Off The Beaten Path

A day in the life in Palenque (pah link Kay) is an unforgettable experience. It’s a little over an hour from Cartagena but in reality; worlds apart. I had not been since before the pandemic but it was a wonderful homecoming for me. Danillo, the unofficial mayor of the village welcomed me with open arms. He speaks no English but Palenquero which is a Spanish-based Creole with traces back to Bantu and people from the Congo. Danillo has always referred to me as his sister. Little did he nor I know that my DNA is 24% Bantu. His son, Victor was a teenager when I met him struggling with English. Now he translates for his father and has an excellent command of the English language. He and a charming young lady, Sophia tag teamed in translating. They both are self taught by watching television, the internet and music. Our guide, Carlos gave us a wealth of information on the history as we were en route on the bus. He is touring there at least 8 times a month so he too is like family to Danillo.

Danillo gave a moving speech as he welcomed us. Victor and Sophia translated but we all felt it. It was riveting, it was moving and as fiery as the sugar cane rum we toasted to the ancestors that suffered for us. Danillo referred to me as an Ambassador. I am truly humbled.

We walked through the village and visited Ruberta’s place and learned about the candy she makes as well as the preparing of food.She traveled to Beijing where she won a competition over hundreds from many countries.

Another stop was at the boxing gym, They’ve had champions from Palenque. We were given an interactive demonstration. Next was the much anticipated lunch. I tell you, you’ve never had fish so good. The ladies served everyone in record time on a leaf which is similar to a banana leaf. Accompanying the fish was coconut rice & avocado salad. I’m talking about finger licking good.

Upon my return to the hotel, a bellman presented me with the most beautiful arrangement of red roses. I guess I will leave it with Carlos to give to his wife.

Dinner tonight was at the highly acclaimed CARMEN’S as the guest of Van & Harold. It was quite a culinary delight. My work is over. Another spa treatment tomorrow and then it’s home run on Monday. It’s been an extraordinary trip. I will return to Cartagena very soon and to those of you looking for a quick getaway or someplace to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, a breakup, any milestone; Cartagena is the place. I can hook it up reasonably with Carlos as your guide. Go off the beaten path to Palenque, an experience you will forever cherish. Cartagena… a mere 3 hrs from Miami.

4 thoughts on “Off The Beaten Path

  1. Que Dios te bendiga todo lo que es hermoso
    May God Bless you all that is beautiful! !🙏🏽💜

    This is fabulous
    Can feel the feels in this!
    I always say it ! You truly won’t forget this tour! Nor will any of your group members Katt!

    Blessings and prayers for the ancestors and Danilo and others who made the trip so special

    Imma have to try and replicate that fish dinner!
    Glad Cartegna is so close! Don’t know why I thought it was farther away Huuuuum Thinking!

    Be Well sis
    Travel grace and mercies be with you on your return

    Jah! Jah!

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