We had a wonderful time in Cartagena, such a
beautiful city in the old walled town. The marina couldn't have been more
helpful on arrival, very attentive. They even had a diver to take our
lines and attach them to a buoy on the sea bed (med style mooring), rather them
than me for that job, pretty mucky water!! Unfortunately the marina was
under reconstruction, and was rather dilapidated, to put it mildly. A
wooden open air lean too was the shower and portaloo for the toilets. Glad
we could use our on board facilities. There was no bar or cafe either like
there used to be. However, there was plenty to do outside the
After trying to acclimatize to the worst heat yet,
no breeze and the want for a shower every hour, we went to discover some of the
local sites. The Old Fort, was under attack from the likes of Sir Francis
Drake the infamous Pirate, the Spanish and various other countries for the
Colombian gold. The fort had amazing underground passages, original
cannons, and secret tunnels. We did the tour at 9am and we were all
drenched already from the heat!!! Later that day we visited the La Popa
which is a convent, but we saw no nuns. This is still active, but more now
for display and seminars. It is the highest point in Cartagena and
commands an amazing view of the city.
The old city really is wonderful. Lots of
small streets all with the obligatory street sellers, but beautiful old building
adorned with flowers cascading down from the balconies. A sea of colour as
the houses are all painted in the old terracotta and lapis blue. Street
dancers kept us entertained in the evenings, and so did the Margaritas!!
An evening out with the adults and without the
children (Annie kindly babysat) and we ate in what was a dungeon, now a small
local restaurant. The locals seem to love to coat every meat dish with
cheese sauce and mushrooms which Tim and I don't like. So we opted for a
good fillet, which is what it said on the menu - fillet. Well, this can be
the only place in the world where fillet in the meat section means fish with
sauce!!!! You can imagine Tims face....he managed to change it for some
plain beef, but it was actually rather tasty so I kept mine.
The children befriended some other children on the
boat next to us, so spent many a happy hour playing with them, which helped with
taking their minds off the heat. This boat left San Francisco 1.5 years
ago bound for the east coast of the states. They have no water tanks, so
fill hundreds of bottles and store them in the bilge. They have no sink,
so use tubs, and NO toilet, so use a bucket. I am not quite sure
how they do it. They have 3 kids, aged 8, 4, and 2, all girls.
Because they enjoyed each others company, we decided to have a party for Jessica
for her birthday. It was a very small party, but I think she enjoyed
it. We discovered this dreadful place, which was fab for the occasion -
McDonalds!!!! Well, it was cool and had space for them to run wild
and play party games. They had fun, and had a Piñata, which is a Mexican
idea. A box of candy which the children batter to release the
contents. In McDonalds they have a box high up which the birthday
girl opens the bottom of, and all the sweets fall out. But her
'real' birthday will be on the boat with a bunch of adults which if persuaded
may be able to act like children. I have my orders from Jessica to make a
cake, parce the parcel, and pin the tail on the donkey. No pressure
On route to San Blass now and no wind, so a motor
all the way, which is very frustrating. But looking forward to some good
snorkeling and being at anchor in lets hope some breeze.
Amazing myriad of tunnels, go right down to the
The street entrance to our luxury marina for the
week!! The door is to the left of the blue canvas.
Face painting at the party
The party girl.