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Published: November 30th 2011
Pilon de Azucar
Cabo de la Vela
The ride back from La Guajira was interesting to say the most. One the way back from Cabo de la Vela, we had a crazy fat man as our driver. At one point he broke down in tears, claiming that someone had stolen some of his money (about the equivilant of $5 CDN). The rich Colombian at the front shut him up by just giving him money. Then at the toll both, he got ripped off. So he reversed back and complained, getting his 20cents. The ride didn't get any better for the driver. As we approached Riohacha the jeep began to make a weird noise. He got us out of the jeep so he could push back the seats, lift up the carpet and hit the floor repeatedly with wrench. He did this about 10 times over the last portion of the trip, several of the times in the matter of minuites! We arrived in Riohacha safe and sound, and proceeded to drink ourselves silly with rum. We were surpised to meet some fellow travellers we had met in Punta Gallinas in the room next to us so they joined in. I can proudly say
that I have now barfed in Colombia!
The next day was the 7 hour bus ride to Cartagena. After a "bus-o-mercial" from a local selling specialty belts, the trip began passing Santa Marta, Barranquilla, finally arriving in Cartagena. A kid in the seat accross from us was transporting some sort of bird, which chirps for most of the trip!
We arrive in Cartagena and taxi through the outer city. We pass the soccer stadium at Cartagena (The under 20 World cup was in Colombia.) and stayed at Casa Mara in Getsemeni (Old Town Area.).
The next day we explored the old town of the city. I was amazed at the size of it... 13km of centuries old stone walls are still intact. Colourful buildings fills the cobblestone streets. Bougainvilla and other flowers flow over balconies, and churches are everwhere. Cartegena was founded in 1533 making it one of the oldest cities on the continent. (Santa Marta is older) It became one of the most important cities in the Carribbean for centrueis. Today it is a famous tourist destination and is serviced by large cruise ships, making it the most expensive part of the trip. We
found prices double, even triple the price of other areas we had visited. After wandering the streets all day long, and watching an amazing rain storm flood the streets during lunch, we chilled for the evening.
August 12th brought more fun, the Mud volcano, Volcan de Lodo El Tutumo. Just outside of the city we joined a tour group to take us there. We arrived at the 50 m high volcano with about 20 others and jammed into the mud. It was pouring rain, with thunder rumbling in the distance, but the mud was soothing... until we were tackled by "massagers" and kicked by strangers. Rich and I tried to sink ourselves, but buoyancy would now allow that! Anyone considering a trip here, should consider it, lots of fun. On the way back we stopped at Manzanilla de Mar - a beach - for lunch. Not the nicest beach, but amazing views of the modern condos of Bocagrande - Cartagena's "Miami Beach". When we returned to the hostal, we walked back to the old town and shopped for souveniers and had a great lemonade. Rum for dessert 😊
At about 4am that morning we were awaken to things
Got crazy this night in Riohaca!
being knocked over. Lights on, and a giant rat! It had entered through a hole in the wall above the bookshelf. It came back about 30 mins later. Problem solved with a towel shoved in the hole! Lots of laughs later about that!
That was Cartagena in a nutshell. Now off to Santa Marta and Minca for the final few days!
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