ON TOP OF THE WORLD IN A MAGIC PLACE
Sometimes when you're traveling you come to a place where you could unpack your bags and stay forever. Santa Barbara, Colombia was one such place for me. I traveled to this amazing town after visiting Medellin for a few days. It was a random choice. A bus was pulling out of the bus station to a location just 'an hour from here,' they said, so I jumped aboard. You can do things like that when you're traveling alone. Decisions made in an instant can change your destiny.
Santa Barbara was special for me, not only because the people were amongst the friendliest I'd ever met, but the view from atop the Andes Mountains was spectacular. And so much fun! In these pictures, I'm standing on a road going through town and a bird flew into the picture at the last moment.
There was a huge parade one night with all the children from the local school taking part. The kids in Santa Barbara were adorable.
Here's Alba the dog whisperer on the right, and her sister Nuli. I went to their bakery every morning for breakfast and coffee and to practice my lousy Spanish. They were so much fun. Alba took in all the neighborhood stray dogs and when I went for a walk with her, she had about 20 dogs with her, all of them hers.
Another friend for life - Gustavo. Photographer, woodworker, English teacher and local gadfly, he gave me as a gift the most beautiful photographs he had previously taken of Sta Barbara. He helped me with Spanish, I helped him with English, and he introduced me to some fascinating people.
There's a spinner in every town and every time this fellow saw me he would laugh and pretend to snap a picture. He followed me sometimes. I discovered later that he was in this picture too, below, giving me the thumbs up. The building with the red flag (which hides the hotel sign) is where I stayed, The Palomares. You can see how the clouds roll through the streets because of the high elevation.
Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness. – Ray Bradbury