Monday, March 01, 2010

Nicknames for Tamara

Colombians are very friendly and love to call each other, and us, little nicknames - like cutie or honey. The old lady selling bananas, the gruff man on the street, the dangerously talkative minibus driver, 16-year old military men, street cleaners... all had a pet name for Tamara (although Paul got a few too.) Our favorites:

Mi Amor (my love)
Mi Vida (my life)
Mi Reina (my queen)
Mi Corazon (my heart)
Dona (as in respected, not donut)
Mami, mamita, mamisita
Muneca (doll)

Paul only got the occasional amigo, maybe an amiguito, and once a jeffe.

Palomino -- love at the dove

Palomino, meaning dove, was indeed peaceful. Relaxing and nurturing each other for a week as we prepare to leave the coast was perfect. The beach stretched kilometers in both directions, broken only by surreal shorebreaks of gigantic tires. 20 minutes up the beach the River Palomino pours in to the Caribbean down a valley bordered by a steep and lush mountain ridge. On clear mornings we could even see the snow-capped peak of the Sierra Nevada!

Palomino doesn't see a lot of tourists. Besides two places with camping and hammocks, all of the beachfront was occupied by private fincas growing coconut palms. Of course, we spoke with the caretaker of one palm farm and arranged to stay in the owner's deluxe cabin. Built of thatched roof but with all the luxuries like indoor plumbing, electricity, fan, mosquito net, toilet seat, and... satellite tv. We slept exorbitantly in our huge bed. We lounged in hammocks watching the changing moods of the ocean and the fisherman arrive in ancient-looking canoes of thick wood with their haul of giant manta rays, which they cleaned gruesomely on the beach with machetes. We swam and did handstands on the beach. And we walked.