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Published: February 20th 2019
Cartagena (cart a hay na)
Awesome sauce and a bit of spice at the end.
Day 17 - yes a day late but I was tired.
We docked in Cartagena, a city we have visited before and still were not sure what we our plans were for the day. Last time we were here we took a horse and carriage ride which, whilst good, offered no shade from the intense heat that this part of the world offers at this time of the year.
Cartagena has two temperatures.... hot and hotter.... on this visit we decided that we wanted to see a lot of more of the old city.....the walled city. We headed off the ship and considered taking the hop on hop off bus which was waiting in the port. But the price was actually really high and we decided to wander off the pier and see what taxi services were available outside the port.
Once we got outside of the port we were met with someone offering a taxi service over the harbour in a catamaran boat for ten dollars a head each way. This was much cheaper than the hop on off bus and a more interesting journey too. The boat left at 10:15 which gave us an hour to look around the area just outside the port.
Well.... what a surprise we had. We didn’t know that what we stumbled on was a bird sanctuary. Some massive aviaries which we could walk right through and many, any birds just walking around in between us and not in aviaries. It cost nothing to wander around and really was a brilliant experience. I have never been so close to such exotic birds as peacocks, flamingoes etc. They were just wandering around with us...not caged. The peacocks showed off constantly which was funny and they were not afraid of us too.
After walking around for a while we realised it wasn’t only birds....there were monkeys just clambering around the place too. One was sat in a kiosk with a sign which read “get your tickets here”. Cute little fella.
There were toucans and pelicans, all kinds of cockatiel’s and parrots...all able to fly and all happy to pose for lots of photographs. I loved it but I imagine my mum would have ran away in terror being so close to so many birds.
We could have stayed for hours but we needed to catch our boat to the old city. We sat at the very back of the catamaran......remember this for later...... and allowed others to have the front seat view. There were several rows of seats about 12 across......a spacey catamaran and open aired so there was a nice breeze.
The trip across the harbour was lovely.... I struggled to get photos because people were standing up at times but, no matter, it was still pleasant.
As soon as we docked, we were met with an array of sellers trying to convince us to buy hats, t-shirts, bags and so on and so forth.... they are fine, once you say no they tend to move on to the next person. The walled city was just a few meters from where we docked and, once crossed the main road, we were within its walls. It is beautiful....truly like time stood still with the brightly coloured colonial style buildings and narrow streets.
After a few minutes walking the streets inside the walled city you are thankful for the narrow streets. The overhang from the old balconies offer places where there is some shade. Not much.....but some!
We probably walked in circles for a bit....it’s not hard to get lost within the maze of tiny side streets but we didn’t mind. It was just fascinating to absorb the vibe of the are, the pretty buildings and the friendly people.
A cafe called us for a pit stop and we rested awhile and had a beer.... tourist price clearly as it was quite expensive. At this point, another seller came over trying to sell football shirts of local teams. There was one that Dave really wanted but this guy said it was 40 dollars.... I laughed and he then started to haggle.
In the end, I think that I won the haggle contest.... I got him down from 40 dollars for one shirt to 35 dollars for three shirts.. all three Dave really liked. I was happy with myself and ignored dave’s calls of “I’m not sure I need three....” he is very happy with them!
We almost got lost and had to rush around trying to find our way out of the city and back to where our boat would be waiting for us. It had been several hours of walking in the heat and I didn’t feel particularly well. I was glad that we were the first back and could therefore be first in the queue and, this time, sit at the front of the catamaran and benefit from the view and the breeze..... HMMMMM
So... I won’t harp on about what happened but I am going to tell the tale. A lady elbowed her way past us in the queue to stand in front... no problem, there are around 12 front row seats in blocks of 3 - 4 and then 3 with aisles in between. I figured we would head for the set of 4 in the middle. I reached my seat, right by the aisles and tried to sit down..... but, alas! the elbow lady was facing the seats and stretched her arms across them trying to block all four.
Obviously I sat down....as did David next to me, kind of just shuffling her along....She then sat on David’s lap and screamed at him that she was sitting there..... Dave said “but you had your arms stretched over four seats, I just want to sit next to my wife....”. At this point she was still sat over two seats and trying to push Dave from his lol. Then....and This is what pissed me off royally.... then, she come out with the classic line.
“I was saving them for friends who are OLDER than you!!” Ohhhhh the age card. I love it. At this point Dave said that he would move, moral high ground and all, and he went to sit over the aisle from me.
I spent the next few minutes challenging her logic loudly and explaining why she was wrong. First.... you sprinted to the front of the boat... no mobility issue there lovey.... second.... you don’t save seats, it’s selfish.... 3rd..... if you are so old, why not save yourself seats at the back so you have less distance to travel? And finally..... why should us being younger mean we don’t get to sit at the front? Is that a life rule I never got taught? Stupid moo. Anyway, it all ended up well because her hubby came and sat next to me, where Dave had been, and he proceeded to give her the mother of all telling off. He said , “ I don’t want to hear it, I saw what you did, you stretched your arms and wouldn’t let them sit...”. I thought she was going to completely lose the plot but instead she just blurted out
“ oh, oh I see, I’m not special enough”
Er...what? No idea where that came from lol.......I didn’t say another word.... Dave managed to get me to calm down and was, apart from the aisle, sat near to me.
We did enjoy the journey back to the wildlife place and that five minutes of stress was soon packed away and kept for story telling at crooners. I knew my crooners buddies would laugh at what happened as we do now. Seriously.... saving seats for friends who are older than you! PPPPfffffttt.
So.... back at the wildlife place we spent at least another hour meeting more birds and other animals. We saw some deer like things, more monkeys and even a few cats wandering around. Little cats, not big cats btw....
my favourite bird was this evil little toucan who wanted to play hold the stick with you. This was all fine until he dropped his end and you had sole control of his stick ...
It’s his stick and now you have it. This means attack mode. He bit my thumb the little git! Then he cornered me and wouldn’t allow me to get passed him. I had to ask Dave to distract him. Dave tapped at the toucans stick with his foot and, true to form, it flew at his legs snapping his beak lol. Funny little guy but he really did want to play.
The parrots were also great,and extremely noisy. I caught a brilliant moment on video when I said “OLA” to one of them and , clear as a bell, he repeated “OLA” back to me.
We finally headed back to the ship tired but very happy with our day. Cartagena is gorgeous, for sure one of our favourite stops and we would come here again in a heartbeat.
We spent the evening in the pool before crooners, dinner, crooners then bed.
Pictures soon....check back
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