A giant tortoise in Barrancabermeja, the Petroleum City

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July 30th 2013
Published: November 26th 2013
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Hi, this will be a very small entry of a visit to Barrancabermeja, a city in Santander, which seems more of a coastal resort. vallenato a la lata

On the Magdalena River

The petroleum city, which is the second biggest city in the department is located at 120 kilometres from Bucaramanga. Barrranca is better known for being the largest refinery of oil in our country. Not a place to go sightseeing, well, at least, I don´t think anybody would go there for that mere goal, they do it for work-related reasons; what´s more, there is not much to see, really. I have heard that some people do some water sports but outside the city.

In fact, I went there to do some oral exams.

Yes, given the boom of petroleum in Barrancabermeja, lots of people have migrated into the city, specially engineers and technicians who are paid quite well; in fact, it is very convenient to get a job at Ecopetrol as the perks and salaries are much better than average, to say the least. They can afford paying bilingual schools for their children. Now, the school we went to is preparing to take the international exams, which makes me happy.

As a result, there was some work for us and a 2-hour cab took us there to do some oral kets and invigilate the written exams.

Bloody hot...

The thing I remember the most about the city was that it was bloody hot, oh, thanks God that the Vizcaya hotel, where we stayed, had very good air conditioning or else, I would´ve literally died. I remember being thirsty the whole day.

Vallenato everywhere

During the evening, the city is noisy and you see lots of people on the streets drinking beer and eating out. That´s what I liked about the city, it seems as it the isolated and empty village dresses up for a party at night. In fact, given the happiness of the people and their way they speak and behave, you sometimes feel that you are on the coast, the only thing missing is the sea.

As for the music they listen to, they couldn´t be more influenced by the Caribe; seriously, there was not any
It reminds me of the coastIt reminds me of the coastIt reminds me of the coast

In fact, vallenato, quietness and fish, I though I was at a Caribean resort.
dancing place where vallenato rhythms were not on offer. be it the old vallenato like Binomio de Oro, Diomedes Diaz or the latest ones like Silvester Dangond; I think La Gringa was played like 4,356 lines.

We sat down with Tom and Liz at a drinking place, had some beers and listen to the lovely sounds of music. Actually, it was a good chance for us to relax after the orals. This night out was followed by some good pasta and then naps and more naps.

Although I didn´t have time to do some of the bit of sightseeing available, here are some of the sites that people normally like visiting.

Places to visit

The Petroleum Christ

A sight which is very popular among visitors to the city, it is a metal image located in the Miramar swamp

The Petroleum Museum

Well, if you are interested in refineries, they explain the whole process of petroleum extraction.

Paseo Yumas

The Pier

A nice promenade while contemplating the tranquility of the Magdalena River

What to eat

There are a couple of good restaurants and as you are surrounded by a river, the canoers are always there on time bringing lots of fish to be sold; as a result, you can have fish for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.

Additional photos below
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