Festival del Mar, Santa Marta, Aug. 1, 2009

Hopping on a five hour bus to the beach town of Santa Marta, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into.  By sheer luck, I arrived to the biggest party in the town’s history, the Festival del Mar.  There was a rise in local sea level that day, as families arrived from all over the province to swim at the beach, gorge on street shiskabob, and dance to free live music.
Sipping onHopping on a five hour bus to the beach town of Santa Marta, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into.  By sheer luck, I arrived to the biggest party in the town’s history, the Festival del Mar.  There was a rise in local sea level that day, as families arrived from all over the province to swim at the beach, gorge on street shiskabob, and dance to free live music.
Sipping on a fresh limeade on the sidewalk in the late evening, I found myself in the right place at the right time.  The gates to the outdoor concert area opened and I was quite literally thrown into a flood of Colombians, pushing and shoving to get inside.  I ended up at the front row, with a swarm of a hundred thousand spectators behind me.  I had no clue who we were there to see, but it did not matter, for this was a true Colombian experience.  After several hours of reggaeton, comedy acts, and beauty pagents, out came the night’s main event.  He was not just a singer, but also the most famous soap opera star in Colombia.  The girls lost their control.  Their high pitch screams were reminiscent of my mom as a teenager at a Beatle’s concert.  One song in, and a female behind me literally hugged my back and cried on my shoulder.  Then el guapo threatened to tear off his tee-shirt, and the girls elevated their delirium even more.  Fearing for my life, I jogged back to my hostel at two in the morning.  I awoke at 7 the next morning and the party was still rolling.  THIS was Colombia.
a fresh limeadeHopping on a five hour bus to the beach town of Santa Marta, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into.  By sheer luck, I arrived to the biggest party in the town’s history, the Festival del Mar.  There was a rise in local sea level that day, as families arrived from all over the province to swim at the beach, gorge on street shiskabob, and dance to free live music.
Sipping on a fresh limeade on the sidewalk in the late evening, I found myself in the right place at the right time.  The gates to the outdoor concert area opened and I was quite literally thrown into a flood of Colombians, pushing and shoving to get inside.  I ended up at the front row, with a swarm of a hundred thousand spectators behind me.  I had no clue who we were there to see, but it did not matter, for this was a true Colombian experience.  After several hours of reggaeton, comedy acts, and beauty pagents, out came the night’s main event.  He was not just a singer, but also the most famous soap opera star in Colombia.  The girls lost their control.  Their high pitch screams were reminiscent of my mom as a teenager at a Beatle’s concert.  One song in, and a female behind me literally hugged my back and cried on my shoulder.  Then el guapo threatened to tear off his tee-shirt, and the girls elevated their delirium even more.  Fearing for my life, I jogged back to my hostel at two in the morning.  I awoke at 7 the next morning and the party was still rolling.  THIS was Colombia.
on theHopping on a five hour bus to the beach town of Santa Marta, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into.  By sheer luck, I arrived to the biggest party in the town’s history, the Festival del Mar.  There was a rise in local sea level that day, as families arrived from all over the province to swim at the beach, gorge on street shiskabob, and dance to free live music.
Sipping on a fresh limeade on the sidewalk in the late evening, I found myself in the right place at the right time.  The gates to the outdoor concert area opened and I was quite literally thrown into a flood of Colombians, pushing and shoving to get inside.  I ended up at the front row, with a swarm of a hundred thousand spectators behind me.  I had no clue who we were there to see, but it did not matter, for this was a true Colombian experience.  After several hours of reggaeton, comedy acts, and beauty pagents, out came the night’s main event.  He was not just a singer, but also the most famous soap opera star in Colombia.  The girls lost their control.  Their high pitch screams were reminiscent of my mom as a teenager at a Beatle’s concert.  One song in, and a female behind me literally hugged my back and cried on my shoulder.  Then el guapo threatened to tear off his tee-shirt, and the girls elevated their delirium even more.  Fearing for my life, I jogged back to my hostel at two in the morning.  I awoke at 7 the next morning and the party was still rolling.  THIS was Colombia.
The beach of Santa Marta

The beach of Santa Marta

Hopping on a five hour bus to the beach town of Santa Marta, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into.  By sheer luck, I arrived to the biggest party in the town’s history, the Festival del Mar.  There was a rise in local sea level that day, as families arrived from all over the province to swim at the beach, gorge on street shiskabob, and dance to free live music.

Sipping on a fresh limeade on the sidewalk in the late evening, I found myself in the right place at the right time.  The gates to the outdoor concert area opened and I was quite literally thrown into a flood of Colombians, pushing and shoving to get inside.  I ended up at the front row, with a swarm of a hundred thousand spectators behind me.  I had no clue who we were there to see, but it did not matter, for this was a true Colombian experience.  After several hours of reggaeton, comedy acts, and beauty pagents, out came the night’s main event.  He was not just a singer, but also the most famous soap opera star in Colombia.  The girls lost their control.  Their high pitch screams were reminiscent of my mom as a teenager at a Beatle’s concert.  One song in, and a female behind me literally hugged my back and cried on my shoulder.  Then el guapo threatened to tear off his tee-shirt, and the girls elevated their delirium even more.  Fearing for my life, I jogged back to my hostel at two in the morning.  I awoke at 7 the next morning and the party was still rolling.  Es Colombia, no?

As the sun set on Santa Marta, the party was heating up.

As the sun set on Santa Marta, the party was heating up.

The most powerful man in Colombia

The most powerful man in Colombia

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