Friday, 7 June 2013

Cartagena..12th -14th February, 2013........Colombia 19 Jan to 6th April 2013 

 The Sun set as scene from the walled city, fortress, Cartagena de Indians, Colombia
Barranquilla to Cartgena:
It was a good suggestion to take the shared taxi-mini van to Cartagena as it picked me up from one host and dropped me at the door of the other CS. Door to door. The main bus terminals at both ends were very far from the homes of my hosts. The taxis to the terminals and the hassle of finding the new place was thus avoided and it would have cost me the same. Lucky me.
After having a chat with Gustavo and Gloria for few hours after arrival and few drinks went to bed.
They have a very cosy little apartmente-- I was offered a air mattress in the living room.
This vendor truly represents the Cruise port city of Cartagena. Full of life  and friendly.
They live in the old city--one of the most beautiful and best architectured designed colonial cities in Columbia. Just scrollimg around thr the narrow lanes and walking past the muses and boutique shops and tiendas  carved out of the city wall is a fascinating experience. Freshly cut fruits like papaya, mangoes and watermelons were able to ward off a little bit of + 30 temperature. The city is totally protected by the solid stone wide walls wide  enough to drive a Jeep up there.
Went out walking again at nite with Unece, a friend I made in the shared taxi. The same streets at nite looked more beautiful , colourful and romantic with people having drinks and dinner on the tables set even on the road side.The lights peeping through the windows  of the restaurante were mesmerising.
We ended up in one of the most popular cafe bars.. Cafe del Mar right atop the city wall.. The nite view of the city was fantastic. We had a beer each-- Mucho carro. CAD 7 each..But it was worth just sitting there and enjoy the cool breeze of the Atlantic.

Parted company with Eunice to home where I was greeted by ever loving hosts.. few chats and off to bed.
Sharing great moments at lunch with Gloria and Gustav
As my hosts Gloria and Gustav left early in the morning for their jobs, I ventured out for  breakfast in the old city.There is great movement of people, taxis, cars, motor cycles and pedestrians, shared taxis in this gran de crossing.While having my favorite breakfast..the arrepas - maize dish baked on a hot plate with queso inside..muy deliciosos and tinto coffee in the little ketchup cup.. I noticed a bicycle rental outlet right across me. I was tempted to rent one because I have not ridden a bike since I left Vancouver.With a helmet on, I was ready to explore the beaches ..the route I chose against visiting the museos and forts.I have not seen any water..the ocean, since I arrived in Colombia.
The typical traditional lunch at the Gustavos

A relaxed stroll along the famous Boca Grande.. Lobster legs and Oyster galore
Cartagena  de Indians,  undoubtedly is one of the most beautiful walled city on the Caribbean coast and surrounded by many islands and beaches. The nearby island of Rosario boasts  of perhaps the best beaches like the Baru, and San Bernardo. The  city is full of beach hotels,world class restaurants and discos. 

Beautifully done colors in the walled city row of  buildings
I rode through a peninsula passing thr some of the most beautiful beaches..boca grande, manga island and the under sea wall while stopping en route for lobster legs, oysters along the way, chatted with tourists and vendors.The two hour ride was one of the best.
Gustavo and Gloria, my CoachSurfing hosts were coming home for a traditional lunch  prepared by their maid, especially for me --mote de queso..almuejzo y naame. Very delicious...with a different flavor.

While they were gone back to office..I napped off right away from the ricco lunch and long bike right. Later in the evening I went for a walk on the wide wall of the fortressed old  city to witness a beautiful sunset I have ever seen.

Riding my bike along the beaches was breath taking, 
As today was my last day. Gustavo and Gloria wanted us to spend some time together.We promised to meet again for dinner..Gloria being vegetarian..we compromised on pescado curry..I volunteered to cook.
Old accommodations under the fortress walls , converted into  chic boutiques

While me and Gloria were shopping for vegetables and spices Gustavo was gone beer hunting . Gloria was a master in cutting, shredding, crushing the Ajo and the she is very experienced in cutting, and crushing her opponents in the courts, being a lawyer. Gustavo quietly made the dulce with yogurt bananas and mangoes. Washed and soaked the arroz.

I made the curry gravy and sauteed the basa and vegetables. Gustavo was busy being the bartender. Actually I think he did most of the work in preparing the dinner. He would  have made a cool chef than an engineer.

As the Sun goes down, the romantic feelings goe up.
It was yummy pescado curry dish with tomatoes, mushrooms, green and red pepper and kind of pilau rice and of course complemented by beer. A great last supper, Indeed.

I was their first coach surfer guest. I hope they enjoyed being a host to a total stranger

A great experience at the Gustavos.  A great last supper..indeed.


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