically significant tourist attraction.

Baptists aren’t flashy people — they don’t put gold or statues in their churches. Stained glass, if present, is more often coloured glass than imagery. No surprise that Baptist churches aren’t tourist destinations.

However, the First Baptist Church in San Andrés is worth a visit. It is the oldest church in San Andrés, architecturally interesting and provides a wonderful view of the island.

It looks like a structure from New England.

First Baptist Church founded in 1844.

First Baptist Church founded in 1844. Yes, we’re still in Colombia.

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