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Published: November 20th 2007
Cartegena goes down as the best city I´ve ever visited. Best as in... the amazingly well-preserved achritechure and atmosphere of the old city is stunning, live music pours out of every other bar, friendly-beautiful people, armed guards for most businesses, the best fruit shakes on Earth, the list goes on. Yes, a group of us were almost robbed (some local guy saw it coming and started yelling to scare the would be robbers off), but overall, it´s just great. Inside the walls of the old city, loud taxis and buses are replaced by horse drawn carriages. In the more dilapidated parts of town, donkeys are still used to haul heavy items on carts. There was a giant defensive fort three blocks away from our hostel complete with giant cannons and a labirynth of tunnels. When I looked closely, I realized that a large part of the material used in constructing the wall of the fort was coral. I ate great food in restaraunts AND off street stalls. Ceviche is amazing. The people here seem much more happy and lively and confident than those further north. I ended up in the same hostel as the four girls that I spent most of
my time with in Boca, Panama. We actually also randomly ended up in the same cab in Panama city. Our group of 7 from the boat trip is still largely intact. 6 of us took a bus to Tananga, which is a perfect carribbean town on the edge of the Colombian mountains. It´s like Ouray, Colorado with an ocean to one side. Tomorrow morning 5 of us leave to go on a 6-day trek to Ciudad Perdida (Lost City). We will be sleeping in hammocks under mosquito nets in the jungle and will be accomponied by a guide, porters, and armed guards. The lost city was the capital of the native civilization here that was wiped out by the Spanish, and it was only rediscovered 30 years ago, which says a lot about how remote it is.
I kept forgetting to tell this story- I was in some small town in Panama just to change buses on my way to the capital. I went to the small pizza place next door to the bus terminal and ordered a personal pizza. It took longer and expected, and I had to leave before it was ready to catch my bus, although
I had already paid the $1.50 for it. Ten miles down the road an old woman in a car flagged down our bus and walked on to give me my pizza 😊
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