Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chillin' in Cartagena (by Juli)

We spent Todd's birthday walking around the old city of Cartagena - within the walls built in the 1600s is a very beautiful colonial town / narrow streets, vendors, and small nooks and crannies worth exploring. You can also walk along the top of the wall, and at one point along the wall there's a nice outdoor bar that was a perfect place to catch sunsets. At another not-to-be-named stop, we were also able to catch a little NFL football. Unfortunately, they didn't have the 49er game on but we kept our eyes on the ticker to and watched as the 49ers secured the bye week. Go Niners!

After finishing sightseeing in the city we had pizza in the park and headed back to the fancy Holiday Inn. This would be our last night at this swanky hotel and we wanted to hit up the bar for our free drink!

On Tuesday, we woke early for our one and only scuba trip. We were going to dive at two sites near Isla de Rosario. The weather was perfect and the sea was calm. Todd and I couldn't believe that we were going to dive without wetsuits. The water was so warm - 82 degrees! - we were able to dive for 40 minutes at 40 ft and were not cold at all. That was probably the best part of the dive. Unfortunately, there were not many schools of fish. I guess the Lion Fish, which escaped from aquariums during hurricane Katrin and migrated to this area, have eaten many of the native fish. I guess there are no natural predators to the Lion Fish in the Carribean so their numbers are growing quickly.

After the trip we found a new hotel for our last night in Colombia. Fortunately, Todd took pity on my unsettled stomach and he picked a very nice (and by far the most expensive) hotel we saw. We wanted to make sure that we got a great night sleep before we had 5 nights on a sail boat.

The splurging did not stop there - we had been tipped off by some diving partners to a cevicheria in the old town of Cartagena which also had been an Anthony Bourdain stop on one of his shows. We wandered around a bit until we found it, fortunately there were a couple open seats right in the street, and we sat down to a really good meal of two different types of ceviche - one spicy and one fruity - at $40 USD it was easily the most expensive meal we'd had on the trip (not counting lunch in Miami), but we both really enjoyed it. After that it was back to the hotel for one good night's rest and warm shower before our adventure at sea was to begin.

1 comment:

grace c tullis said...

So happy to hear from you again!! Made my day!!