By Teresa Thuy

COLOMBIA 2014: DAY 3 – Las Playas del Carmen

COLOMBIA 2014: DAY 3 – Las Playas del Carmen

Sigh. Waking up in Colombia felt like a dream. Less than three weeks have passed, and I still wish I was hugging all of my smiling Caleños. I am glad I took many photos to remember this beautiful trip!

12.29. colombiaHuevos de codorniz, or quail eggs, are commonly eaten for breakfast in Colombia, which excited me, since they are an Asian delicacy! They are hard boiled and eaten several at a time. They taste like chicken eggs, but are much smaller. To get the same amount of protein found in one chicken egg, you have to eat a few of the quail eggs. No problem! Of course, a small cup of coffee completed breakfast (haha, friends know it isn’t mine.)

1 quail egg = 1.2 g. of protein vs. 1 chicken egg = 6 g. of protein 12.29. colombia28

Beneath the spiny exterior of the guanábana, or soursop, is a messy but slightly sweet and sour fruit! I peeled apart little pods of white fruit from the slimy interior. Each pod contained a black inedible seed. Since I was one of few that enjoyed guanábana, Mauricio’s mom put the rest into a blender to make a shake. So good and so good for you! It has been known to have cancer-fighting properties.

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Check out our spread for breakfast! My sister, Diana, is cutting the pan con queso, or bread with goat cheese. To the right are tamales that were made by Mauricio’s aunt. Rice, pork, chicken, potatoes, peas, eggs, and carrots are wrapped and cooked in plantain leaves. This retained the moisture of the food and kept the chicken so moist! The egg mixture on the bottom is perico, which is scrambled eggs with chopped tomatoes and onions. All so savory!12.29. colombia9

It is time to make our way to Las Playas del Carmen!12.29. colombia10We drove 25 minutes to our destination. We spent this gorgeous day frolicking on an open field and in a pool that was sourced from a river.

12.29. colombia29Posing on an island with my closest friends: Loc, Diana, and Mauricio

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Island time: Diana and I in the front, and cousin Juan David, Christina, Soo, Mauricio’s dad, and uncle in the back!12.29. colombia11   The lovely and most hospitable hosts – Josias y Ana — Thank you for everything!
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The water was freezing. That little nook beneath the waterfall was where I hid to enter and then escape the cold.

12.29. colombia13The squad (plus Tío Misael)! This trip would not have been the same without them.

12.29. colombia151The Human Flag –  a person holds a horizontal plank position on a vertical pole. We watched in awe, while Mauricio achieved the task. Diana shook her head in amazement.
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Everyone was quite impressed at my upper body and core strength. I know my attempts at a Human Flag were pretty astonishing. 12.29. colombia17The White Bird of Paradise tree can grow to enormous heights with the bottom fanning and branching many leaves.

12.29. colombia181The highlight of my day: Cousin Juan David, Mauricio, Christian, Tío Misael, and I played barefoot 5 vs. 5 soccer on a mountain with the locals! Within seconds, I scored a “gooooooal”! After a while, I experienced shortness of breath, while running in the high altitudes. That did not stop us. We were leading 5-0, then lost 6-7. (Maybe it did stop us.) My team was so awesome! You should have seen Tío Misael weaving through our opponents and kicking goals. This was so. Much. FUN!!

12.29. colombia19Fútbol field — The goalposts were made of wood.

12.29. colombia20 I did not want to leave, but we were all starving and parched.

Top – AE Chambray Shirt Target Chambray Shirt / Shorts – A & F High Rise Lace Shorts On sale for $15! / Hat – Bought in Colombia for 15,000 pesos, or roughly $7.12.29. colombia21

A row of Birds of Paradise flowers! They represent joyfulness and paradise. How fitting!

12.29. colombia22 Road to El Saladito12.29. colombia23

We stopped to eat at El 18. 12.29. colombia24In the afternoon, a fog lowered onto the city. 
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Love the fresh, fruit juice in Colombia! I drank the sweet jugo de mango, or mango juice, in one big gulp. It is made by blending the mango fruit with water.12.29. colombia26

The national dish of Colombia is bandeja paisa, or paisa platter. I have had this in Florida, and it does not compare. I almost finished the entire plate of steak, chorizo, pork belly, fried eggs with ground beef beneath it, sweet plantain, avocado, an arepa, rice, and beans. Whew! I needed it all, after a day of swimming and soccer!

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 My sister had the sancocho de gallina, or chicken and vegetable soup, with potatoes and yucca.

I reveled in playing barefoot at Las Playas del Carmen with the plush grass beneath my feet and in eating authentic Colombian food with my “family”.

Next week, I will share our dangerous climb to a much larger waterfall and close-up of Cristo Rey on Day 4!

Thank you so much for reading. 🙂 I truly appreciate it!!


Teresa Thuy

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