Santa Marta, Colombia

Our next stop on the cruise was Santa Marta, Columbia.  We arrived early Tuesday morning after traveling overnight from Cartagena.

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As we made landfall the sun was just coming up and we enjoyed a fairly nice sunrise.  Bill and I went down for breakfast, after watching the docking from the open deck above the Windjammer Restaurant on the bow, before we went ashore to explore the small city.  It is the oldest city in the Americas founded by the Spaniards.  The city has many old Spanish style buildings, but many are in need of repair although we noted much restoration work in progress as we wondered the streets of the city.

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At the port of Santa Marta our ship was tied up opposite a coal loading area. We watched trucks unloading coal, but while we were there no ship arrive to receive the coal. It was an interesting operation as the coal was dumped from the trucks by placing the truck on a ramp that tilted way up to dump the coal.

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Upon leaving the ship, we walked off the dock into the nice small city beach.  The beach is well used by the residents as it is currently summer vacation for the students.  There is also an area where fish boats were hauled up on the beach waiting for another fishing trip.

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The city has very narrow streets – as to be expected in a city developed before the automobile.

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The market flows everywhere, almost blocking one of the streets to car traffic.  In most of the Latin American cities that we have visited we see the market overflowing into the nearby streets with semi-permanent stands set up on the sidewalks.

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In the Center of the Colonial area we encountered the Church, which in colonial times had been the center of life in the city.  It had the usual plaza in front of it although it was not very large.

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Near the waterfront were two major government buildings from times past.  The white building is the old customs house and the yellow is the other government offices and is still in use today.  The old customs house currently houses a small café.

Although the ship was not scheduled to sail until 2:30PM, we returned in time for a late lunch after seeing much of the town.  Walking thru the entrance to the dock we passed thru an area of vendors stands hoping to make some last-minute sales to the tourists.  The ship was quite crowded in the afternoon as most of the passengers were onboard enjoying the pools and food.  We found a table in the shade on the pool-deck where we could people watch as we tried to read.