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January 24th 2010
Published: January 24th 2010
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Aruba is a sandy dessert island where you can rent a quadramoto and see the highlights in a day. The language spoken by locals is very, very cool--Papamiento--a hybrid of many languages, which can be easily understood by any novice. Below sample basic survival words and phrases.

Welcome: Bon Bini
Good Morning: Bon dia
Thank you: Danki
How are you?: Con ta bai
Very Good!: Hopi bon
I am fine: Mi ta bon
I or I am: mi
Have a good day: Pasa un bon dia
See you later: Te aworo
Food: cuminda:
Bread: Pan
Soda: Refresco
I love Aruba: Mi stima Aruba
On to Cartagena, the walled fortress city where one can find anything one wants, provided, of course, that one can understand the Colombians when they speak. My little Mexican Spanish didn't cut it too well, except taxi drivers have a special way of knowing what foreign tourists want. Cartagena has a wall that they tell foreigners not to breach because it's supposedly real dangerous if one dares to exceed it's boundaries. But it was not until we left the touristy walled city that we began to have fun. The girls were afraid and the hrumped back to the boat.
Southern Colombia, Ipiales and the Cathedral at Las Lajas is a must see. Las Lajas is truly "wonder of the world" material. If one sees nothing else in Colomiba, the ONE thing should be Las Lajas Cathedral. I happened to hit the pilgrimage-for-equitorianas so it made things extra nice because I had been holed up in EQ for a few months prior to venturing into southern Colombia via the land route. All fear-base advice is over-hyped. I read that you don't go near this area in Lonely Planet or one of the other fear books, but it was just as safe as could be. There were no border checkers on either side of the line--just cross through in a cab or on a bus. Colombia's government has been armed to the teeth by the US arms industry--meaning there's a uniformed teenager with an automatic weapon on EVERY corner to insure the peace.

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24th January 2010

"approach" is actually Cartagena. disculpe, es que nosotros viejitos no aguantamos muchas cambios del mundo tecnico
31st October 2010

starbucks in quito
ooops. a little late in responding. now i have been living in Guadalajara for 2 years where there are several overpriced, burnt coffee flavored starbucks joints. only the pseudo-elitist can afford their $4.00 coffee. so i agree with you that there would be ideally no Sbux in Quito. my rant is more directed against Nestles and their pervasive coffee flavored instant caffiene vending machines. one would think that a coffee producing country would offer visitor a good cup. thanks for your comment. sorry i'm late.

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