We wandered around Cartagena and got lunch after we checked out of our hotel. We got in a bit of an argument over the activities for the day that ended in a few tears but apologies were made and all is well. I think it’s getting to that point in the trip where we are both beyond exhausted mentally and physically. I tend to be more open with those feelings and I like to allow myself some recouperation time, while Ethan usually prefers to push through it. It’s hard because we’ve spent time, energy and money getting to these places and we want to get the most out of it. Ethan hates wasting time so he struggles with just hanging out in the hotel when there are things to be seen. For me, if I’m too tired or I just need time to get myself together, I have to rest and recoup or there is no point in going to see the things. I won’t enjoy myself. And that’s most important to me.
Anyway, it all comes down to communication. We chatted about the rest of the trip and checked in with each other on our bus ride to Barranquilla. Moving forward. To get the Barranquilla, we walked to the local bus stop, waited in line forever to load our card, and waited forever for a bus. We got on the Express one so that was a win, but the bus only goes to the local bus terminal. Which is a half mile from the long term bus terminal. Crap. So we tried to ask how to get there but none of the workers spoke English and they weren’t helpful. At this point we were both annoyed and frustrated with the whole process. We started to walk out of that terminal to walk to the other one when some other workers stopped us. We told them where we were going and they pointed to a bus, but we hadn’t loaded enough money on the bus card. I attempted to communicate this in Spanish, which surprisingly worked. They told me “Esta bien! Gratis!” It’s ok! It’s free! Hallelujah. Nice people! Finally!
They let us on an empty bus that was about to go pick up more people and was headed down the road to the other terminal. Some more nice people told us where to get off and helped restore our faith in humanity (a little). We found a bus company going to Barranquilla and the guy we got the tickets from was willing to use a translation app. So helpful! He told us the bus was 2.5 hours and to take a taxi from there to the airport. The bus drove along the coast so we got some nice views along the way. We pulled into the Barranquilla terminal as it was getting dark and decided on an Uber since there was free wifi. It took the guy like 20 minutes to get there, but we both felt a bit safer using Uber than a traditional taxi.
The ride to the airport was pretty quick. It’s a tiny airport, but luckily there are places to sit and restaurants in the check-in area. We got Subway and sat in the seats outside it for a while on our phones since there is also free wifi in the airport. Ethan attempted to get us on an earlier flight with no luck. All night at the airport! We’ll see how this goes!
Update: We survived and made it to our AirBnB in Bogotá! Our all-nighter in the airport wasn’t fun, but we’ve definitely had worse experiences. We moved to a set of chairs near the phone charging station and decided to get Dunkin Donuts coffees at 11:30… probably not our best choice. I fell asleep around 1 and woke up at 3. The benches were not even close to being comfortable and my right hip was numb. Ethan was still awake and hadn’t slept at all. We spent the rest of the morning in a state of delirium while we waited to check in.
We were able to check in a little bit earlier than the two hours before we were supposed to and we went straight to the lounge. A soccer team was just leaving and they had left the lounge a complete disaster. I felt sorry for the one lady who was cleaning up and replenishing the food. We had some snacks and our flight left late around 9:30. No idea why it was late since all the announcements were in Spanish but we sat on the tarmac with the engines off for about 30 minutes. It was 1000° and I was super close to losing it.
The flight seemed super short I think because we both fell asleep. After landing and a bit of confusion we made our way to the La Candelaria neighborhood via the TransMillenio bus system. We had to take a shuttle to the station from the airport and once we got to the station it was the most confusing thing ever, but three separate people offered their help and they all told us the same bus. Ok then! The ride was about 15 minutes and then we walked another quarter mile maybe. We had the address of the place we were renting but Google got it wrong and we walked right past it. Luckily, the guy we are renting from had sent his friend to meet us who spotted us and came after us. He gave us the keys and we used his phone to call the guy, Christian, who we’re renting from.
Ethan talked to him about buying tickets to a fútbol (soccer) game and his friend offered to walk down and buy the tickets with Eth while I took a much needed shower. Bless the Lord for hot water. Ethan returned with tickets for tomorrow’s game at 6. Hooray! We did a little walking tour of the Candelaria area and got some lunch at a place called La Puerta Falsa. It’s famous for its ajiaco soup, which is a sort of thick, potato and chicken soup. Ethan had the soup and I had a tamale. The restaurant is teeny tiny and while I’ve never been to Europe, it had a very European pub feel to it. Actually this whole area seems very European to me. Lots of pubs and bars and quaint eateries. We sat on the second floor, which Ethan could barely stand up straight in, on two little stools against the wall with a little wooden counter. The food was yummy and just what we needed after 24 hours of travel.
Our walking tour included stops at a few Iglesias, the main plaza, what we think was the Presidential estate and some other government buildings, and two museums – a Fernando Botero (the guy that does the chubby paintings) museum and a money museum. The buildings themselves were really neat and we had a peaceful stroll through the numerous galleries. We also saw some of Gustav Klimt’s work, as well as Picasso and a few other famous people. #art
On the way back we grabbed a Coca Cola hoping it might wake us up since we were basically sleep walking. It didn’t help. We both fell asleep for two hours. When we woke up it was dark so we didn’t stray to far for dinner. Tacos and a burrito at a tiny little place a couple blocks away. Early to bed so we can get the most out of our day tomorrow! Buenas noches!