01.02.2015 - 06.02.2015
…is a beautiful and well preserved tourist town located at the very top of Colombia. It is also one of Colombia’s prettiest and proudest places too. Cartagena has a mixed population of Colombians, Caribbean people and foreigners who have found themselves a job (or just a Colombian woman) here. We had high expectations when we arrived (due to the shockingly high hostel prices!!!) and really weren’t disappointed at all. As we jumped out of the plane we were greeted by a wall of hot moist air which made for a really good start to this part of the trip, especially after the coldness of Bogota (Rob actually got sunburnt there). We had a quick taxi ride into town and checked into our place with …thank god…air con!!!! Straight after we made our way into the Old Town to find a busy place with lots of jewellery and hat sellers but also locals hanging out in the beautiful leafy squares , having a lemonade, some fruit or just a chat and maybe a cheek few Salsa moves. The Old Town itself is surrounded by a huge fort wall and has amazing little streets with colourful colonial style houses…showing off their pretty planted balkonies. We loved walking around the town and soon found out where the more lively and untouristy (cheaper) part of town was. As with most South American towns, Cartagena has got the buzzing markets, dirtz outskirts but also lots of friendly locals, street vendors and amazingly good drinks and fruit to buy in the streets. Fter two days we planned to go up to Play Blanca on Isla Baru…the very best beach of Colombia according to the locals and they might be right as we found out after another bumpy hour long bus ride and having haggles down a driver to get us over to the island. Walking along the beach in 40 degrees and a humidity of 90/ at noon isn t fun. But our reward was Los Corales Beach huts where we planned to send the next two nights. Just what you want… lovely simple huts right on the beach, with some hammocks and little chairs to hang out. We had a great time and the beach is especially beautiful in the mornings and evenings. When you re just by yourself...sipping on a coco loco cocktail (out of a coconut) and being given refills as you like . The sunset is amazing and seeing the moon over the water in morning just sooo cool!!! The friendly huge crabs that climb over your feet in the sand at night even made everything a little better than it already was. We had a great beach break and it just felt so good to have some time out of town without the hassle and noise. When we came back to Cartagena it was a bit like a heat shock but also nice and we spent a few more relaxed days with the strongest cocktails in the world and the hottest samba you can watch.