Sitting in the airport in Cartagena waiting to fly out to Bogota, after spending 5 days in this beautiful coastal city. It’s been very hot and humid, but I’ve enjoyed the change from the cold dry weather we’re had in the last few cities.
We stayed in the old walled part of the city, which is literally surrounded by a huge stone wall (complete with canons) built by the Spanish during their occupation here. The city comprises narrow streets lined with beautiful colonial terraces and balconies overhanging with vines and flowers. On every corner is a cart selling a huge range of tropical fruit, sweets and fried snacks (soooo good!). We spent a lot of time wandering these streets, and ventured out of the walled city to take a ride on the scenic bus which tours the main attractions. We checked out the local beaches, but they were nothing special, and the water did not appear particularly clean (which is not surprising given their proximity to the city).
For a much better beach experience, we got a boat out to Rosario Islands, where the most popular beach of Playa Blanca is located. Carol and I went snorkelling on the reefs, and we all enjoyed a locally sourced fish lunch on shore. The beach was beautiful – white sand and turquoise water. It was quite crowded though, but still really enjoyable.
As usual, we made sure we sampled as much local food as possible! We had some ceviche (not as good as Peru), and crab claws (amazing) at a restaurant close to our hostel. We also had some frozen yoghurt and icecream popsicles at this little shop in the old city. They have heaps of local fruit flavours. We ended up having two each because they were so good!
Cartagena has been really relaxing and was just what we needed after our previous travels. Moving onto Bogota now to finish the trip. So far Colombia has been really nice – I think the people are the friendliest we’re encountered so far. Hopefully Bogota is no different!