*Disclaimer: Though written during the COVID-19 crisis, this trip took place in the middle of 2019 and therefore did not violate any travel restrictions. Stay safe and enjoy some virtual travel until things are back to normal.
We woke up and had breakfast at our hotel outside in the already warming sun. Fresh fruit and various other delicious foods.
After finishing our breakfast we took off into the heat. We had opted to do a walking tour to start off our time in Cartagena and get an overview of the city.
Our guide led us through the old town, showing us various features of beautiful Cartagena. We saw some of the traditional dancers, and lovely historic buildings. Our family was particularly taken with the unique door knockers, which were used to symbolize people’s status and position, for example sea creatures to show off members of the navy. The whole city was so colorful and vibrant.
It was very warm though, and extremely humid. Our guide thankfully stuck to the shade as much as possible. We had some fresh lime juice midway through and that helped greatly.
Once done with the tour we were still hot and tired, so we opted to go grab some lunch. My brother had actually done the restaurant research and so we ended up at a tapas place called Caffe Lunatico.
We had a variety of different foods as well as a pitcher of delicious sangria.
We left feeling much more refreshed, though we did opt to head back to the hotel and get a swim in since it was getting to be the warmest part of the day.
After a swim and some relaxing, we headed back to the city walls to try to catch the sunset. Our tour guide had recommended a certain place on the walls to catch a good view.
Sadly the sunset wasn’t great that evening with too many clouds, but we still enjoyed people watching while we waited.
After that we wandered a bit more, waiting to get some dinner. We particularly loved the views of one of the churches in the evening light.
At a small local park we took a seat on a bench, and to our surprise a dance performance started up. We enjoyed watching the dancers perform for a while.
We also made a quick stop for my brother to pickup a local delicacy he’d been wanting to try: Ants.
I’d been brave a few times during the trip, but I drew the line at eating bugs. So sadly I didn’t get to experience it. But I really loved being the photographer so I suppose it wasn’t a total loss. My dad tried them as well. He made some funny faces, but in all seriousness thought they weren’t too bad.
Finally, it was time to go grab some dinner. We went to a restaurant called Don Juan. I had a shrimp risotto which was amazing, and then shared several different desserts, which were delicious.
From there it was back to the hotel.
Now, technically… there was a day 13 to our trip. But I’m not going to write a post about it.
I’d mentioned in earlier posts that my immune system is terrible. As a result I had been given some anti-malaria medicine by my local travel medicine clinic. I’d started taking it as we headed down from the mountains into lower elevations, where malaria is more common. However, no one bothered to warn me that the medication can have some nasty side-effects.
I spent all of day 13 in bed with stomach trouble and fatigue. Sad to say I missed out on my last day in Cartagena. My family climbed up to the fort overlooking the city and also went to the Museum of the Inquisition. Here are a few photos of their last day
All in all my trip to Colombia was pretty amazing. Being sick definitely was pretty terrible, especially having to spend my last day in bed the whole time, but other than that it was a great experience.
I actually would love to go back some day, especially to maybe do a hiking trip to the lost city, or maybe to see the beautiful Caño Cristales, the river of five colors when algae blooms and creates a rainbow within the waters.
But for now I’m just going to be hanging out at home, dreaming of my next big adventure.
Hope you’ll consider subscribing to catch any future posts when I can actually go back out and explore the world once more, or maybe review some older trips.
Read the other posts about this adventure here:
A Colombian Adventure: Bogotá Day 1
Out of the City: Bogotá to Ibagué Day 2
Journey Through the Andes: Salento Day 3
Powering Through: Popayán Day 4
Along Ancient and Wild Roads: San Agustín Day 5
On the Road Again: Colombian Adventure Day 6-8
Immersed in Nature: Colombian Adventure Day 9
Birds and Waterfalls: Colombian Adventure Day 10