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imageAfter 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.

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Standing outside the wall of the old town.

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.

With friends on the wall with downtown across the bay.

With friends on the wall with downtown across the bay.

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.

The flooded streets of Cartagena.

The flooded streets of Cartagena.

No this isn't Venice, but the streets became scenic collections of waterways for a time.

No this isn’t Venice, but the streets became scenic collections of waterways for a time.

Tourists attempting to navigate the flooded streets.

Tourists attempting to navigate the flooded streets.

Abbey road, err wall. Thankfully our friends like to take the road less traveled as well.

Abbey road, err wall. Thankfully our friends like to take the road less traveled as well.

Metal sculptures portraying a variety of activities from daily life.

One of many metal sculptures that portrayed a variety of activities from daily life.

Just one of the numerous colorful homes adorned with flowers.

Just one of the numerous colorful homes adorned with flowers.

Celebrating her ancestry and our cultural diversity.

Celebrating her ancestry and our cultural diversity.

Aside from being colorful the houses had amazing doors with intricate knockers.

Aside from being colorful the houses had amazing doors with intricate knockers.

A street artist who talked us through the process of creating his art.

A street artist who talked us through the process of creating his art.

Trying some of the local street food as always. This is known as an arepa, which is fried corn masa with cheese melted inside.

Trying some of the local street food as always. This is known as an arepa, which is fried corn masa with cheese melted inside.

A view of old town and the new downtown.

A view of old town and the new downtown.

Kevin playing with the camera and attempting to be artistic.

Kevin playing with the camera and attempting to be artistic.

One of the locals at a park just outside downtown.

One of the locals at parque del centenario.

There were also 2 monkeys that lived in the park. Kevin had to fight off two children to play with the monkey but eventually he won.

There were also 2 monkeys that lived in the park. Kevin had to fight off two children to play with the monkey but eventually he won.

Kevin and his friend again

Kevin and his friend again

Melissa befriended a street performer.

Melissa befriended a street performer.

Downtown just after sunset as the lights started to come on.

Downtown just after sunset as the lights started to come on.

A swanky hotel that was nice to look at...and that was all we could afford to do.

A swanky hotel that was nice to look at…and that was all we could afford to do.

The clocktower at the entrance to old town.

The clocktower at the entrance to old town.

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