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Published: July 30th 2012
One of the many plazas in the city.
We flew down to Cartagena and were immediately struck by the heat and humidity as we stepped off the plane. We are back on the Carribean and it is HOT. Our hostel is located in the old town of Cartegena within the original walled city. Everything we read about how great this city is was bang on. Old colonial buildings with verandas shaded by tall climbing vine plants that wind their way up the facades. The cobbled streets are filled with vendors selling all types of unknown yet delicious fruits. There's also tons of people just hanging around in the plazas and streets. As it seems to be in most coastal areas in the world, time just seems to move slower and people seem more relaxed.
Our first few days were pretty laid back as we tried to get acclimatized to the heat. We did a lot of walking through the old town just soaking it in. We made friends with some Americans, Aussies, Germans and Argentinians in the hostel and shared a lot of travel stories over delicious Aguila beer while stealing the odd midday hour in the AC comfort of our dorm. One night we went out to
Cool looking vereranda. The added shade from the helps a lot when you're tramping around.
a big party at one of the other hostels in town. There was a fantastic band playing some local tunes as well as latin infused Miles Davis.
We ate out at the different restaurants in the nearby plazas and discovered the local seafood. Most places do a set pescado meal which is a local fish (usually tilapia) that is fried whole in oil and served with a side of rice and plantain and a starter bowl of fish soup. It sounds a bit weird but believe me it is good. Even Jay was scraping every last morsel off the spine of her fish.
The one downside to Cartagena is that there is no decent swimming beach in the near vicinity. We need to hit the beach so we have arranged a boat to take us to nearby Playa Blanca just south of here for some beachy paradise. We'll spend a couple nights there and then get moving further up the coast.
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