So we took a bus from Tacanga and Santa Marta to Cartagena on June 24th and stayed in Cartagena until July 3rd. It was a long time in one place but Cartagena was gorgeous. Cartagena was a Spanish gem and they protected it strongly. There are huge forts all over the city and there is the Old City that has been preserved since the 1500s and the New City with beaches and luxury clubs. We stayed at the Media Luna Art Hostel about 5 minute walk from the Old City. The Hostel was awesome! There was a small pool- which likely had multiple diseases, I don´t think they washed it the whole time we were there- and each dorm room had huge white bunk beds. There was an upstairs deck that overlooked both the Old and New Cities and had great breezes when the Cartagena heat got to ya.
The first day the boys wanted a bit of getting back to reality time so we went to the airconditioned mall and watched a movie and ate McDonalds! Haha We went to a small Casino and played free Bingo and it was there that I learned about Michael Jackson. Craziness! I should have taken this as a sign that bad things were coming. Mads- one of the Danish guys traveling with us- got sick and left to go to the hostel. Anders- the other Danish guy- started feeling sick later that night. They both got uncontrollable fevers, loss of appetite, sensitive eyes, and the chills for like 6 days. Were they dehydrated? No! The flue? No! DENGUE FEVER!! YES! Both of them got Dengue Fever- the tropical disease we learn about in classes. I felt bad but I was very interested in them as case studies and asked them repeatedly about their symptoms etc. They are much better now, thankfully, and are on their way back to Denmark. I miss them already!!
Anyway, what else did we do in Cartagena? Walked through the Old City a lot. It seriously is super pretty. We went to this great restaurant like 3 times because I loved it so much. Its called Crepes and Waffles and is a Colombian chain with sooo many kinds of crepes and waffles for dinner, dessert, anytime. I met a dutch guy named Alex in our Hostel and we went around and took a lot of pictures of the Old City with his really good camera. I also went with him and some others from the Hostel on a Chiva Bus. Its a Colombian party bus that takes you aroudn the city for like 3 hours and gives you alcohol and a tour. It was awesome. We got off at the beach and hung out for a few hours until the Colombian police decided they didn´t want us on the beach anymore and tried to get us to pay them. Corrupt! Luckily, no harm was done and I made it out of Cartagena safely a few days later.
Last super cool thing we did in Cartagena was the mud volcano!!! That´s what they call it but it wasn´t really a volcano- more like a hill that had mud on the inside of it. THe mud was like a greyish silky substance. I went with Steve and he would NOT go into it. I did of course- I mean I couldn´t resist slippery muddy grossness. He took some cool pictures of me and other Colombians chilling in the mud. Then you get out and rinse off in a large super warm green lagoon. haha Great times.
We flew out of Cartagena early morning on July 3rd and separated ways. I was on my way to Cusco, he was going to stay in Lima for a few days.. Adios Colombia- for now- we´ll be returning at the end of July!