Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
16.06.2017 - 25.06.2017 32 °C
Cindy left off with our 5 am Tuesday night which did indeed make for a very slow start to Wednesday. Jess the little energizer bunny she is got up at 8:45 am to head off to a coffee tour (I was also booked but couldn't drag my sorry ass out of bed). The reminder of us went to the gym in the late am (late, late am) and then we met Jess in the afternoon at the Museo Historico de la Policia, where we toured the former headquarters of Bogotá’s police force and learned about cocaine-kingpin Pablo Escobar’s demise (neutralized as our guide described it) in 1993.
Our evening was another amazing Colombia meal (with a super annoying (loud and actually not good) piano player playing mostly Billy Joel) with Cindy's friend Frenado at Restaurante NN. I tapped out early and the remainder of the tribe headed out for a couple more drinks. The result was the next morning I actually got up early and went for a short and slow run (altitude here is a killer) before our 11 am flight to Cartagena.
We landed in Cartagena and were immediately hit with a wave of humidity and heat (30 degrees and & 75%+ is hard on these white Canadian girls).
Cartagena is a port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. By the sea is the walled Old Town (which is where our Airbnb is within), founded in the 16th century, with squares, cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings within the walls. Outside the walls is sprawling metropolis of tall condos, the entire population of the city is estimated at 1.2 mm.
Hangry had set in by the time we got to the Airbnb (another great win) and settled so off we went to source food (and maybe a bottle or two of Rose). We stumbled upon a free walking tour which started at 4 pm which we thought would be a great way to see the old city and get our bearings. Turns out Cartagena is a young, party destination. The 3 cougars substantially brought up the average age of the group. It was interesting (at least to us) that they were two other Canadians one from Saskatchewan and one from Nova Scotia. The other cubs were mostly American or European. We lasted about 45 minutes before the guide busted us for not really getting into the "groove" of his tour style (maybe it was the heat, but it took him a very, very long time to tell us not much). Embarrassed we shrunk off and did our walking tour of the old city (it is actually not that big).
Beside the beautiful architecture and colourful building what we did notice (not sure how one says this politically correctly nowadays so if I offended anyone I am sorry) is the different ethnicity of the people. Cartagena was strategically located between the Magdalena and Sinú rivers and became the main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire, establishing its importance by the early 1540s. During the colonial era it was a key port for the export of Peruvian silver to Spain and for the import of African Slaves http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/07/04/cartagena-colombia-spanish-americas-biggest-slave-port/. The latter definitely has influenced the people that are live in this area today.
We managed to find an amazing seafood restaurant (as did a stag of 12 American boys) which made for an entertaining evening. We capped the night off with a night cap (bottle of vodka, don't judge we took most of it home for today's activities) at Café del Mar, situated on the historic walls, Baluarte Santo Domingo, the westernmost point of Cartagena's 17th century fortifications, (conveniently directly across from our condo).
Sleep is not something we have accomplished a lot of this trip, today was another early(ish) start with a 9 am meeting with our boat captain we had arranged to take us to the he Islas del Rosario for the day. The Islas del Rosario, also referred to as Corales Islas del Rosario, is an archipelago located off the coast of Colombia, approximately 100 kilometres from Cartagena (thank you Wikipedia). The Spanish here is a bit less formal so communication was a bit of challenge during the day. We opted to try to go with the flow (as much as OCD, A type women can) and had an incredible day (with a couple minor hiccups which included running out of money so we had to hit a "money machine" to pay for the day).
Regardless the 3 cougars and the cub had a pretty magnificent day in our private speed boat (we saw the "commoners" stuffed in theirs and thank goodness the princesses opted to pay up for private) ripping across the ocean to various locations to swim in the very warm Caribbean ocean, eat fresh food grilled on a beach, drinking our vodka (sourced from the night before) and trying to avoid 3rd degree burns from the incredible sun here. Cartagena is the perfect conclusion to our time here in Colombia, all of us are going to leave wishing for more. What an incredible country. I can't wait to come back already.
Tomorrow is our last full day and we haven't landed on what our activities will be, maybe some R'n'R on our rooftop patio. I am sure we will make the most of it.
Until next time,