Our short stay in Cartagena was thoroughly enjoyed by each of us. None of Tanda Malaika’s crew enjoy being in highly populated areas for very long, largely because where there are many people there is lots of air pollution. It’s amazing the huge difference one feels in the cleanliness of the air when out at sea or among sparsely populated islands vs.in cities and around lots of cars etc. Cartagena is a fascinating city.
It has been around for over 500 years, with streets lined with cathedrals, colonial hotels and the San Felipe Castle.
Every where one looks, there are historical sights of where Spanish, natives, Afro – Colombians and Creoles have met and mingled. Our favorite part was the historic down town that is surrounded by a tall city wall that has protected the city for 4 centuries. Once within the walled city, the streets are filled with vendors pushing carts overflowing with fresh tropical fruits, like pawpaw, granadilla, gooseberries, pineapple, dragon fruit, mango and so many may more.
Sidewalks were decorated with hat stands,
as well as brightly woven bags, fabric stores and jewelry.
Fancier jewelry stores advertise cheap emeralds for sale, which is Colombia’s trademark gemstone. `
Bright graffiti covers many walls,
while others are freshly painted in bright colors and yet others show their age in faded hues.
We tried Arepas, which are an extremely rich bread – like pancake, filled with butter, cheese and a sauce of your choice. Half of one would have been sufficient, but they just looked so good!
The Creatures, as always had so much fun learning about a new culture, and never lacked in goofiness.
We of course had to try the ice cream too, and though some tried flavors they’d never heard of, everyone enjoyed it. (But what’s not to like about ice cream!?)
We finally made our way back to Tanda Malaika and prepped her for a 2 day sail to the San Blas. We are excited to see the Keck Family, our wonderful friends from Idaho, who will be traveling to San Blas to meet us for Christmas Break.
As we left the harbor we saw a beautiful old Tall Ship tied to a dock. I could imagine it back in the 1600’s bringing trading goods to Cartagena.
We live in such a fascinating world.