Ultimate relaxation here on Olâ€™ Providence or La Isla Providencia. Itâ€™s super tranquilo, no big hotels, just small cabin-like places built in the style of architecture of island homes. The homes and cabins are wooden two-storey or bungalow structures painted in bright colours, like the one we stayed in called Sol Caribe.Â As Jennifer, our host, explains, “the island itself is the 5 star.” They donâ€™t have big resorts or expansive 5 star hotels because they want the island to remain in as much of its natural state and local style as possible.
As we did in San Andres, we took a tour of the island to see some of the cultural and historical sites, like the first church, school, etc. I think sometimes locals must think tourists are crazy for taking pictures of things like an old school made out of wood, but to us these things are just so different itâ€™s really fascinating. Inside the school there were two signs that touched my heart. One said, â€œWe make studying a partyâ€ and the other said, â€œWe bring our backpacks filled with love, creativity, discipline, responsibility and respect.â€
In tropical countries, you never know what you will see on the road. In Cambodia I saw oxcarts, in Indonesia whole families on scooters (this is pretty common in a lot of places, including Colombia, but it was in Indonesia that I saw a little naked maybe 2-year-old boy standing up on the front of the scooter holding the handlebars!). Here we got to see a young boy on his way home from fishing taking his catch on his bike. Nothing like fresh fish! Then we were stopped on the road by a herd of cows and the herder, on motorbike was directing them up the road waving a branch.Â Thereâ€™s something to be said for simplicity in this worldâ€¦
Another thing I love about the tropics is the fresh fruit and natural bounty surrounding you at all times. Have you ever seen almonds in their natural form, growing from trees?Â Our lovely Providencian friend, Jennifer, found some for us and broke open the fruit to reveal the nut inside â€“ a fresh raw almond.
Our days on Providencia included amazing meals at Miss Maryâ€™s and Caribbeanâ€™s Place.Â The small restaurants serve up fresh fish, crab and lobster served beautifully presented with fresh blended juices or wine if you prefer. The food has been SOO good the whole time, we’ve all been really satisfied and stuffed full!
Maybe the best part for me, being a huge reggae fan, was going to Richardâ€™s place and watching the sun go down over the sea and grooving to some nice tunes while chatting with Richard himself. Alfonso, the friendly Rasta pictured below made us drinks and we swapped stories about Jamaica, where of course the culture of this island has its roots. An unforgettable place.