It’s 1pm in the afternoon and we are already back at our accommodation. I complain about the heat ALL THE TIME and if you read this blog regularly then you will agree, but today is hot! Even for Leo, it is a particularly uncomfortable day and after walking a remarkable 7km’s we had to call it a day and come home to the comfort of our A/C blasting!
Which brings me to wanting to type up a little paragraph about what it’s really like here as I have had a few people mention over the last few days how amazing Cartagena looks. Firstly, yes, the walled city in Cartagena is lovely. Getsamani suburb is beautiful. Both in fact, are truly picturesque, filled with stunning buildings, clean roads and pavements (to an extent) and safety wise, we have both felt pretty ok.
**Disclaimer** This particular blog post is pretty negative but I have added some happy photos throughout as we are actually having a great time despite what I am about to write**
However, this is about 4 square miles of the city of Cartagena itself. We are staying about 20-30minutes outside these beautiful areas what I haven’t posted about is the massive poverty problem here. I haven’t posted about the epidemic which is the litter situation here. I also haven’t posted much about how walking home each night we don’t feel even a little safe as the mugging here is a huge problem. We walked to the walled city this morning along the coast and passed 8 police with machine guns…AT THE BEACH.
Sure, the tourist areas are beautiful, and this is what you see in all the magazines and social media posts when searching ‘Cartagena’ but as soon as you leave the walls and the tourist area be prepared to be immersed in severe poverty, begging, homelessness and trash. SO.MUCH.TRASH everywhere. Being from NZ/ UK we are now accustomed to not using single use plastic - straws, bags, you name it, we don’t want to use it. HERE!! on the other hand the problem is so severe we passed a river yesterday that was clogged with about 8ft of polystyrene food containers and single use plastic.
So, yes as much as our pictures have been amazing we need to make everyone at home reading this aware that we are showing you the ‘Instagram filtered’ life and not the true reality of what is around us in a daily basis (mostly as I am too nervous to even take my phone out to snap any pics)
Don’t get me wrong, we are loving it here and the areas we post about are amazing but being on a budget we generally have to stay further from the tourist areas in practically every location we go to on the this trip, so we are thrown into the local’s way of life, which is more often than not – eye-opening.
So, yeah, probably not the most positive post I have written for a while but certainly the most authentic reality about our day, instead of just the highlights reel. To brighten up the mood, we did have a great walk while we were out for the few hours this morning before I sweated through ALL my clothes. We walked the city wall, wandered the streets of Getsamani (again as it’s wonderful), drank fresh lime juice which - I highly recommend, and ate ice-cream. Sometimes walking and food are all your need to have a wonderful day!
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!