July 26 – 28
After 15 hours of misery on the bus, we got into the terminal and got on a local bus to town. We quickly realized we got on the wrong bus. Not that it was going the wrong way, but it was literally going 15 mph the whole way, stopping to see if anyone needed a ride. Like normally people wave down the bus and the bus stops, but this guy would pull over to a group of people or even one person standing on the side of the road and yell to them. Like they don’t need a ride man! If they did they would wave! Arghhhh! I’ve never been so annoyed in my life.
Eventually we got close to our hotel so we joyously got off that stupid bus and walked. Cartagena is a right on the coast and it’s 90° with 1000% humidity. Aka: my hell. So walking to the hotel with pants on and my backpack was not fun. We checked into the hotel and I was done for. My stomach had been in pain the entire 15 hour bus ride and I was majorly dehydrated. Not enough water plus not enough vegetables makes for one very stopped-up person if you catch my drift. My insides were wrenching and I desperately needed water and fiber. Ethan went our and got a 5 liter jug of water. After I was feeling a bit better we took a short walk around town and found a big grocery store where we bought lettuce, cucumber, onion, green peppers and salad dressing.
Of course, this is the first place we stayed with no kitchen, but luckily the front desk guy had a knife and found us some plastic forks and a plate. The concoction wasn’t great but it satisfied my need for veggies and I hoped it would help my stomach. That evening we walked down the the big wall that surrounds the old city in which we are staying. As much as I despise the weather, it’s a beautiful place and the old city is just one picturesque street after another. The city as a whole reminds us of Miami with its white and glass beachfront condominiums.
We got dinner at Bourbon St, which is this huge very American style bar and grill type place. We treated ourselves to burgers and drinks and it was very much like being at home.
The next day we wandered around the old city looking at the pretty buildings and some old cathedrals and plazas. We got lunch at this amazing place called Goleka. They have fresh fruits and veggies and they make sandwiches, wraps and burrito bowls. I got a wrap with a lentil burger pattie, spinach, peppers, quinoa, and pesto. It was the most amazing thing I’ve eaten on this trip. Colombians don’t really eat vegetables so trying to get enough natural fiber has been a struggle. This place is a winner!
We spent the afternoon wandering and finding out how much it cost to use other hotel’s pools (between $50-70/ person in case you were wondering) then took the bus down to the beach area that is basically Miami. Ethan looked into diving at a dive shop located within a very fancy hotel, but ultimately decided not to go. The beach was ok and we rented an umbrella and a chair for like $3. Despite the annoying ladies trying to sell massages and the touts selling everything under the sun, the water was nice and refreshing.
Getting back to the old city was no easy task as it was rush hour and the buses were completely packed. We tried a few different bus stops before we were finally able to squeeze on a bus. We got dinner at this rooftop place near the water that was pretty cool (not literally though because I was sweating) then walked on the wall a bit before heading back.
Today we are hanging out until we have to catch a bus to Barranquilla, where we will fly to Bogotá tomorrow. It’s like 60° there. I’m very much looking forward to it.