After 5 days at sea, Kevin in particular was happy to be back on dry land. The sailboat dropped us off in Cartagena, Columbia. Cartagena has one of the most picturesque old towns we have ever visited. A large wall surrounds three sides of the old town. The colonial style buildings are brightly colored and many have huge flowering plants draping down from second story balconies.
The group of 9 backpackers from our recent sea voyage decided to stay together in Cartagena. We chose a hostel called Mamallena in the cheaper neighborhood of Getsemani, nestled just outside the wall. The hostel had a nice courtyard and dorms with 24-hour air conditioning (a huge bonus to escape the everpresent heat and humidity). The one downside was that our room sat on top of a bar that blarred dance music until 4am everyday.
We spent our brief time in Cartagena wandering the streets of old town with 4 of our new-found friends. We walked from plaza to plaza enjoying the architecture and rainbow of colors at every turn. We climbed up on the wall to get a view of the ocean and a different perspective of the city. While we were on the wall the skies opened up and we were assaulted by a deluge of rain and barrage of thunder and lightning. Luckily, there was a small cafe atop the wall where we were when the storm hit and we were able to hide out until the storm passed. The rain lasted only half an hour, but it was intense enough to overload the city’s drainage system and created mild flooding for a short time. We were also entertained throughout the day by musicians, dancers, street performers, and artists.