Chilling in Cartegena

Trip Start Mar 31, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Sunday, April 13, 2008

It took us a whole day to get there but it was worth the wait - we had arrived in Cartegena on the coast of Colombia to a very warm 28 degrees at 7pm, but the good news was we had organised a hotel with air conditioning. The bad news was that despite the brochure saying it was in the heart of the old city, we were in fact in the middle of Boca Grande - Columbiaīs answer to Surfers Paradise, which isnīt a complement. Despite the commericalised beach, we went exploring and managed to find some nice quiet spots to admire the water in the shade and we made good use of the hammocks and jacuzis on the patio roof of the hotel. We were finally starting to relax.

Then it was time to explore the old city inside the defensive walls built to defend it from attacks. The narrow streets had old stone buildings with wooden balconies and overhanging flowers and there were some huge stone churches that we enjoyed checking out. We even arrived in time to attend a church service in the largest and oldest church which we were expecting to get a guided tour around. Our Spanish was still very marginal, but we got the general idea. We also saw some tango dancing (the local variety at least) in one of the plazaīs which was great to watch, but must have been tiring given the heat. The old town at night came alive again with lights and the streets closed off to all vehicles apart from horses and buggies taking the tourists around (no, not us).

The next day we did some more exploring around the city and finished the day having a beer at Cafe de la Mar on the outer wall overlooking the sea as the sun was setting. A great spot for admiring the view and fishing too, as we saw a fisherman catch a great sized fish off the rocks. Our dinner also consisted of fried fish and rice which is the most common dish on the coast - very nice. We stayed in the old city propper on our 4th night, before going to a true backpacker hostal in the outer part of the old city for our final night in Cartegena. A great place to take it easy and relax, particularly on the weekend when there were fewer people. But we were keen to head to the beach and hit the sand with a few thousand less people - roll on Playa Blanca.
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mandy007 on

Hammocks and Jacuzis
What a life! Good on you guys! ; ) It sounds like you're having a great time experiencing all of the wonderful (weird and wild!) things that get out of travelling. We're in raincoats and gummies over here at the mo!

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