Time in Cartagena 15/16th Sept.

Tue 16 Sep 2008 12:13
Cartagena is a very attactive city with a modern Club Nautico (including a swimming pool).  We moored Nimue bows to the concrete pontoon (similar to Gibraltar), but it initally wasn't easy for me to get on and off, as we have have not made/purchased our passerelle (for those uninitiated, this is a type of 'walkway' which is attached from the boat to the pontoon) So the procedure for getting off the boat involves climbing round the forestay and stepping onto the anchor (which rocks) and then a big downward stretch to feel the pontoon below.  Sounds farily simple until you find you've stretched as far as you possibly can and there is just sea and not a pontoon under your foot.  Anyway after some thought I made the procedure alot easier, as I 'built up' the pontoon with some wood which gave additional height to step down onto.
We were woken up next morning to the sound of horn blasts and when we looked out to see where the noise was coming from we couldn't help but notice that the very large cruise liner 'Oceana' was moored about 100 metres from us on the landing pier next to Club Nautico.  The blasts were identification signals for the passengers (so it didn't leave without them).  Cartagena is obviously a stopover for cruise ships and it was soon full of tourists buzzing around the place. 
'Oceana' in Cartagena
I managed to drag Michael to 'Corte Ingles' which is a posh Spanish department store with a very good supermarket and we again stocked up for our onward journey.  The only difficulty here was when we tried to take the supermarket trolley out of the complex to get into a taxi about 50 metres away and we were stopped by security and told us we couldn't take the trolley out of the shop?  So I hauled everything out of the trolley and down to the taxi and in the meantime the shop staff we busy trying to find someone to give us a hand.  Too late........ we had already finished by the time help arrived, so we'll have to remember not to go there again!!  We also managed to pick up a new boat hook from a nearby chandlery, the type we lost when I was trying to pick up a buoy in Ireland and had been looking to replace since.
All in all we really liked Cartagena and well worth a visit.  The morning we left I wanted a quick run ashore to pick up some special paella rice, which can only be found in the Murcia region.  One the way, I heard a voice saying "hello Anne".  On turning around I saw Sheila Whitehall (colleague from my old HSBC days) and she was in Cartagena with her husband doing some shopping for their new house in Murcia.....small world???
The first ever Spanish subermarine                                              Me with a sailor??
Pleasant surroundings.............                                                       The marina and Michael carrying the shopping again!!!