Side trip to Cartagena

We are currently in the marina at Puerto Velero so in the middle of nowhere on a mosquito infested sandbank but only a hundred kilometers away from the legendary city of Cartagena. Yesterday we caught a ride on the back of a motorbike up to the main road and then took a bus to Cartagena. It took a total of two hours to get there and saved the Colombian bureaucracy of clearing the boat out with the port captain of Baranquilla and back in with the port captain at Cartagena.

We arrived mid morning and began by finding a coffee shop to get our bearings and escape from the sun. Once coffee had been taken we set off for the skyscrapers of the new city and and the office of the telephone company to refill the data on our SIM cards. On the way street sellers tried to sell us boat rides but understood our refusals when we told them we actually own a boat.

Gartagena

With freshly filled phones, we returned to the old city with its city wall, cathedral, quaint streets, university, pretty squares and street sellers. How I hate street sellers. If I am not wearing a hat or sunglasses it is because I don’t want them. I do not need a painting as I don’t have a wall to hang it on and don’t need a taxi as I can walk where I want to go. I have no interest in a restaurant as the street sellers are cheaper and their food tastes great. I don’t want anything! Go away! Leave me alone!

By three in the afternoon we had seen enough “stuff” and read enough signs about the history so we went to our hotel and checked in. Funnily just as we arrived outside a nice building with the flowers of the roof garden hanging over the parapet Heidi said “this looks a nice place.” Good choice – it was our hotel. Inside we enjoyed the shower, the swimming pool, the wine from the mini-bar and the shower again. Never ending water is such a luxury!

In the evening we ventured out back out on to the streets and visited the part of town known as “Getsemani”. The street entertainment was not as good as billed but the street sellers were still selling tasty food so we worked our way down the menu. The banks frightened me stupid by all saying they had a technical problem when I inserted my credit card. With visions of a blocked card we got Heidi’s but eventually found a working machine. On the way home we finished the evening with refreshing Limonade de Coco and Limonade Frigo being sold in a bookshop.

Day Two can be summed up as sleeping, showering (remember the unlimited water) brunching, shopping and the bus home. Back at the road junction the mosquitoes were waiting expectantly.

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