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Published: March 11th 2018
Today is February 20th on our cruise. Early morning finds us at our first real port stop at Cartagena, Columbia. We anchor out in its harbor. Those of us taking a tour excursion are being transported ashore by tender boats. Cory, Sandy and myself and Lulu signed up for an interesting, comfortable bus tour of the old, walled city, their Naval museum, Cartagena’s Cathedral and a Folkloric Show. We saw and experienced a lot. Our first encounter was with free roaming peacocks. They strutted themselves around the neighborhood. Different from seeing our usual robins hopping around the side yard. My many, many photos (59) will do my talking again. Get some reading glasses if you need them. Remember, if you tap on a picture, it will enlarge in another screen.
Time to board the bus. We sat near the front of the bus. This might have been a mistake because we could witness the crazy traffic from a high vantage point. OMG! It was unbelievable! I made many squeals and comments. I told the bus driver he was certainly fearless and skilled to maneuver our huge bus through the tiny roadways crowded with trillions of cars and motorcycles as well
as more trucks and buses. He never ran over or plowed into anyone or anything. Absolutely amazing.
Now, back to the traffic mess. There were so many motorcycles because they are used as taxi’s also. You would have had to have a lobotomy to even think about using one of these wild, erratic, senseless driven death mobiles. They sped in and out and all around the vehicles that were all which way in the road and bumper to bumper. They drove up through the middle of traffic .... inches away from the other vehicles. You had to be there to see it....it was so frightening yet awesome. I wondered about the helmets the passengers wore. How would they be cleaned between each of them? Obviously they wouldn’t....yuck. Lice, cooties...you name it. Of course if you were crazy enough to take this death rendering taxi....why would you ever care about a few bugs? We made a couple stops along our way.....but the entire bus trip dealt with this constant gridlock and absurd swerving like our driver was DUI. He was good.....very, very good. Our guide was good also. He gave us so much history and information about everything we saw
as well as stuff we didn’t see. He was a big guy so we could easily find him on our stops.
We stopped outside a huge fort. It was here we were swarmed by pushy vendors trying to sell their wares. They actually became obnoxious and it was a challenge to get rid of them. Even getting back on the bus, they came right up to the windows flashing their souvenirs and demanding we buy some. I made a doozy of a mistake at this point. I left Miss Lulu on the bus when we got off the bus at our next stop. Why? I just don’t know but I paid dearly for it. I shall never let that happen again.
We went through the naval museum which took us back to the time of the pirates and even before. Lulu could have posed with pirates. She likes pirates.....what a sea slut she is. We went to the San Pedro Sanctuary and saw this Saint’s remains held in a glass case below a small alter. Oh, if I had only brought Lulu to pose her next to these remains...if only! Kicking myself! We walked through the courtyard where
the slaves were held and then sold. One beggar woman tried to appeal to our sympathy. Didn’t work. I bet she would have held Lulu if I had given her a buck....but, alas....no Lulu. Rats! Our guide told us she has been “working” there for 30 years and at the end of the day, she gets up, gets in her car and drives home. At least she doesn’t have to stand on her feet all day. Next, we went to a large, ornate cathedral. Here another dead Saint was lying in repose at the base of the alter. Oh, Lulu....where art thou? Cory tried his best to pose for a couple of my snaps. Next we were led to a indoor/outdoor shopping area. We were taken to an Emerald store (promoted by Princess Cruise Lines). I didn’t buy any emerald even though it is my birthstone. I didn’t care for watching the constant line of horse drawn carriages passing us by on the narrow roadway. Why is it always the fattest people who take these rides? I feel so sad for the poor horses. Finally, our guide took us out to a place that looked like a little banquet hall.
Chairs were set up outside. Other tour groups were already seated. On the outdoor stage, native dancers and musicians performed their cultural, folkloric talents. They were most attractive and entertaining. This time I brought Lulu. She tried to dance with them but couldn’t quite keep up with their fast moving feet. Plus her dress was too short! She just didn’t fit in. But we still love her.
It was a great day and great tour. Glad we did it. We were back on the ship by lunchtime. Good timing. Certainly would hate to miss a meal.
A special event that this cruise line presented in the afternoons was High Tea. I thought of you, Colleen. The staff wore white gloves and served us so many delightful, little morsels. They should have been counted as a meal. Serenity music played in the background as we sipped our tasty tea poured from the silver teapots. An afternoon delight!
Evening entertainment was a funny and talented pianist/singer/comedian. His name is Tom Franack. He was very, very good. Cory posed with him as a souvenir.
It was a full day. Immediate sleep occurred as soon as we hit our soft,
comfy, luxury bed. We are buying one of these! No doubt about it. Oh, I wish you could have joined us in that beautiful bed BUT, we’ll, you know.....not nearly enough room for all of us. Too bad.
Be ready: in the early morning we will be pulling into the Panama Canal. You don’t want to miss any part of this. What a great experience to share with all of you. It’s going to be more exciting that shopping at Walmart.....that I know for sure. And Walmart is pretty exciting. Set your alarm clock - we arrive at 5:00 AM. Yawn!
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