In January I went to Colombia with my buddy Fernando. I was invited to the Manizales Tattoo Convention for the 2nd year, and could not resist returning to Colombia again. Last year Eli and I went to the show and had an awesome time. Manizales is a small but beautiful mountain town, and Juanse, the man in charge of the show, is an excellent host and took supreme care of us while we were there. After the tattoo show, Fernando and I went to Cartagena for 4 days to relax and soak up some sun. The weather there was perfect and the ocean was so warm it was nuts. Cartagena has a beautiful ‘Olde City’ and we ate some amazing food and fruit in Colombia is to die for. Here are a few photos from our trip. -Steve Boltz
Of course when I’m on the road, I spend most of my time bent over a tattoo, and Manizales was definitely no exception. On the first day of the convention people were pretty shy and no one really came near us..haha. But of course after starting the first tattoo I got swamped with work, and at the end of the 4 day show there wasnt enough time for all the tattoos, and I had to turn away at least 6 or 7 jobs. I did get to do some fun tattoos. I did this tiger and snake on the front of a thigh in just under 3 hours. As per usual lately, I did a bunch of girl heads and pin-ups. ——————————————————————————————————————————————
At the convention they provided each booth or artist with a blank banner and large permanent markers so they could design a banner for the show on the spot, which actually turned out to be good fun, and this task kept us busy on that first day before the floodgates opened up. Nando and I collaborated on this beauty. First I drew on the tiger and then he hooked up the block letters. Throughout the first two days we just tag-teamed it between jobs until it was fairly complete looking. Its obviously a little loose, as we just went for it and only had the markers to work with, but I think it came out pretty cool. Forgive the low quality phone pictures.
——————————————————————————————————————————————-Our hotel in Cartagena was pretty nice, and we had a fantastic view of the beach.
There was a 3-toed Sloth hanging out on the hotel grounds. One day on our way to the pool we came across him climbing down out of the tree above the walkway. We were able to get pretty close for an inspection, and I can tell you that this guy is completely bizarre looking in every way. His body proportions seemed to be way off. His head was too small, his arms were too long, pot bellied and although slight in appearance, you could tell that he possessed more strength than his size might indicate. He also looked as though he were moving in slow motion. He turned slowly and recognized our presence, his face was dirty looking, like all crusty around his eyes and mouth, and yet he kind of had a friendly smiling human-like expression. It was very unnerving and completely surreal. And those wierd long claws, 3 of them, like Wolverine claws. Creepy. I really felt as though i might be looking at an alien creature, as it was so outside what my brain would recognize as a ‘natural looking’ animal. I hoped we’d see him again, but we didnt.
On the last day we took an hour drive to Volcano Totumo to take a dip in the volcanic mud baths which are said to have therapeutic qualities, along with being good treatment for your skin, etc. For us, it was just something fun and interesting to do. They gave you a nice little massage, and took pics for you, then helped you get the mud out of your ears afterwards. It turned out to be one of the many highlights of the trip.