We made it to Caratagena yesterday after a long day of driving from somewhere north of Aguachica where we had stopped for the night. It took us much longer to get out of the mountains after leaving Barichara than we anticipated. The roads were VERY windy and bad in spots. Lots of truck and bus traffic made the hills and corners a challenge. Most times not able to manage more than 20 or 30kph.
It was so beautiful though - the variety of trees and flowers is just amazing. A really interesting mix of tropical looking plants, huge flowering trees and evergreens. Once out of the mountains the temp and humidity soared. No idea what the exact temp is/was but it's hot. A person can't help sweat just standing still.
Kelsey got pulled over by the Colombian police yesterday for speeding and passing in a no passing zone. I think he tends to style his driving after the most aggressive dude on the road and goes with that. The cops were really nice though - I think the only reason he let us go with no ticket was because of the language barrier.
We went through a crazy little shanty town yesterday not too far from the border with Venezuela. The place was just soaked in gas. Each shack had several fuel barrels lined up along the road. Clearly a little black market fuel coming in from their neighbor.
Today will will explore the old town of Cartagena and visit portions of the fort that has been so well preserved. So far we are a little overwhelmed. First, just getting into the old town was an adventure. Cartagena is a city of 1 million so one doesn't just rock up to where you need to be. You turn down one way streets, you get honked at, you get bullied by vehicles bigger than you. We were hot, tired and getting a little pissy so we pulled over a taxi driver and had him lead us into old town. We of course have much to see here before forming an opinion but our first impression was a bit disappointing as it seems like a giant shopping village. Hopefully that will change after we see some sights today. Prices here are very high. We had gotten used to the rural areas where we could get a very nice meal for $15 all in. Here it seems you cannot even get one main for that price.
Love to all