Sunday, 13 April 2014

Chilling out in Cartagena

We didn't do much in Cartagena - it's a city that lends itself to strolling around the old town taking in the architecture and then lounging around in the heat of the day.

Club Havana - the key place for salsa in the Getsemani area

We also made it out to the mud volcano for an afternoon. This was an interesting experience too! Our bubbly tour guide Vanessa took us the 50km to the volcan de lodo El totumo and explained what we could expect.

First you climb the mud walls and take a ladder down into the brown goop. Here a man guides you into the mud and makes sure you are fully covered. The man you gave your camera to will take pictures.

Next up if you want a massage they will massage you - given the texture of the mud (lots of organic matter floating in it and grit) this is more like an exfoliation.

Then you get out and walk down to the Laguna, where a mammie will help you wash the mud off. They will also disrobe you so wash your swimmers! Luckily this happens whilst you are sitting in murky water so you don't flash anyone!

Then you return to the changing hut for fruit and beer if you fancy and all the helpers come to collect their 3,000 COP tips.

A weird experience but worth doing if you have time whilst you are there!

We spent the rest of our time in Cartagena wandering around the old town walls and taking photos of the beautiful architecture whilst trying to avoid Panama hat sellers...

Hat sellers running away when we wouldn't buy any!

More hats - even if you were already wearing a hat that wouldn't stop them!

Our street in Getsemani - not quite old town but still had its own wall! (There were lots of GOT jokes about the walls!)

Cat on the wall - it wasn't that cold...

Lots of beautiful squares, lovely old houses with balconies and flowers!

We escaped the heat for a while by diving into the gold museum - which was free and air conditioned - score!

Lots of filigree earrings

And some interesting burial jars - we thought they were ultra cute!

We stayed at the Mystic House in Getsemani - I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to sleep in an unairconditioned sweat box. There was also no bar and no atmosphere....

We did like the bar at Mamallena - just up the road - and they had air con rooms for the same price as Mystic - unfortunately they were fully booked when we were looking. Another good hostel is Media y Luna - which had fan cooled rooms, but they look really cool, all white washed, and the busiest bar on a Saturday night. We didn't stay there as it was pricey and we didn't want to be kept up to 6am by the party - but it looks like a better choice after the fact!

Getsemani is a lot more urban and edgy than the old town and is full of bars and cafés and some great street art:

After 3 days in Cartagena we flew out to Bogota for some cool weather and for Cat's last few days :(

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