2x4 Tour


Taking a detour from our hikes and snorkels on Providencia, we finally rented a "mule" (glorified golf-cart) with Dave & Britta to tour farther afield.  There is one primary road that encircles this island of approximately 2x4 miles and 4500 residents.  Not very big, but we are used to traveling slowly.  Getting more of a flavor of the place, we appreciated the laid-back way of life of this Columbian island, floating off of the coast of Nicaragua in the middle of the Western Caribbean.









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We were outnumbered by scooters on our trip and occasionally by a roaming group of cattle.  The cows weren't the only road-blocks we encountered.  



There are Columbian soldiers dotted around the island, a bit more out of place here than in downtown Cartagena, and one of their drills was a road-block search ~ men only.  



Polite as they could be, it seemed a simple drill on a tour-of-duty for young soldiers, since Providencia is very unspoiled, peaceful and crime-free.  








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Our first stop was at Betito's Place to see his eclectic Inn with remarkable views over the barrier reef.  



Recognizable with dark curly hair and a full white beard, we'd previously seen Betito on his boat when we were out snorkeling.  On this day, we met him on down the road with his big smile and personality.  



I instantly fell in love with his daughter's little puppy with pink toenails.


















We reached the beautiful southern beaches just in time to watch a running of the horses on Manchineel beach outside of Roland's Rasta bar, whom we met a few days ago in a grocery store.  



A new form of surfing ~ 

we contemplated whether our kite-boarding friends would want to take this sport up and just how one might do that while cruising?! 



 ... cue Lyle Lovett "if I had a pony, I'd ride him on my boat".

















Then we hit South West beach for the famous mixed-platter lunch.  



A two-person tray of seafood, different every time, we ate 2 whole fried fish, 1/2 lobster, reef crab claw, centered with conch in garlic butter sauce (to die for!) with rice and fried plantains.  



It was a fantastic feast.  Perhaps even more mouth-watering was peaking into the hut to watch the lobsters & conch cooking.













Something that stood out during our stay in Providencia was the presence of creativity and artwork everywhere.   We'd first noticed this in the signage on our el pico hike.  Not only did we come across artisans of unique talent, colorful art pervaded every aspect of Providencia life from homes, benches, bus-stops and churches.  A proud celebration of a special way of life, even their political sentiments were painted on the town walls:  "Old Providence not 'Oil' Providence", a statement against the recent threat of oil drilling on their lands.


















© M&M 2019