Arriving in Cartagena Alive and Unmugged

Thankfully my bags turned up at the airport and now just the final step in getting to the hostel...a taxi. I needed a cash point and the taxi driver said he would take me to one. I was dubious. Hurtling down the road, loud Latin music playing and the taxi driver with his light on talking to me in the mirror even though I don't understand a word of Spanish. Welcome to Colombia. Well all went okay, apart from accidentally overpaying because I thought I was being ripped off and actually ripped myself off! Paid £25 for the taxi instead of £4. Whoops. Finally bed at midnight after 20 hours of travelling. 

After a cold shower and warm cereal I headed out into the madness that is Cartagena. I wandered a few streets away from the hostel, down to near the waterfront. There were people and stalls everywhere. I walked down the main street taking in the sights and sounds and smells. To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed so I headed back to the hostel. It started to rain really heavily by the time I got back so I felt a little less like a wimp and more that I had a good excuse for retreating to the safety of the hostel.

After the rain I did head back out and over to the Palacio De La Inquisicion, which is a museum both about the history of Cartagena but also contains some torture instruments used during the Inquisition. Gruesome, I know, but this is what I actually wanted to go see. I got talking to a guy who was American living in Colombia and he kindly translated the museum plaques for me as everything was in Spanish. After the museum we rented some bikes and cycled out to the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas which is a fortess. We walked up to the top, took some photos of ourselves with the giant Colombian flag, got lost in the tunnels and then headed back to the centre. I also got told off. Again. For cycling on the pavement. Oops. To be fair though the roads are pretty terrifying!

Day two in Cartegena has not been particularly exciting. I don't feel there's that much to do here and mostly just pottered the day away. I visited the Modern Art Gallery which was mildly interesting, followed by the Convento & Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, which holds the body of San Pedro Claver in a glass coffin. The streets of Cartagena are a wonder, filled with stalls and brightly coloured buildings and so I just wandered through, eating fresh papaya and taking it all in.


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