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Life on a Year Abroad

Darcey Stickley is a Spanish & Politics student currently on her year abroad. Between talking too fast and being late to everything, she enjoys reading, listening to the Off Menu podcast and reminding everyone that Cambridge is better than Oxford, especially when it comes to rowing. Darcey’s back to share her most recent adventures from abroad and promises us she’s still working hard.

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Hola!

I’m back with a second instalment of my sunny (and sunburnt) Colombian life. This month kicked off my travels around the country.

First stop was Barranquilla for the second best carnival in Latin America and my word did they show out. The place was full of colour, music and rum, alongside some curious carnival traditions. One of them, for example, was spraying silly foam, which smelled quite strongly of sweet antibacterial soap. To counteract this, the other popular thing to do is throw cornflour in people’s faces, which is all fun and games until it gets in your eye and suddenly you only have makeup on half of your face. 

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Second stop was Santa Marta, a sleepy town about four hours east of Cartagena. With cobbled streets and colourful buildings, the only two things that made it marginally different from Cartagena were the reduced number of tourists and the popularity of vegetarian food (something that is sadly lacking in my current place of residence). While there, we visited a pueblito (small town) called Taganga, which was beautiful even during the journey – after 15 minutes in a city bus, you go up the mountains and turn the corner to a stunning bay of the Caribbean coast. We found a small beach there, had corn on the cob and freshly caught salmon then began the journey home to our own beach town. 

Within Cartagena itself, I’ve been visiting more beaches, as well – I recently went to Marbella, which doesn’t really resemble the Marbs we know from Spain but is a nice, central beach nonetheless. Aside from that, one lazy Sunday was spent at Agua Azul, an island about an hour away from the city which is worth it just for the natural picturesque quality of it. Lastly, and non-beach related is Zoco Sarongo – a loud, dancey, sweaty affair in the bustling market Bazurto. I haven’t experienced that much sweat in a while but for the company and for the atmosphere it was very worth it. 

I promise I’m working too guys – but thought I’d give you the highlights to make you jealous first. Nos vemos xo 

Hola

Vuelvo con un segundo informe de mi caliente (y quemada) vida en Colombia. Entonces, este mes empezaron mis viajes por el país.

La primera parada fue Barranquilla, para el segundo carnaval más grande en Latinoamérica y madre mía qué espectáculo. El lugar estaba lleno de color, música, y ron, junto a algunas tradiciones curiosas. Una de estas, por ejemplo, era la espuma, que olía a jabón antibacterial dulce. Para combatir este, la otra cosa popular para hacer es echar maizena en las caras de tus amigos, que por cierto es muy divertido hasta que se te pone en el ojo y te quedas sin maquillaje en la cara.

La segunda parada fue Santa Marta, una tranquila ciudad colonial casi 4 horas de distancia de Cartagena. Con las calles empedradas y los edificios colorados, las únicas cosas que diferencian la ciudad en frente a Cartagena era el número bajo de turistas y la popularidad de comida vegetariana (algo que tristemente todavía falta en mi lugar de residencia actual). Mientras que estábamos allí, visitamos un pueblito llamado Taganga, que era hermoso aun desde el viaje – después de 15 minutos en bus, se sube por la montaña, giras en la esquina y llegas a una costa caribe extraordinaria. Encontramos una playa pequeña allí, comimos maíz y salmón fresco antes de empezar el camino de regreso a nuestra propia ciudad costal.

Entre Cartagena mismo, estoy visitando otras playas, tambien – recien fui a Marbella, que no parece el Marbs que conocemos de España, sin embargo, es una playa linda y central. Aparte, pasé un domingo perezoso en Agua Azul, una isla a una hora de distancia  que valía la pena para su belleza natural. Al final, y que no tiene relevancia a las playas, fui al ZocoSorongo – un evento ruidoso y caluroso, de baile en el mercado abarrotado de Bazurto. No había experimentado tanto sudor hace un rato pero para la compañía y para el ambiente, valió la pena.

Prometo que estoy trabajando también chicos – pero pensé en darles un resumen de las partes más destacadas para hacerles celos. Nos vemos xo

Spanish translation (edited by Wendy Ospino)

Darcey Stickley

Darcey Stickley is a final year Spanish & Politics student and Editor-in-Chief for 2020/1.

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