if intetested call me @ 510 499 5909. Merci beaucoup!
if intetested call me @ 510 499 5909. Merci beaucoup!
From the moment we landed in Cartagena, the warmth of the people could be felt. Our boutique hotel was amazing and immediately we felt at home.
We had a 9am start for our tour the next morning and we were ready for PALENQUE. this is an African community about an hours drive from Cartagena. It turned out that our driver was originally from the area which made it nice as he knew just where he was going. Remember, this place is off the beaten path, not a lot of tourists even have knowledge of this place. We were welcomed into their homes as we were given the history of when former slave and freedom fighter, BENKO BOHIOS first escaped to the area.
We were entertained by a musician, Cassini, 83 yrs old who has performed all over the world, a legend for sure. We had the privilege of being in his backyard. What a delight!
Our lunch was the bomb, a leaf for a plate and our spoon was made from a tree growing in the backyard. Everything was au naturelle and our day in Palenque was truly memorable.
Our night back in Cartagena was on the Chiva Night Party Bus…..if you like unlimited rum and coke, loud live music playing as you roll through the city then you’ll love it. I had had enough and when the open air bus stopped for all to disembark and take pictures and dance, our crew remained on the damn bus, then finally hopped off in search of a taxi. Next thing we hear one of the guides, “Ladies ladies, No No, It’s too dangerous in this area, please come back”. No thank you, we will take our chances!
At any rate, overall we had a wonderful time here and I will return n November with whomever wants to join me.
This is our last night in Colombia, leaving early in the morning, heading back to San Francisco for a few days then on our way to the Land Down Under— AUSTRALIA. This, my friends has been an absolutely amazing week.
What’s new for KATTRAX? Ghana didn’t produce enough participants for November 2017 so she’s been cut and replaced with high energy Colombia, South America. When we return, we will be in CARTAGENA for their Independence Day Festival — lots of parties, parades, and related festivities. We will still have our time in CALI, the salsa capital of the world and a couple days in BOGOTA. The energy in this country is infectious. I cannot say enough good about this destination. East coasters you are so close. It’s only a short hop to Miami, then 3 to Cartagena. Excellent dining that does not break the bank and the same holds true for the nightlife and the entertainment. West coasters, after getting to Miami, an airline ticket to all 3 destinations within COLOMBIA can be in the $400 r/t range. We are holding 10 rooms only and it’s going down whether it’s 5, 10, 15 or 20.
To all those that may have missed Paris 2017 because it SOLD OUT so quickly; the dates for 2018 are in place and confirmed — APRIL 12 – 19, 2018. Just when I think no one else wants Paris, the requests come in. Hopefully, those that are interested will remain serious. Check out kattraxonline. com periodically for website updates. Always inbox me to sign up or get more information for our tours. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our flight from Cali to Bogota was a short and sweet 1 hr. I love these short flights within Colombia. Upon our arrival, we were met by the charming Victoria, who is a very very knowledgeable guide and with a great command of the English language. We loved her.
Check in at the Sofitel Victoria Regia was on point and we were all pleased with our lovely accommodations. The hotel is fabulous and the location couldn’t be better as it’s surrounded by shopping malls, restaurants and bars in the Zona Rosa district. We had dinner reservations at the famed HARRY SASSON’S. One of the reasons I wanted to return to this city. There was no doubt in my mind that my 3 travel mates would love it. It did not disappoint.
The next day was a touring day with Victoria. They covered lots of territory including the Mountain of Montserrat which at 3,152 meters above sea level dominates the city center. This is where the elevation is so high one can get very light headed but their remedy for that malady is a cup of “cocoa tea”. Believe it or not, it has a very calming effect. Once up top, one sees the sculptures of the fallen Jesus with the cross, Jesus being nailed to the cross, the black Madonna which once bore the inscription “Negra Sum Sed Formesa – in Latin: I am Black but Beautiful.
We had reservations for one of the liveliest spots in town, ANDRES DC , which is next door to Jimmy Choo, located 4 blocks from the Sofitel. There is the original, ANDRES CARNE DE RES 45 mins away in Chia but we were not trying to do all that. You really need a reservation at this place even on a week night. It’s a 5 level restaurant, bar and club — we were on earth, but there is heaven, purgatory and the inferno. It can accommodate well over 1,000 with a menu of 80 pages. The service and the food was good with the wait staff being college students. In a word, this place is WILD, high energy with lots going on; live music, dancing, confetti and you are welcome to go to the other levels to hang out.
Even though all we had here in Bogota was 2 nights, a great time was had by all. Will I return? You betcha! Today we take a short flight (1 hr) to Cartagena.
Our guide Edgar and cute Jeffrey picked us up and off to my favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in Cali. It’s at the VIEJOTECA PARDO LLADA. It’s like being at old school dances only straight salsa dancing. Do you remember when the guys would come up and ask you to dance? If you turned them down, they wouldn’t ask your azz again but not these Colombian brothers. They keep coming back. They don’t give up. Lol. It’s a laid back scene, nothing fancy, you purchase your bottles of alcohol/coke, they bring cups and buckets of ice, and they sell small plates of snacks. As you can see from the pics, I made my contribution this time but had I felt more confident with my moves I would have stayed on the dance floor. I promise you my next visit here, this sista will bring her west coast flavor to this Colombian town. I can’t wait to get back. Robbie wants Medellin so perhaps it will be Cali and Medellin. Or maybe only Cali for me. I may bypass Bogota and Cartagena altogether. We’ll see. At any rate, today at the spot was the MOST. I really cannot express in words the fun we had. Afterwards, we stopped at a Mexican joint, TOLUCA, for dinner. Tomorrow, we fly to Bogota.
This was a Kat, “need to getaway”to one of those places I love so well, like Colombia. It’s inexpensive and a mere 3 hrs from Miami. I kicked it off hanging with my girl, Robbie Bell in Miami. My time was very short in Miami but I can always find time for an extraordinarily good quick bite with my fellow foodie. She cleared her calendar so we could do lunch at Perricone’s near her office at Mary Brickell Village. Since that recent 10 day Caribbean cruise I knew I had to drop quite a few unwanted pounds so something light and healthy was what I needed. Robbie suggested their Branzino fish which is flown in from Italy. Great choice and very delicious.
After lunch, Robbie drove me to the airport just 10 minutes away. Last May when I came to Colombia it was on AVIANCA. A very nice airline and partners with United. I was feelin’ pretty good and my money was right so I opted to upgrade to Business Class and then spent a little time in their VIP Lounge before boarding. The flight to CALI was less than 4 hrs and the inflight service was great. The Immigration line was uncomfortably long but after clearing Customs and seeing the Guide holding the sign with our names, I began to feel the Colombian high energy. Soon, Diana McPherson, Brandy Washington, Angelique Hadden and myself were on our way. By now it’s almost 10pm but our welcome and check in was quick and easy. Our boutique hotel in Cali is the MOVICH CASA DEL ALFEREZ. My room was nicely appointed with beautiful furnishings and accented with a dozen long stem white roses. Nice!!! The bathroom was very spacious with a shower, jacuzzi tub and high end amenities. Just steps from our hotel was a stretch of restaurants, clubs and bars…..take your pick. It was Friday night and the party folks were out in the warm Cali night.
Saturday morning, our guide Edgar and driver, cute, young Jeffrey picked us up for a half day of city sightseeing. We hit more sights than you could shake a stick at. Of course I had seen them all before so I was content to hang with Jeffrey in the van with his wifi connection while the others did their thing. After the tour, a quick stop at the hotel then the 4 of us walked a block to MISTER WINGS for lunch. The wings were awesome with so many choices of yummy sauces. A nice first for me were the thin disposable gloves, a nice touch, no muss no fuss and less worry for me in my white.
Earlier we had already hooked up our dinner and salsa plans for the night. Our guide Edgar was off duty but agreed to pick us up in his private vehicle and escort us to Antigua Contemporanea for an over the top dinner at 930 then on to Jonas Ranch after 11p for salsa dancing. He was excited to be in our company. Our own personal English speaking escort….what favor! Jonas Ranch….talk about high energy, positive vibes, and happy people. It was almost 2am way past my bedtime when we arrived back at the hotel but en route, club after club, after club all over the town the party people were seriously out and about partying.
This day here in Cali is really Easy Like Sunday Morning. I love the hotel’s breakfast program which is included. It’s not your typical buffet breakfast. On the buffet you find your fresh fruits, cereals and juices then you order a la carts off the menu. Nice!
Today, late afternoon, with our private escort, Edgar we go to the ONLY ON SUNDAY, Salsa set with the handsome cool cats with that Colombian swag and their sexy dance partners. I wouldn’t miss it for anything. That’s the main reason for this order of the trip: CALI, BOGOTA, CARTAGENA. However, my next trip will be planned around the DELIRIO SALSA SHOW. It’s only once a month and it’s amazing.
Tomorrow: We fly 1 hr north to BOGOTA for 2 nights, Dinner at Harry Sasson’s, then party time at ANDRES DC. another night.