Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Day 102: waiting in Cartagena for paperwork. Sigh.

Hi everybody
A bit of a frustrating day today but (as usual) Shirl and I made the most of it. If you have been paying attention (we really like the way Janice and Brian are giving us feedback!) you will know that yesterday ended with us still waiting for the paperwork for our compulsory insurance.

Well .... last night we were hit by a huge thunderstorm that thundered hugely all around Cartagena and went on for some time. Some hours in fact. Actually from about midnight to 10am. This put the city's computer system on the blink. So we are told. So we sat around our hotel waiting for the insurance papers to arrive, diving out only for essentials such as coffee and coffee and money and coffee. And a few others things that, as this is a family show, we won't mention.

At 1pm we decided we would stay in Cartagena for another night. At 1.05pm - or thereabouts - we heard that the papers had arrived at the hostel up the road where all the others were staying. Soggily. Cos it leaked. Badly.

Too late by then. Shirl and I had headed to town to catch the double decker open topper sightseeing bus thingee to have a look at those parts of the town we had not already seen. What a great idea. So .... because sitting waiting in a hotel is not very photogenic, the photos today are really all about the tour. And our walk around town.

Did we say it was wet? The streets were flooded.

We could have gone on this motocicleta. I wanted to sit on it but the woman in my life wouldn't let me in case it got broke.

Lots of narrow streets with strange blokes in hats walking along them.

And then lunch. Shirl had a shrimp creole platter

while I had a seafood casserole. With plantain frittery things and rice laced with brown sugar.

Then we caught the bus. It was a hop on hop off bus but because we are leaving tomorrow (we hope!) we only hopped on. Then hopped off again. The driver was fantastic. Here is a typical street from the top deck of an open-topped double decker bus. In red.

Here are some walls.

Here are some more walls.

These are walls too.

The history of Cartagena is really quite interesting. Having been sacked by old Frank Drake in 1586

they built these huge forts with sloping walls to cope with cannon balls. And the city stayed in Spanish hands for years until 1811. Here's some more walls.

At this point Shirl's camera said to blazes with all these walls, I'm on strike and promptly died. Well, the battery did anyway. So that was really that!

The tour took us through modern Cartagena which was all skyscrapers and shops and floods and waterlogged cars and things and then dropped us off back in the old town where we felt at home.

That was that. We met up with D&D for dinner in a local restaurant. We were joined by a huge group of Belgian tourists, some of whom had been in the same cafe as us for breakfast. Suddenly ..... nothing happened! Then .... bang ... all the lights went out. In the whole street. We four immediately launched into a song of "Happy birthday", loud and raucous. The Belgians were puzzled. And muttery. Until their guide explained that we were bikers and then they understood. Which is just as well. They then asked us how old we were and got even more muttery.

Tomorrow we are on the road south to Medellin. We won't get there but with any luck we will knock off 300kms or so. And get to experience the legendary Colombian driving.

Cheers all.

Today's ride: 0kms
Cumulative: 26,119kms
Tipovers: 4

Location:Cartagena, Colombia.


  1. wow - what a lot to catch up on - been pretty side tracked and distracted last week to 10 days obviously. What great stories of your travels - nerve wracking in parts for you to say the least.
    All good here - I even have a mob, to start in December for 6 months - phew!

  2. well of course it is a job not a mob - but you get the idea!!