#Skyporn or the crazy camera woman on the plane

Last week we took a tiny little plane from the airport in the middle of Medellin to take us to the west, the rainforest by the Pacific coast. I know you are probably here while you procrastinate, reading rubbish until you decide to actually do what you have to do, but hey, what if you learn something new today? You’d be able to sound smart next time you’re having a conversation with travelers, so why not:

Colombian is, as many other countries, home of the Andes, the longest continental mountain range in the world. It comes all the way from the south of the continent, up to the south of Colombia where it splits in three and runs throughout the rest of the country. The branch located on the west is the responsible for making the Pacific coast, one of the wettest places on earth, and the reason is simple: Humidity is pushed from the ocean to inside the continent, but the mountains won’t let them get in, and it stays there and rains like heck.

All this story, just to say that the flight in that tiny little plane was one of the most beautiful flights i have had in my life. Even though it scared the shit out of me, because turbulence was horrific, the view from the plane was awesome. So I decided to create for you a little #Skyporn on WordPress.

12008482_10154136967506490_477048235_o
Mountains, mountains, mountains
12037850_10154136966851490_1254612791_o
A river cutting through the mountains
12022210_10154138343436490_599387924_o
Another river
12020750_10154138341406490_1816354569_o
A little village by the river
12025693_10154136966621490_727718966_o (1)
A town at the top of a mountain
12043567_10154138341201490_1290961835_o
If you ever wondered what a jungle looks like from a plane
11990057_10154138340541490_822422680_o
Finally the sea!
12008426_10154138340311490_543171560_o
That tiny island
12016142_10154138339951490_291041422_o
The coast in front
12020695_10154138339881490_114685250_o
The town: Bahia Solano
One word for our plane: tiny
One word for our plane: tiny
12037761_10154136972161490_110309431_o
And on the way back after holidays, Bahia Solano with low tide
12041048_10154138342256490_6729767_o
The Atrato river and a lake that looks like from outer space
12008330_10154136970031490_1277618330_o
I want to be a cloud!
12043606_10154136963726490_1949244262_o
Medellin from the west
12005898_10154136962506490_1489497067_o
The city centre
This is what happens when you fall asleep :P
The deepest sleep in the world: The plane is about to crash with heavy  turbulence, I’m almost having a stroke, and he’s dreaming with sheep. Vince, you deserve this 😛

A trip to the Pacific: The bad and the ugly

Like the movie, every single journey has ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ otherwise it would be unexciting and dull. So in this story we had the little red crabs, the wild toucans, the whales swimming near to us, the dreamy beaches: The good….I mean, the great! And for the rest:

We knew that we were travelling to one the wettest places in the world but we weren’t prepared for The Bad. After the second day on our holiday, Vincenzo thought it was a great idea to dare the gods: ‘I thought it would be raining all the time but look, is not that bad, it just rained for five minutes since we arrived here’. And then it happened.

Just after a couple of hours after saying it, a hellish thunderstorm began, pissing rain from the sky like the Niagara falls, while we were in our bed trying to fall asleep. The sky was always lighted as there were thunders striking trees every five minutes and the rain was so heavy, that I was sure that every single living creature in the rainforest was killed immediately, even all the mosquitoes that had bitten us during the day, so as awesome as it can be to get your mosquito revenge, what’s the point of thinking about revenge WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE? Our cabin would slide with the rain and we would end up in the same place with the dead mosquitoes.

12025912_10154137976551490_2096191881_o
The beginning of a storm, from our window.

So we started praying to the gods, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Zeus, the ones from the trees and the gods from theatre to let us survive that rain that came to take us, and who would’ve thought that we would buy plane tickets to the place were we would actually die? We should have stayed in London! But it was too late for regrets so we thought, this might be the last time we hug, so we hugged and kissed, preparing for death like that old couple in Titanic, hugging in bed while the musicians played and the ship gradually sank.

We could only hear the waves breaking near us, the thunders, the rain like never before, but after a seven hours storm, like at five in the morning, it actually stopped raining. We thought, yes! bring the champagne because we want to celebrate life! and we went outside just to find the clothes we left outside to dry, completely wet, but who cares! and we saw as well the doggies from the hotel that had spent the whole night by our door protecting us, so sweet. We didn’t sleep a single minute that night but we were happy to have survived.

We then went to get some breakfast with the locals who said that storm was super mild compared to others, so apparently The pretty bad was completely normal there.

After the storm, we moved to another beach were the humpback turtles make their nests. I don’t want to get to much into details but The ugly came in this new hotel, where we shared our bedroom with a tarantula looking spider and a cockroach, both outrageously humongous, while hearing tiny little mice eating our crackers, followed by a rat that was definitely bigger than a French poodle. Yuck!

We spent few hours in that horror movie until I grew up a good pair of balls and courage to get out of my bed and went running to get some help. A guy from the staff came to the room and filled our crackers with poison while we drank a midnight beer at the bar. We came back to our room after an hour and there were no more crackers from the three packs that were left with poison. Seemed like the entire jungle came to eat our crackers because we didn’t hear a single noise after that. We managed to sleep for few hours and the next night had another one of those ‘mild storms’.

As sanity challenging as these things were, The good, the bad and the ugly, are the reasons why we will always remember these holidays.

A trip to the Pacific: The good

Vincenzo landed in Colombia a week ago after a 20 hours trip: Naples-Rome-Madrid-Bogota-Medellin, what a champ.

The last time we saw each other was almost two months ago when we said goodbye in cold London, and I was afraid I would never see him again so I added a little extra to push him to come: a trip to the Pacific.

So he landed completely exhausted, and 30 hours later we were heading to the Colombian Pacific coast, a wild jungle next to the sea, home of the most beautiful treasures of nature and of course, the biggest corruption in the country.

The airport is definitely something to remember. No pavement, just two check-in counters, cows next to the airport. What a beauty!

12022074_10154138339456490_924860080_o
View of the landing strip
12011712_10154136984781490_518444391_o
View from outside the airport and the local cabs
Spot the tourist! That's the airport VIP lunge ;)
Spot the tourist! That’s the airport VIP lunge 😉

When we arrived in Bahia Solano, there was a super laid back guy waiting for us and took us to the “port” where Julian, the owner of the hotel, was waiting for us. We then got on a boat and after something like half an hour, we got to heaven.

Life's a beach #beach#pacific#sea#colombia

A post shared by Mariana (@marianagira) on

Sunset from our room #sunset#nofilter#beach

A post shared by Mariana (@marianagira) on

A full beach just to ourselves, the doggies that watched out for us at night and some tiny little crabs.

12020506_10154138246246490_968314569_o

#crabs#beach🐚

A post shared by Mariana (@marianagira) on

These beaches were nothing like I’ve seen before, the sand in the Pacific is dark, there’s a waterfall coming from the mountain and finishing in the sea every couple of meters, the sea is also dark and its animals are huge! Hence the reason why we chose it:

The most precious moments in life. Mother and son #humpback#whale

A post shared by Mariana (@marianagira) on

The best moments of the trip have no pictures to show, toucans, birds and flying fishes were impossible to capture. How a friend says, ‘Mental shots’ were the only ones we could take, specially when we were swimming close to a whale and its baby in the Utria cove.

Posing for a picture while I spotted two whales behind us on the cove.
Posing for a picture while I spotted two whales behind us on the cove.

A trip to remember!

A month in paradise

Finally, the end of August! If you’ve been following up ze blog, then you probably know that Vince and I decided to leave London for good (or at least that was the plan originally)… So we sold our stuff, gave back the keys from the flat, packed some very heavy boxes and said goodbye to our friends and the UK. V is at the moment spending some time with his family and friends in Italy while I’m spending some time with My Family and My Friends in Colombia. Heaven.

At first I thought that this was going to be ‘it’ for our relationship. The end. Finito. Caput! But actually being away has been good for us as he doesn’t need to deal with all my usual insanity, plus the extra one of getting used to live here once again. Also, I needed a break from pasta, and instead I’m having a very healthy diet based on fried pork belly and chorizo, which are our national favourites.

It has been a month already since we’re away, but still 10 days to go, can’t wait any longer. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even remember his face any more, and feel terrified of the idea of picking him up at the airport but kissing someone else instead, like ‘Oh sorry! I thought you were Vince, is just that you have a nose and a beard and so does he…’.

Look at all this doggies they look so happy, and so am I. Love you Cesar, and also the man that dubs his voice in Spanish.
But the biggest fear of all, has something to do with the fact that he loves missing his flights, like that time that we were going to have our first trip together and he missed the flight, or that time that he didn’t wake up on time… Every time I start thinking about it I get so stressed, that I must turn on the TV and watch as many episodes as possible of Dog Whisperer because Cesar Millan is the only person in the world able to calm dogs down and at the same time, me.

Forget citronella, forget tequila. This is a stress-free gold mine. I don’t have a dog, I don’t want a dog, but I could still watch this for days. Only his fans could understand the feeling.

My city decided to get way more interesting now that my boyfriend is not here yet, and get completely normal and boring by the time he arrives. Medellin in august had 10 ten days of nonstop party in the Flower Festival, then we had the Blue’s Festival, Scenic Arts Festival, The International Festival of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Medellin and soon the big reopening of the Modern Arts Museum (MAMM) which is also my beloved neighbour. If you want to see how my city looks like, I found for you a great quality video without all those weird and excited voices of the typical promotional videos here.

This month I have spent a lot of nights dancing my ass off with my friends, have also spent some time in our house in the country, picking up avocados and lemons and drinking coffee with my grandma while listening to her favourite tangos. Celebrated my birthday gypsy-style for more than a week just because, even if I come here every year, I didn’t manage to celebrate my birthday at home in eight long years. Been by the swimming pool every day taking a healthy dose of Vitamin D and have had a lot of quality chats with mom and dad, while eating ice cream and watching the sunset. Even if it sounds all very hippie… August, you’ve been awesome!

This is dad modeling his pjs fot the pic, picking lemons

12 Things you should know before dating a Colombian girl

When you think of Colombian women, you probably imagine some sun-kissed girls in bikini dancing salsa on the beach with fruits on their heads…. Wrong! Before dating a Colombian girl, you should know this:

  1. We love dancing

And by dancing we don’t mean salsa, but pretty much ANY rhythm. Play with a pair of spoons and we will dance it off awesomely.

A beautiful work of art by my beloved Fernando Botero
A beautiful work of art by my beloved Fernando Botero
   2.   Dancing doesn’t mean anything to us

We can dance with our uncle, our friend, our neighbour, our boyfriend, our mother, our girlfriends, or someone we just met. Dancing is not reserved to our partner, because is not a proof of love, but simply plain fun, so we can do it with anyone who can dance too. Deal with it!

     3.   We are not all equal

As someone from Miami couldn’t be compared with someone from Michigan, or someone from Newcastle shouldn’t be compared with someone from Cornwall, here in Colombia we are very different too. We have mountains, jungles, forests, big cities and coasts. We dress and eat different because even the weather in our cities is different. We don’t have the same character, so don’t patronise us, we are not all like Sofia Vergara.

      4.   What is spring?

We have no clue of what a season is. Our country is located near the Equator so we pretty much have some rainy days and some sunny days and that’s basically it. Don’t ask us to understand weather moodiness, changes of wardrobe or seasonal food. We just don’t know what that is…. Also, daylight here is the same all year round, so we can tell you what time it is, just by looking at the sun. Impressive, uh?

      5.   Politeness comes first

If we don’t tell you that your dog is ugly and fat is not because we are lying, those things are just not nice to say! So we just avoid unpleasant conversations, and pass on to talk about happy stuff. If you’re with a Colombian girl get used to say hello to everyone that crosses your path, like lifts, waiting areas or anywhere, that’s what politeness is all about…

      6.    Don’t ever give papaya.

Papaya as a fruit is a great gift, but ‘to give papaya’ in Colombia means to give someone an advantage over you, and remember if you give it, it will be taken!

7.    We have ‘Indigenous Malice’

Indigenous malice sounds really bad, but is how our grandparents used to call the awareness and smartness that they taught us, to be clever like our indigenous ancestors.

  8.    Many that you can’t even name

We love fruits, and we have thousands of them, thousands that you haven’t even heard of, like curuba, mamoncillo, tamarindo, zapote, guanábana, corozo, lulo among others, that you could try in ice cold juice but only if our mother likes you 😉

That's me holding a small guanabana, yum!
That’s me holding a small guanabana, yum!
   
     
      9.    And by the way…

Mothers are very important for us, actually our entire family. They thought us our values and love us unconditionally, so they have a very special place in our lives. Now, when we ask you to come and meet our family, be aware that family doesn’t only mean our parents, brothers and sisters, but also our grandparents, uncles, aunts and their uncles and aunts too, also our cousins and their kids, so you will end up meeting nothing less than 30 people, but don’t worry! they’ll  treat you like a lifelong friend….

     10.   Cold hands, warm heart

 If we come from a warm place, we can get to feel cold easily, but we use this saying to express that even if cold, we have a warm heart. We love sweet words, hugging and kissing. So our partner should be very loving and caring, otherwise you will be easily replaced by someone who really is.

11.   Lone rangers

Of course we love to be in a relationship and sharing time with others, but we ain’t going to die if we’re alone. We are independent women, we can cook, work, make money and fix our stuff at home, sure would be good to get some help, but things are going to get done anyhow.

A woman from Botero, love it!
A woman from Botero, love it!
12.   You can’t have it all

Colombian women are usually beautiful but short, but one thing makes up for the other… I guess.

And last but not least, is COLOMBIA, not Columbia!

‘You are seriously getting older’

Before living with my boyfriend, I had a lot of fun living with some friends, all of us were women, all of us crazier than a two-peckered billy goat, all of them older than me; so I remember like yesterday what they used to say on their birthdays when they were reaching the last years of their twenties.

– ‘I will start a diet and I will succeed this time!’

– ‘I will start exercising everyday so by the time I turn 30 I’ll look like Naomi Campbell’

– ‘No more junk food for me!’

– ‘I think it’s time to start using that expensive anti-ageing face cream that we saw at the mall…’

– ‘I’m too old for this crap. I’m going to quit my job and do something that I love… like painting…’

All of them said the same, no change ever really happened…

Last week it was my turn to hit one of those last birthdays before my thirties. It was my time to get depressed about my present, but optimistic about my future; and time for all those things that I should start doing now so I can consider myself a successful woman by the time I leave my beloved twenties, and the only way to get inspired, was by remembering my awesome friends and our usual talks, which were, when we weren’t trying to create new political, economical, fashion, social and educational policies or debate with history’s worse dictators and change the world from our kitchen, our talks were just about us and the things that confused us. So for my friends, those things were usually like:

‘How on God’s name did that ugly bitch get a loving boyfriend and I’m still single?’

‘How did I manage to eat everything I had in my fridge, I don’t fit into my clothes any more!’

‘OMG, look at my friends on Facebook, looks like I am the only one who isn’t married yet or pregnant’

‘I can’t earn this kind of money at work, I’m almost thirty! Bartenders earn more than I do’

‘Men are jerks. Screw them all!’

So after remembering these melodies and finding a fountain of inspiration for my new personal year’s resolutions I decided to evaluate my life.

First of all I don’t have a job. I don’t own a house..or a home. The best material stuff that I own, are my passport, my hair straightener, a Jew’s harp and my violin. At the moment I’m living in my mother’s place. I’m not married, or a mother. I’m not rich, or incredibly fit. I suck at sports and at singing. I fall asleep during movies. Most of my books are second hand. I don’t own a Mac, or a car or a tv.

If you have at least one of the above, you can feel happy and consider yourself a champ! If you have non of those things, like me, keep on reading…

I might not have any of those things, but I am really really happy, because my happiness doesn’t depend on those things (otherwise I would’ve shoot myself long time ago).

999479_10152332900821490_1412053083_n

I don’t have a job because I quit mine to go on a long holiday. I am living in my mother’s place because I am happy to stay with her while I’m visiting my country. I don’t have anything material except for passport and musical instruments, because I am moving to a different country and I don’t want to travel with heavy luggage. I don’t watch tv, I love driving but hate traffic, and the Mac? well, I own a ThinkPad.

I’m not married, or a mother because I chose not to be so, yet. I’m not incredibly fit because I love eating crap and believe it or not, laziness and yoga won’t make you a supermodel. Most of my books are second hand because I love recycling and it makes me feel like I’m contributing somehow to decrease the world’s level of rubbish and preventing those beautiful sea-turtles from getting stuck in it.

I’m not rich but I have travelled a lot and I’m lucky, very lucky. I have very good friends in a lot of cities around the world, and almost in every continent. I have a very loving family. I’m healthy and even if I can’t play sports or sing, I can dance off the whole night. I have the most amazing (and sometimes annoying) boyfriend in the world. And I am basically everything that I wanted to be because I’m young in my ways, and have curly hair and I’m incredibly happy!

To be honest I actually do feel older…too old for crap 😉 so I won’t stand things, places or people that I don’t like, and getting older made me understand that there’s no time to loose because there’s too many things left to be done, and I just don’t want to waste my time, but to spend it doing the things I love.

After meditating and finding these beautiful answers for my life, I still couldn’t fight the desire to get super hot and fit before I turn 30, so I went running to the swimming pool in order to swim 50 miles in one hour, but ended up playing with the bubbles and pretending to be a mermaid…

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tom Hanks or travelling to Colombia

Thanks to a great travel agency I had my flight London-Madrid before midnight and a twelve-hours stop in Barajas, pff! But I must say that it wasn’t that bad: big shout out to Sleeping in Airports! Thanks to these awesome guys I had a great six hours sleep in Terminal 4 followed by a walk through the airport and some shopping, basically like Tom Hanks in a shorter version of The Terminal but with a valid passport, followed by a 10.5 hours flight over the Atlantic ocean.

How to sleep in an airport as a VIP #airport#night

A post shared by Mariana (@marianagira) on


I love airports and planes and flying, a lot, almost in a very freaky way, but I had watched Castaway with Tom Hanks a week before and just before I boarded the plane, my heart started pumping inside my mouth and I couldn’t breath any more. ‘What if the plane crashed down in open sea? what if I survived in a deserted island and no one ever found me? I should have learned to make fire out of wood…They should have taught me this in school, now I am going to die… Wilson!.

Remember this scene? where Tom Hanks figures out how to make fire. Bloody hilarious!!

Believe it or not this post is not about Tom Hanks, but his characters sure now how I felt that day!

Now, truth be told, there were more chances of me dying from a blood cloth in my legs than a plane crash, so I stretched every few hours and poured myself some wine until I saw those sexy ass mountains that let us know we had arrived home.

Then the sniffing cute little doggies, the bad ass security, my parents, the flowers, the joy of finally putting all my four bags in the car and driving to my place. London is over baby, no more tube strikes or driving on the left side: I will be waking up to the sound of wild parrots, drinking the best coffee in the world in the morning and will be drinking Aguardiente in the streets with my friends at night, and would even wear a poncho if it wasn’t so incredibly warm in here.

It’s good to be home!