Category: Colombia, 2016


February 8

One of the most important tourist hubs in South America, Cartagena is a gem. Old world colonial façades mask modern boutique hotels and restaurants on the inside. Narrow streets with horse-drawn carriages prance past and the Caribbean evening light reflects ambers and lavenders overhead. Shopping, eating and walking throughout the center of this spectacularly walled fort are certain distractions. 

We arise early and head out at 6AM to the local market to wade through the tight web of fish, meat, chicken, and fruit vendors and their local clients. It’s a market unlike others – gritty, real, grungy, friendly, fascinating, and utterly photogenic. Nevada says that it’s one of her favorite markets, and I could see why. There are no tourists (other than us).     




    Post breakfast at the hotel, we have a private walking tour of the historical components of the city. Scheduled for 2 1/2 hours, I peel off when we get within a couple blocks of the hotel after an hour and a half. Though there’s a pleasant breeze, it’s quite hot, so I cut it short, even though the city is undeniably charming. There is a more touristy feel to Cartagena, and we see many other tourists


In the afternoon, we wander through the evolving Getsemeni residential district. The weather is very hot, but a steady, delightful breeze makes it bearable.This tucked-away neighborhood, ten minutes’ walk from the center, gets us a little closer to every-day reality for the locals. I spent at least half an hour with a young Jamaican man named Osho at a gallery in which his uncle’s naive, self-taught art was displayed as was clothing painted by Osho. He was a delightful fellow, who had lived several places in the US, traveled extensively in Colombia and Venezuela and was a musician, as well as an artist. We exchanged emails and may well stay in touch.  


We walk back to the hotel along the old city wall by the Carribean. After a bit of a rest, we head around the corner from our hotel for an excellent dinner at Restaurant Don Juan.


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