It’s still 33 degrees outside but I slept so goddam well. I reckon it was from walking 14km yesterday, eating marginally healthier than we have been and exhaustion. In fact, it was probably just sheer exhaustion and none of the above. We can’t believe we are now on day 81 in this adventure and I’ve managed to type over 37,000 words of it in this blog. I am truly impressed with myself.
So, it’s a brand-new day and as mentioned, still hot as ever. We managed to grab breaky from the hostel this morning for 8,000COP pp ($4NZD) which was essentially a banana, slice of cheese and a pastry. Not bad, but definitely room for improvements. On the agenda today was Getsemani, once a shady neighbourhood mostly made up of locals and youth hostels, it’s now modern and trendy and FULL of street art which would make for the perfect photo morning!
We weren’t wrong. Between the street art, numerous little cafes and eateries and beautiful coloured houses we fell in love with this suburb and can’t wait to go back tomorrow for dinner!
Next on the agenda was the small Centenario Park, just in front of the beautiful Torre del Reloj (the entrance to the Old Town), as I had read a blog that it is home to a small population of wild monkeys, iguanas and most excitingly of all, sloths. Well, we didn’t see any sloths but we did see iguanas and beautiful little red squirrels, so I highly recommend it!
After ticking off many hot spots for street art photography, we stopped for an ice lolly and headed back to the old city in search of Fernando Botero’s famous statue of a reclining nude woman, named La Gorda Gertrudis – or ‘Fat Gertrude’. We found her (pictured below), sitting in the middle of the lovely Plaza Santo Domingo. Posing with Gertrude has become a classic Cartagena tourist activity so of course Leo got in amongst the action, and touching her left breast is meant to bring good luck so we shall see!
Now, the next thing we did was incredible, and I have to write about it as for a backpacker/ cheap tip this will BLOW YOUR MIND! We stumbled across ‘Choco museo’ on the way home from Fat Gertrude and decided to go in, because I love chocolate and I was praying there was A/C and maybe a small sample of chocolate I could get my paws on! How right was I? Inside we were able to try anything we wanted FOR FREE…in fact they gave us freedom to wander, trying all the different Colombian drinks as well as many different strengths of chocolate and then the sweet table FILLED with beautiful Colombian desserts – cocada, dulce de leche, choco covered nuts and various nut butters. We had reached heaven and I didn’t want to leave! PLEASE ADD THIS TO YOUR CARTAGENA LIST OF THINGS TO DO as I guarantee you won't regret it.
Back for dinner at ‘Quero Arepa’ for more delicious Colombian food specialties of Arepas and fried plantain, it was time to call it a night. After another day of wandering the street, fascinated by the culture, art work, architecture and food. we are really enjoying this city. However, it does bring with it a feeling of unease due to the worry of being mugged constantly after reading too many bad reviews I hope this passes with time as I would love to trust this city, but trust takes time.
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!