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Published: March 11th 2009
Flew out to Cartagena from Panama in late December on the same flight as Justin, a Louisiana guy who I had met at the El Salvador border with Nicaragua. My late planning for NY meant that I paid over 300 USD to get out there and was not able to reserve a hostel bed as all was booked. Justin had a bed at a hostel for the 30th so we headed for the North Star hostel.
The first night there was spent at a bar listening to an annoying German diplomat talking about prostitutes within the first 30 seconds of being introduced to him. Justin wanted to splash out and bought a big load of shots 10 mins before the club shut - we didn´t know this at the time. Walked the 2km back from the old town centre to the Bocagrande where our hotel was and got searched by the police.
Our hostel was 2 blocks from the beach so spent our days eating ice cream, laying on the beach, swimming and evenings spent out on the lash. NY is a family thing until midnight and then people split out with their friends. We did start off with
a load of people from the hostel and Charlie (who worked at the hostel) managed to lead us all to the most deserted part of Cartagena so we missed any countdown. Justin and I snuck into the club we were in the night before, I by running up the stairs when the security was distracted and Justin by taking photos of the ticket lady to confuse here. Justin then used his heavy tipping of last night to get the barman to right on the back of beermats that we could get in for free. Once there, I tried to barricade the terrace door which had a good supply of beer but we got removed by security. NY night was spent on the main square, mainly with a family who were out there on holiday and had a big crew out celebrating together. The night ended with a swim in the water and falling asleep on the beach after dawn. We didn´t actually have any bed back in the hostel but they still made us pay for use of the floor and couch.
The old town itself is really beautiful and back in the day was sacked many times by
British backed pirates like Drake. It has an old wall.
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