Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cartagena - Colombia

When we got dropped off from the boat coming from Panama it was late at night, about 1:00am. It was difficult to find an hotel or anything availaible. We ended up paying way too much for what we got, same thing for food since we didn't had Colombian money yet. 

January 5th, the next day, Marcus, Alan and Chris dropped in our hotel and we spent a few hours walking around in the old city centro. I loved that town, it's an old fortress similar to Quebec City where I'm from.

It was great to see those fruit cocktail stand. 
 The city is like a fortress with walls and canons.
And you can see the skyscrappers in the background. There is a beach in front of the skyscrappers here in Cartagena, but I didn't go. 
Group picture of Marcus, me, Chris and Alan. 

 An old fortress you can visit.

Our boat group all met at the restaurent where we spent some time talking, then we went out for some beer drinking. I like it here in Colombia, you can go get beer at the corner store and drink it in the street. Anyway that's what the locals were doing, and we did the same. Bill put his camera on a shelve and it took pictures every 10 sec and made a kind of video of it, nice.

On January 6th we meet Fritz for finally get our passeports back, then we meet at the marina to unload our bikes and the rest of our luggages.

 Bill in the bed, we were 4 person sleeping there including me. I think it was the best spot of the boat, no privacy but it open and you don't get as much sea sick as having a private tiny room.
 Alan here:
 Actually Fritz picked us up on his little zodiac or inflating boat to get us to the catamaran to then go somewhere (free) quickly to unload everything then go (very fast) and simply drive illegaly without bike papers or passeports. Apparently nobody cares.

The salt water make your bike rusty. 

Then we waited 45 minutes for our "helper" to show up, then waited for hours to get our bikes paperwork sorted out. The "helper" had ours papers for days but apparently havent done anything with it.  It took 2 days to get a stamp on our passeports and our bike papers. I think without our "helper" it would have taken just a few hours all combined, at the most.  
 By the end of the day, everyones of us was very short tempered, no patience at all. It was a good time to be alone. It was an opportunity to go shopping and I got inspired by a bottle of juice. It will be use to create a suspension protector for my bike since it's totally impossible to find a store that has that in  stock. 
The end result was quite decent, well it's better than nothing. Worth the $5 I spent on it. I'm not paying a couple hundreds $$$ for the BMW plastics that might just break by looking at it.
 At night it was a good time for going out. I met with Damian and Marika.
 There was a nice sitting area inside the walled town where you can drink. The others came to joint us a bit later.
 And there was nice street performer  extremely entertaining; he was following people walking in the street and imitating them, or just grabbing one hand of a couple walking, or jumping in a horse carriage and surprising people. It was very funny to watch actually. I did not have my camera but I'm still waiting to get the picture from Damien, he's working on it right now I suppose :)
We finished the night to another restaurent not far from the hotel in front of a church where everybody seems to hang out. Then the corner store where we were buying beer to drink outside closed. I asked a local where to buy more. He pointed us towards what look like a dark back little street. We saw a table, 4 chairs and 4 persons sitting outside in the middle of the road. No car will be driving there I guest. They were selling beer from their home fridge. We pulled out another table and 4 chairs and drank beer in the middle of the little street next to the locals. I wish I had a picture of that too.

I woke up late the next day, didn't do much as my last day. I just went out at night for picture taking.
 Not far from our hotel going towards the old centro was a nicely illuminated park:

Excellent Colombian street food.

The next day I was heading towards Medellin.

1 comment:

  1. Tu devais être très heureux de quitter le catamaran pour une aussi belle ville.