03 December 2011

Storming the Castle

I did not pack well for this trip, at all. I think I'll be ok when I get to Bogota, but I am not quite sure what I was thinking when I packed for Cartagena. Apparently, I forgot what heat + humidity is like. And neglected to take heed when a friend, who has been down here the last week, said it was so hot he hadn't worn a shirt in several days. No...I simply packed like I do for any other trip: a few tops, skirts, capris...

I realize now I have no real clue how to deal with hot weather, and certainly do not have the clothes for it. In SF, it gets not for a day or two, we whine, out on a cute dress, and get sunburned. It usually works of to; it's not humid and only lasts until nightfall. That is not the case here. Lesson learned. 

We kicked off today with a desayuno tipico de Colombia -- a bunch of delicious tropical fruit, arepas, patacones and a bunch of other delicious fried things, and café Colombiano. It was so good and filling, we haven't had but some fruit since. (it's 5.30pm)

Off to Castillo San Felipe we went. This is a 17th century fortress not too far from the old town (and visible from the roof of my hotel). It's a pretty extensive castle, lots of nooks and crannies to explore. W found a few pockets of cool... There was one tower where the windows formed a sort of wind tunnel; somehow the air was cool and it felt like our heads were next to an air conditioning unit. We hung out there for a while - largely because we found some shade and couldn't move much more!

After a bit,we headed back down to el centro to cruise around the wall. The old city of Cartagena is surrounded by a huge wall, and you can walk pretty much the whole thing. We found that it was about beer o'clock,and luckily came upon a supermarket that had cans of Aguila. Once procured, we headed back on the wall and continued our walk.

It was a pretty cool way to see the city. The views were awesome and we got to see a few hidden alleys I'm not sure we would have otherwise seen.  I found myself wondering if there was ever a time where the city cools down and gets quiet, and one can just wander without being covered in sweat?

We eventually ran into the end of the accessible wall, and landed in the old city. I grabbed some mango with salt and lime (fruit with salt,lime & sometimes pepper, is sold all sliced up on the streets for just about 1-2$ US), Bill got some local  candy, and we headed back to the sweet airco of our hotel. I decided to take my siesta again by the pool (and actually took myself into the pool!), and have been up here reading and enjoying the music since!

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