Day 15 – Private tour in Cartagena, Columbia

Another alarm start to the day (which I am definitely not used to). Again we watched our arrival in Cartagena, Columbia from our balcony.

Then headed to breakfast, once again in Windjammers. It was busy today so we ended up sharing a table with a nice couple, before having to race off to meet todays private tour guide – John from Tours By Locals. His daughter met us on the pier and walked us through the cruise terminal area to his car. Turns out his wife was our driver for the day. We didn’t really understand why until we saw the crazy drivers. There don’t seem to be any lanes – people just go wherever they want. And there are lots of motorbikes as well. Makes Panama drivers seem not so bad (except for he red racer buses which fly along with people hanging out the doors).

Anyway, first stop was to visit La Popa Hill for a panaramic view over to the old city and a visit to the Monastery. I very beautiful place. There are so many beautiful flowers everywhere in Cartagena. John told us the history and myths of the Monastery and we had a good look around (stopping in the shade where possible because it was SO HOT !!

From here we drove to the fortress of San Felipe to take some photos of the exterior and try to avoid the very determined sellers that were everywhere.

It was always nice to get back into the air conditioned car after being out in the heat. Next stop was the old Walled City for a walking tour. We started by heading up onto the walls – where I promptly tripped over the same thing on the ground – TWICE !!!!

This part of the city was lovely – beautiful old colourful colonial buildings with verandahs covered in flowers. Narrow street built for horse carriages and many plazas. But the pretty town was ruled by the Spanish who branded and sold slaves in those lovely plazas and expelled anyone who wasn’t Catholic.

We looked through some market shops, though we didn’t buy anything (being a minimalist means I’m super picky with what I do buy). We did buy some chocolate from a chocolate shop (after seeing it was fair trade) and I got some beautiful earrings with an emerald in them (I mean we are in Columbia).

We had a lunch stop at a cute little restaurant that only had about 6 tables. There was nothing vegan on the menu but John talked to the waitress and the chef offered to make me a vegetable fried rice. It was quite nice, but the flavour was a little smokey for me. Kevin had mushrooms in a cheese sauce which he really enjoyed.

We enjoyed our tour (despite the heat) and took loads of photos and video.

There was a stop on the way back to the cruise ship for a panoramic view around the peninsula.

And then one last stop at a restaurant on the harbour (where could have to chosen to have a drink and relax – but we opted skip this.

After getting dropped off we walked though the Port eco park to see the animals we hadn’t been able to visit on the way through this morning. The parrots were stunning (and noisy). They are free and able to fly – which was nice to see.

Couldn’t believe this Giant Ant Eater – didn’t even know such a creature existed.

And of course, I loved seeing the flamingoes. I got all excited when I saw them on our way through to meet wit John.

Back on board we were VERY happy to be in the air-conditioning again and just cooled down in our room for quite some time. Once again we did sail away from our balcony and got to enjoy another lovely sunset.

Dinner at 5.30pm seems to be a little too early for us and we debated getting room service, but instead Kevin went to Windjammers to get dinner for us to eat in our room. I had a very delicious Veggie Burgers. As we ate we watched the Love & Marriage Game Show which was repeated on the ships TV channel. Was a good laugh. Then we watched a Disneyworld Vlog on youtube before reading and going to sleep. Looking forward to NOT having the alarm wake us up in the morning.