Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 100: Off the Stahlratte and into Cartagena.

Greetings fellow cerebral travellers!
Our wonderful voyage on board the Stahlratte has come to an end but the memories and the friendships will last for years to come. As will, we hope, visits to each other in new travels.
We were all up quite early to watch the arrival of the Stahlratte into Cartagena harbour. The weather was damp but the views were spectacular, especially after having spent so much time out of sight of land.








For those of us from earthquake prone Wellington, the skyscrapers looked great. As did the statues.




Here's Mella looking forward to being on dry land once again.




But first we had one more breakfast to share - Ludwig, Ed, Phil and Paige.




Taka, Ed and Ekki.




Before Shirley disappeared, once again, into the galley. (Floyd, one of the wonderful crew in the background.




Then it was farewells and "we'll meet agains!" before we got ready to go.




They sent the young ones first to make sure it was safe.




Then it was our turn. We were too busy hanging on to take photos. We got ashore and headed for our hotel. The plan is that we will go back in the morning at 6.30am to collect the bikes as they come ashore and go through customs and insurance.
We then went for a walk in this incredible old city.




There is a pirate tradition here and the city has been sacked many times before a wall was built to protect the old town.




The wall seems so small now but it must have been effective because it protected the city from many later sieges.




We went for a walk in the old city, along with heaps of people off cruise ships and many hawkers wanting to sell you stuff.




The streets are cobbled and narrow.




with colourful characters....




We ran out of steam after a while because it was so hot and humid and went back to our hotel for a nana nap. It was good too. :-)

And that was really our day. We went out to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and then back to the Casa Villa Colonial, our hotel.

An early start in the morning and a new part of the adventure. We're not sure whether we will head south to Medellin tomorrow or whether we will stay here for one more night. The decider will be the time we are able to get Ebony and Mella cleared from customs. We have heard that it can be variable.

Finally, here's a little story. Many of you will have heard that Colombia can be an unsafe place to visit. In the old city today I bought a bottle of water which came to 15,000pesos. Which sounds a lot, but ain't. I had just been to an ATM so got out three notes which had a 50 on them and offered them. The street seller just laughed gently and refused them and took a 20,000 peso note. It was only later that I realised the notes with 50 on them were 50mil ie 50,000 pesos. I was trying to give him 150,000 pesos for a bottle of water. If he had taken it, I wouldn't have been any the wiser ... until later maybe.

So no deep message in the story. Just that there are honest people in all walks of life.

Today's run: 0kms
Cumulative: 26,107kms
Tipovers: 4

Location:Cartagena, Colombia.

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