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Barranquilla Carnival

COLOMBIA | Wednesday, 9 March 2011 | Views [2817] | Comments [1]

The carnival has been amazing...four days of crazy Colombian mayhem.  I have been very fortunate to have spent it staying at a real Colombian family´s house (thanks Ruiz family)and with hang out with Colombians and a couple of very lovely German boys.

My story doesn´t start so well though, arriving in Barranquilla after a 14 hour bus ride to get ripped off by a cabbie on the way into town and be dropped at a hotel with a room that can only be described as a prison cell. I nearly left straight off to be honest, but felt I should take a deep breath and see how it went. I showered, went for a brief walk to pick up some cheap tropical fruit from the street (watermelon, ready cut for me and costing 50p if you would like to know) before promptly messaging my contact here (thanks Rodrigo, again!) and resting by the pool, the only saving grace of the hotel.  I started to chat to Marius and Daniel who became good friends over the next few days.  They´d come on a whim and didn´t know anyone, I knew someone but wanted traveller companions as I knew my friend here didn´t actually want to do the carnival bit.  So we joined forces. I heard from Diana my contact and friend...and we then went on a wild goose chase before meeting up 4 hours later than excepted...god bless Colombia, directions, Spanish speakers, non-spanish speakers and everyone else inbetween.

After finally hooking up we all went to a local festival in prep for the main carnival activities (the whole town comes to light at carnival with many activites going on arond the town and lots of parties.  We ate local street food called Papa Rellena (stuffed potato with meat etc in) and drank the local beer whilst sampling the local spirit consumed by the gallon at the carnival ÁguaDiente (translated as Burning Water).  There was music and lots of dancing, some were allowed to dance in a circle round the stage whilst others watched, we got involved and I realised for the first time in my life and well Latin American men can move their hips.  I was also told I couldn´t dance and was laughed at a lot by the locals, however, I picked it up fairly quickly and am now told I dance well for a European!   The partying continued into the night with another local street party. I was also told I wasn´t allowed to stay in my prison cell and had to go and stay at my friends house, which was amazing.

The following day, we got palco (theatre seat) tickets for the carnival. These tickets were for 3 days - the battle of the flowers on Saturday, the busiest and most commercial day, also the one with the most fake boobs and loud music. Strangely enough we only saw about 20 flowers.

Then the grand parade on Sunday, the traditional parade, which included traditional dress and music. 

Finally the fantasy parade on Monday, this was with amazing costumes and like Sunday was much less crowded.  My favourite day was Monday. The costumes were amazing.

Don´t forget the carnival queen either

In the evenings, Saturday we went to a concert, which was very loud so we ended up at another street party, dancing, drinks and much frivolity.  Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we were at a small street party by the house I was staying, very handy and not as many people knew about it so felt very safe.  We did go to busier parts but they weren´t as good, you didn´t feel as safe and we never stayed that long.

Tuesday was no carnival so we went to the beach and saw street acrobatics in the evening, every night was music (salsa, merenge, traditional music....) and my dancing got better by the day.  Thank you for helping me learn...

This is the bus we went on to the beach...it was amazing and played Colombian music...who can be sad on this bus? Notice the gear stick!!


I had an amazing time and can´t thank both the Germans and all the Colombian people who took me out, fed me, translated for me and generally made the Barranquilla carnival amazing!!

Tags: barranquilla carnival, colombia




You are always welcome here!
Nice review

  Isaac Mar 10, 2011 5:16 PM

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