Blasting our way north on a night bus (fortunately this one didn’t involve a border crossing so we were able to ‘sleep’ for most of the trip) we arrived on Colombia’s north coast. We made a brief stop off in a beach town called Taganga, it was OK but nothing to write home about. Apart from the café we found called Bonsai. They served up some great coffee and breakfast and was our place of refuge when the heavens opened and the streets literally became rivers for about 30 mins. Taganga was nice, but didn’t have the nicest vibe to it so we decided two nights was enough and we pushed on through to Colombia’s colonial city and much loved tourist spot, Cartagena.
Cartagena has over a million residents, but it’s the old part of town that everyone makes a b-line for. It’s a colonial town on a grander scale and is set-up to cater to all types of tourists who come in their droves to throw their cash about. It might not sound too appealing, but somehow the town manages to keep a quiet, relaxed and charming edge to it. The streets are filled with nicely restored buildings that are occupied by restaurants, shops, bars, gelatarias (much to Cel’s delight) and a handful of public institutions including a university. The whole lot is closed in by the old city walls which we took a few walks along to take in both the city and the ocean view at the same time.
There’s not too much to write about our adventures there as we really just wandered around enjoying the streets, plazas and of course gelataris. We managed to bump into Moryamo, an Austrian girl who we’ve have managed to meet up with in every place in Colombia we’ve been to – a massive number of scary coincidences. We sat with her and her boyfriend, Lukas, for a night in a small plaza outside a church. It was an awesome experience as we got to the see the locals relaxing, eating, drinking and watch a bunch of kids play football in front of the church.
The only thing we want to mention is our new found favourite drink – Lime lemonade. We’re not talking the carbonated sugary stuff in a bottle but the freshly squeezed over ice, purchased for less than $1USD from the street vendors. We managed to put away about 6 of these in two days. We’ve been inspired to try and re-create the drink when we get back to NZ.
For now I’ll leave you with the rest of the photo’s from our time in Cartagena. Next stop, Medellin, this time we’re flying (at Cels request) and dropping into the city as it kicks off its flower festival (a big deal apparently!)