Sweating it out in Cartagena

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April 20th 2010
Published: April 20th 2010
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All the street graffiti is in Palermo, near we were staying.
Hola from the Caribbean. Where it is HOT HOT HOT! The air conditioning in my class room is usually set to about 24 and it feels cool and refreshing.

But to return briefly to Buenos Aires....thanks to everyone for the messages, yes I am fine now but it was a pretty scary experience and not one I am looking to repeat ever. On my last day in the city I went to Alto Palermo, a large shopping mall to see if I could buy a new camera, which I did successfully. This was the only thing I replaced, as I don't have my iPod music so no point buying another, and Telecom can't connect my phone without me being in NZ, so no point in buying that either.

However I am very happy about having a camera again, and luckily only lost a day's worth of photos because I had been backing up every evening. Also luckily I had a spare memory stick in my luggage, so was all ready to start taking photos again. So I went back to Palermo and took some photos of the street graffiti which is pretty cool, but you won't be surprised to learn that I did not return to La Boca to replace the lost photos from Caminitos. Then I got taken out to dinner with Gordon and Carol, the Scottish couple staying in the upstairs apartment, and their daughter Linda who lives in BA and who they had come to visit. They were very sweet, because they wanted to make sure I wasn't on my own for my last evening, and we had a great dinner at a restaurant just across the road.

Sunday was a very early start and a long day of travelling - from BA to Lima, then Lima to Cartagena. Two flights totalling about 8 1/2 hours. I was exhausted when I finally reached Cartagena and looking forward to relaxing and not doing much at all. I had booked one week of Spanish school and one week with a homestay. I had arranged a pick up and was greeted by Daisy, who took me in her beat up car to my host family. It was so hot and steamy! Like walking into a giant wet oven. Daisy dropped me off, but it turned out my host family had no idea I was coming. The daughter went off to find her mother, who emerged about five minutes later in a grubby inside out t-shirt and short shorts several sizes too small for her chubby legs. Several phone calls then followed as I sat there like an unwanted bag of dirty laundry (not too far from the truth) feeling very sorry for myself. Finally someone else turned up and took me to another house. This time it is just Olga who lives there, a youthful grandmother, and her maid called Guila or something like that.

Also staying there, until today that is, was Jenna, another student at the school, from Toronto. She was a god-send! She took me for a walk around the city, out for some beers, showed me the banks (not that my one remaining debit card worked in any of them) and then walked me to school for the first couple of days. Given my dire money situation she also bought me water until I could find somewhere where my debit card would work. But then she heard my story and said, "well it's about time you got a break!". She has been great, so it was a bit sad to see her go today.

School is good. Quite strange to be back in the classroom again though! I am in a class with an American, a Swiss, and another NZer. This is my second class because I was too advanced for the first class. This sounds more impressive than it actually is - what it means is that I can talk in the past tense as well as the present tense!

I don't know how long it will take for my new cards to arrive, but the bank thought 10 days, so it looks like I'm going to be in Cartagena for at least another week, maybe two. It's a beautiful city and lots to do though so not all bad. Although the heat and humidity means I am walking about in perpetual dampness. And my hair! So bad you can't imagine. Anyhow, more information about my comings and goings in Cartagena in the next updates. Adios for now.

Additional photos below
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20th April 2010

looking forward to a photo of the hair.
22nd April 2010

I enjoyed your Cartagena post. I have always wanted to go there. My blog is looking for travel photos. If you have the time, email us some at dirtyhippiesblog@gmail.com or check us out at dirty-hippies.blogspot.com Continued fun on your travels, Eric
23rd April 2010

What date are you back? Just booked really cheap flights for last weekend in May to Akld. Becs

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