Leaving Cartagena; Arriving Santa Marta

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South America » Colombia » Santa Marta
January 16th 2012
Published: January 16th 2012
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Mercado BazurtoMercado BazurtoMercado Bazurto

I love markets. I did not like this market. Lonely Planet travel guide descries it as: " ...both dirty and enthralling, an all-out assault on your senses." I would just call it dirty and smelly. Take a pass on this market.
We awoke early this morning. After our Coco Krispies from the day before we decided to walk to Gato Negro for breakfast. It is located on the same street we visited last night in Getsemani. We were not disappointed - - a wonderful breakfast for just a little money. From there we took a taxi to Mercado Bazurto. I love to visit markets in Latin America. But this one was a real disappointment. Dirty, dirty, dirty. We stayed about 20 minutes and took the second taxi of the day to the central area. We then walked to Plaza Bolivar. Our destination was Palacio de la Inquisition. Heretics were denounced here. There is a display of “gnarly instruments of torture” and we both wanted to take a look. We arrived at 9:50 a.m. and they did not open until 10:00 a.m. The Plaza Bolivar is nice and there was a person shining shoes in the park. Lance jumped at the chance. We met a man in the park that knew the city well. I told him I was looking for tagua nut jewelry. He offered to help. He took us to a really nice shop. Nothing for me, but Lance bought this
Mercado BazurtoMercado BazurtoMercado Bazurto

Something is stuck on my shoe.............
really cool bull. Looks to be hand carved with inlayed wood. But actually it is made from wheat. It is amazing. The shop owner told us of a different shop that might have tagua nut jewelery. 15 minutes later our new friend and us arrive at the store. The shop owner, KARIN, does not have what I want, but tells me she can make it. She is actually excited about the opportunity. She tells me to call her later in the week. We thank our new friend, give him 20,000 pesos and head for the hotel (we did not make it to Palacio de la Inquisition). Our shuttle to Santa Marta will leave soon. The shuttle to S.M. can be reserved by your hotel/hostel – no problem. http://marsolsa.com/servicios.html We are in the high season so the cost was about $22 USD.

The 3 ½ hour shuttle ride was fun. I met a guy named Adam from San Francisco. He is a Lawyer for a non-profit. He adventure travels a lot and was solo on this trip for 2 weeks. Great guy and I enjoyed talking to him. We arrived in Santa Marta and the driver dumped us in the
Plaza BolivarPlaza BolivarPlaza Bolivar

Lance getting a Shine!
central area. A quick review of my map and I concluded that I was lost. Three people later, we had good direction to the hotel (Aluna Casa y Cafelwww.alunahotel.comCalle 21 No 5-72 Santa Marta ; with A/C for two people is $45.00 per night). We arrived and dumped our stuff. We went to Neotropical Language School Calle 21 3-88 Centro Santa Marta, Corner of Calle 22 & Carrera 4, Santa Marta, www.neotropical.se (Director: William Andersson) where I will study Spanish this week. They were not there, so we went to the beach, walked a while and found a place to eat. RESTURANTE BRISA DELMAR. Never, ever eat here. They are thief’s. We ordered Carne Asada and drank 4 beers. From the menu, the price should have been 45.000 pesos ($23. USD) The waiter told us our bill was $84.000. I said, WHAT? Does that include a tip” Response, “no, no, it does not include a tip.” I say, “Ok, That is not right.” He went back to the kitchen and returned. Now our bill was $74.000. Again, I said “no, that is not right, please bring me a written bill.” He brings a written bill and it indicates that our dinner is almost twice the price on the menu and a tip IS included at almost 15%. I start to have a melt-down and they return to the kitchen for a third time. Now our bill is $65.000. I am so mad that I just pay it and leave. NEVER GO TO THIS PLACE!

At 6 p.m. I return to the school and meet with the director and my teacher. We set up my classes for the week. Off to bed………..

Additional photos below
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Do not eat here! Food was not good and they grossly over charged us!

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