We are soon to be leaving Cartagena. We would both have liked a bit
more time here; although it's been great fun, it has also felt like hard
work! We've met some really nice people from Belgium, South Africa,
Australia, Ireland and had some big nights! The best of which was Cafe La
Habana down in the old city - lots of Colombians putting us to shame with
The old walled city is beautiful, UNESCO listed with heaps of Spanish
Colonnial architecture and a really laid back vibe. There is a real mix of
absolutely pristine C18th mansions with internal courtyards and pools
($5m+ USD) and some real dives too. You can walk along the city walls
looking out over the Caribbean, then stop for a plate of Cervice and a
beer to watch the sun set. We don't want to leave yet!
We've also got a lot done - repairs to both main sails (hopefully we'll
get them back today or we'll be going nowhere), engine injector leak
sorted and all tested, teak deck re-plugged and sealed where it was
leaking up front, cushions repaired and some new new ones made.
Unfortuantely all investigation into wind-gen and solar panels has
resulted in nothing, so we are still reliant on the engine to charge the
batteries. Priority #1 at our next port of call...
All of that (and I have needed to be pretty near a toilet a lot of the
time ;-)) has meant we haven't been as free in the days as we'd have liked
to go expore but we feel we've seen most of what we want to. We went up to
Fort San Felipe which was the only reason the English didn't conquer this
place from the Spanish (They conquered every other Fort in the area. It's
probably a good thing or it may look like Costa del Chav now...) The fort
is really impressive - Health & Safety would freak out if they could
see the tunnels they let you go down! It was also interesting to go to the
Naval museum and read how the enemy reported how the English and French
decimated the place at different times.
Anyway enough history (must be getting old and sensible). The
"marina" Club Nautico is on Manga island - which reminds me of J
every time and makes me chuckle. It seems to be full of pizza joints, drug
stores, ice cream parlours and hairdressers. But not one bar! The
affluent part of town I suppose...
All being well we are off to the San Blas islands tomorrow to meet up
with Suzy and Mike (Sammy's sis & bro in-law), then her parents - who
will hopefully help us through the canal.
That's all for now folks! Off for a much needed Club Colombia!