Tuesday, 21 October 2008

stepping back into the spainish main

Cartagena is gorgeous. Its been a week now and i must leave. if i dont today i will never leave. so its a case of type this, breakfast , bank then finding the traffic flow that will wisk me out and south , starting the climb into the Andes. Its incredibly hot and humid here. at night it doesnt change. i need the cool air of the mountains. More heart felt friendships and goodbyes. its becoming a habit now. all dont want leave each others companies, but do and go into the future friendships of the next towns , with the hopes of bumping into each other by chance. Above is a pic of our last night . buddies from the san blas boat. patrick and karen. rolling around the planet unconventionaly, they are an inspiration for doing it ya own way. karina the colombian rascal, who has unwittingly taught me more spanish with our continuous banter than i have learned anywhere. and omer the adventurous israely, with his new shaved head and chin. we havent left each others side for a month, now we must. hes waiting for his girlfriend to arrive then riding south together..... Cartagena, the hubb of the old spanish main. A city that seems like parts of it havent moved along in 400 years. the old fortresses and cannon batteries are everywhere, still guarding the city. buildings, with ornate balconies painted all the colours possible. people of all mixes live together. relentless street hawkers, selling wooden spoons, panamain hats, moody oaklies and ray bans. men with flasks of coffee wander the streets, for 500 peses you get a shot of tasty sugary strong coffee on every pavement. beggers with a limb missing. colombia still has many many land mines all over the fields and hills. police and military all over, cant even count the amount of differences in uniforms. after a week i finaly am legal to ride off now. Insurance is law here. we managed to get some yesterday. all i need is a high vis jacket. in colombia there has been so many motorcycle drive by assasinations that bikers have to have their registrations written on their helmets and on a high viz over jacket. The nights are fun and lively loud. cuban bands blast out the bongos till the early hours. people salsa instead of walk to the next bar. oh well, the next palce, medellin has a top reputation also so maybe its not that hard to leave here. Im glad that i didint realise i went way to quick through central america and blasted through. i have more time down here. this is the continent that will send me into a vast wonder and wandering. bigger everything. more surreal for an englishman than anywhere could be.
the gang - cartagena fortress. overlooking the caribbean seas
getsemani. old, ruined and wonderful. the forgotten zone of cartagena
getsemani cartagena
old town cartagena

developing sides of cartagena
as above, with the old town tucked to the left
cartagena 400 years ago
sitting, ready for plundering enemies

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