Tag Archives: colombia

Rest in Peace, my dear Sandra

Sandra Maria Martinez Vasquez, of Medellin, Colombia
Sandra Maria Martinez Vasquez, of Medellin, Colombia

Those who are close to me will recognize this lovely lady as a very special person in my life who had an enormous influence on me in many ways. Her name is Sandra María Martínez Vasquez from Medellín, Colombia and she taught me what true and lasting love is and feels like. I would like to share my memory with you, as a tribute to her. Continue reading Rest in Peace, my dear Sandra

Feria Artesanal y Cultural del Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia

Colombian arts, crafts and souvenirs on sale at the 63 Feria Artesenal y Cultural del Caribe. A row of vendors’ stalls in the background at left.

Overview: The 63 Feria Artesanal y Cultural del Caribe (translation: The 63rd Caribbean Craft and Cultural Fair) in Cartagena is a great place to go for foreigners and Colombians looking for traditional and apparently authentic Colombian arts and crafts. You’ll also find plenty of souvenirs or gifts with a distinctly local flavour: toys, sweets, authentic Colombian-style hats, knick-knacks, leatherware, pottery, clothing, sculptures, paintings, and musical instruments. Be ready to haggle and don’t buy the first item you see: most items are sold by multiple vendors. We found one item at nearly half of what another vendor was selling it for.

Theatre and music: The fair also includes folklore music (Festival Folklorico) and popular theatre (Teatro Popular). There is a large stage set up at the back of the venue, presumably for music and drama productions. Neither of these appeared to be underway during our visit.

How much: You’ll pay COP 2,000 per person to enter. Typical Colombian fast food is sold inside: arepas al carbon con todo, perros calientes, salchipapas, pizza, etc. Prices are reasonable.

When: The 63rd edition was held this year from June 30th to July 31st. From what I understand its held twice a year, and will be back again in January during the peak tourist season.

Getting there: You’ll find it in the Chambacú sector, on the right side of Avenida Pedro de Heredia as you’re heading past the old fortress of Castillo San Felipe on your way into “Centro”. From the entrance to the Feria, you can see the huge new shopping centre “Mall Plaza El Castillo“. Check out the map made available on Quedesparche.com (a Colombian entertainment website similar to “What’s On”) – note that the price listed there is incorrect.

Special note: Its hard to know if all the arts and crafts sold at this fair are “authentic”. In this article I read online, some Colombian-style hats are made in China these days and sold at low prices, undercutting traditional hat-makers. In addition it erodes confidence in the market since unscrupulous vendors may claim they are made locally. According to the article, at least one vendor has gone to lengths to convince her customers that she is by showing them what a fake hat looks like. As for the quasi-governmental organisation Artisans of Colombia, it defines a craft as not made through a standardised or mechanised process, but by a craftsman or artisan using a special skill or knowledge.

Got a sweet tooth? This vendor sells all sorts of sweets and snacks.

The thoughts I had when a scary plane ride got me thinking about my own death.

Ever since that crazy plane ride into Bogota a few weeks ago, I’ve been contemplating the prospect of death at an early age. The thought that keeps coming to my head is wow, if I died tomorrow, I would feel like I have no regrets, few wasted moments, so many beautiful adventures, much love and happiness, and have learned so much about people and the planet we live on, what scares me, what drives me. But most of all, that there is so much I have left to experience and I am going to drink life as if its a glass of fine wine and the bottle never goes empty. DRUNK on life! Have a great day friends!

Re-launching ryanrowe.com


As you have probably noticed, this site is undergoing some renovations. I’m tweaking it in preparation for my motorcycle backpacking trip through Mexico and Central America later this year, during which I want to share photos and stories from my travels. I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands lately, as the weather has been horrible here – rain, and cold wind in the middle of may! In fact, they forecasted snow only a week ago! I cannot wait to leave for Colombia, only three months to go.

For a holiday (Victoria Day), today was relatively sedate and uneventful. I spent most of my time working on the computer, doing laundry, and organizing my personal things for my upcoming move. I showed my apartment to two people today. I am hoping I will be able to sublet or transfer my lease as soon as possible. If you’re interested in an apartment in downtown Montreal, click here to see a description of it. I’d like to vacate as soon as possible to save as much money as possible before my trip starts!

OK, it’s getting late; I gotta hit the hay, catch ya later dudes!