Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cartagena

On Monday, December 1, I took a night bus from Medellin to Cartagena. It was approximately a 12 hour trip on an obnoxiously cold bus. The guidebooks said the buses would be cold, but wow, this bus was freezing. I wore jeans and a t-shirt and a light jacket. It was a miserable trip, but it was warm at 8:00 in the morning when I arrived in Cartagena.

I was going to skip Cartagena altogether, but I heard really good things in Medellin, so I went. It was a good choice. Cartagena is located on the Carribean Sea. It has a walled old town and a modern town with high rise condos stretching along the beaches. I stayed in the old town. The old town is completely encircled by a fortified wall that is very well maintained. The architecture is very well maintained and very colorful. The city has a cool "party vibe.



Several people I had met in Panama I saw again in Cartagena. It makes sense, since most people I met in Panama were heading to Colombia next. On Wednesday, December 3, I took a day trip to a mud volcano. It was an unusual feeling being suspended in mud. You could lay flat on your back or stomach and not sink. Standing straight up, I was suspended to about my navel. After the mud suspension, we went to a nearby lagoon that was a little bit cleaner than the mud volcano. Local women, using bowls and their hands, rinsed the mud off my body and my swimming trunks for $2,000 pesos (a little less than $1 US). After getting somewhat clean, we went to a nearby beach for lunch. When you get fish in a restaurant, it usually comes whole with the head attached.


After getting back from the volcano, I started feeling sick. I had a weak stomach, fever, and slight dizziness. I guess I drank the water or ate ceviche bought from a guy selling it from a cooler one too many times. I was out for about two days and a little below average for one more.

On Friday night, feeling better, I went on a party bus with some other travelers. The party bus drove through the old town and provided drinks and music. It had a band that played a type of music that sounded like cajun/zydeco. It made a stop on the waterfront and a stop at a disco. Most of the people on the bus were tourists from other Latin American countries. Cartagena is a popular tourist destination for other Latin Americans. Most of the hawkers use Spanish to try to sell stuff ranging from crappy jewelry to oysters or crabs (in a bucket without ice).

I went to a beach on Saturday. It was a great beach and I had a good time, but I found myself growing a little tired of beaches and hot weather. I decided it was time to head for the mountains. On Sunday, December 7, I flew from Cartagena to Manizales.

6 comments:

toomuchcountry said...

Ceviche rocks! ... but only when its fresh. Did you ask what else you could get if you paid an extra 2,000 pesos?

Anonymous said...

That fish a just a little scary-looking...

Beast

Jason said...

Jay, I am loving your blog. Keep it up. Glad everything is going well. However, did you really think it was okay to eat that fish? No wonder you got sick. Jason H

Anonymous said...

Jay, love to reading about your adventures. Keep up the posts. I see that there were tostones served with the fish. I love tostones, I get them in Puerto Rico all the time. The fish there is served the same way..head and all. Safe travels to you!

Shannon

Jay G said...

Too Much Country - Did't ask and didn't want to know.

Jason - I've eaten some scarier stuff than that. Guess it was jut my time.

Husnibaby:My Emancipation said...

aarrghh..i always wanna go to this place..but guess i don't have the chance yet..huhu