"I would rather ride my motorcycle through the impassable Darien Gap then take that boat with Michel again" by Brad Cougle
"If I go to a restaurant and order a $6 steak I'm happy if I can eat it, but if I order a $30 steak it better be a damn good steak!" by Brad Cougle
"My boat is a $6 steak" Captain Michel. "I know, but I paid $30..." by Brad Cougle
DAY 98-101, Jan. 16-19, 2012, Cartagena, Temp: 23-30C, (N/A, 12,460km)
Cartagena is a beautiful city for sure. Full of colonial historic builidings and a reasonable night life with a sizeable population of 500,000 the city is worth a visit. As we waited the first day to get our passports around 2pm and then the bikes the next day Guy, Dan and myself walking on sea legs in the heat eventually found Hotel Pedregal near the Fortress (A/C, private bath and all the spanish soap operas you can watch for $25). It was a pleasant surprise to see how modern Colombia is even though the traffic raced around faster and more chaotic than Central America. Oh, and yes there may be a few head turners here.
From my last post I think I have said enough about the boat. I will however conclude with the point that Customs boarded the boat looking for Michel as he did not contact them prior to unloading the bikes. Oops. They stopped us half way though unloading and Michel had to do some fancy foot work, but in the end it turned out to be minor. Oh, and Michel also set us up to pay an additional $35US to his importation consultant. Of course we told him to stuff it and completed the forms ourselves as it was easy enough (even though we waited 2 days likely because we had too many bikes all at once for the customs guy). See stats page... http://thelifeofbrad.blogspot.com/p/tlob-to-argentina-stats-page.html
In Cartagena we enjoyed; Cheap lunches that included soup, rice, beans, meat and a juice. Sunset at Cafe del Mar which you pay for via $6 drinks, but it's good. Some bike problems due to salt water exposure. Good dinners and drinks to complete everyday. In 4 days I had fun even though I didn't even make the beach.
|One of the protecting walls as you enter the harbour
|Very nice sky line from the boat
|In town, the fortress of San Felipe
in the distance,
|Dan, Guy and me, dinner time.
|Hotel El Pedregal
|Those smart, efficient germans
setting the lifting ropes before going
on the water. Much more stable.
|Some pretty sweet boats in the marina
|Due to poor communication with the
port authorities we found ourselves
in some hot water for a bit.
|3 hours in to it and the 7th of 9 bikes reaches the dock.
|Light weight KLR 650 (400lbs)
|We made it!
|We really didn't make it that far.
Bikes were stuck here for another
24 hours. Good thing Cartagena
is cool, plus we saved on parking.
|Dan and Sam enjoy a beautiful morning coffee
|Super shiny for the first time in
|Roof top view from El Pedregal
|Fortress across the river
|Washing the dog in a bucket
|At Henry Confectiones
|Classic street vendor shot
|The writing's on the wall
|Two Colombian staples. I had no problem with the cake,
but the sweet Malt extract was not drained.
|Streets of old town
|Protective walls of the city
|Cafe El Mar, I think it's famous
|The expensive patio.
|Leaving Cartagena, road ahead was C3R7T3V6
|Mud Volcano entrance
|Bathroom at the restaurant we
parked and ate at. Longest wait for
lunch of the whole trip (1+ hr)
Just before the life changing mud bath
|Felt very foreign in so many ways
|Did he touch you inappropriately
|Your face isn't supposed to be that muddy, but I saw Dan
with mud on his and just assumed he put his face in it.
Not the case, but that's how I roll.
|Sammy looking like frankenstein
Back on our way we ended the day by passing Santa Marta and staying in the more relaxed Taganga (it was a couple years ago). It’s a party spot with a shitload of hostels once you find the right area. We ended up at Bayview which is not the cheapest option, but had a pool and our Swedish friends from Panama too. Side note: During Jan all the Colombians are on holidays too so it gets tight for accommodation.
|Big port bound ships in the distance
|C2R7T4V8, Love being next to
|Very poor areas near Cienaga
Very aggressive driving, which you get used to after a couple of days. How will I ever drive in Canada again.
|Happy to be here Dan?
|Cops station in Taganga
|Meat on a stick for $.50, Yes!
|Whatever the hell this is...
|Shot from the trail that crosses to Playa Grande
|Check out the photo shoot behind
|Diving off the shores of
Also in the area and about a 45min ride away passed Tyrona park is Costeno Beach where a couple of La Cross playing Canadian brothers, Calem and Brian, have set up a very nice place to stay. I highly recommend heading out there for a night or two. My first night I stayed in a hammock under a shelter for $7 and then next I went under a Kiosk for $15 which was outstanding waking to the ocean and beach right in front of you. Nice work putting this place together guys. Oh, and good meals too with seconds!
|Riding the dirt next to a plantation
|I believe people are living here
|This is Costena Surf School / Beach and it's nice
|Vball and ocean
|Bathrooms and shaving station
|When you have a beard and shave
this much it's bound to be tried
Beautiful Costeno Beach
|Inside the Kiosk
|Check out the makeshift connection
between the compressor and tire
|The internals of my tire pump
Dan and Sam two up with Surfboard
|Out of the sand and back to the
|Hotel Intermar, 1 block to beach
|On the water front of Santa Marta
|Major port just to your right kind
of takes away from the beach
|This is sweet to me
|Tiendas with cheap drinks and
tables to enjoy, why go to the bar?
|Why...did I do that?
|Hookers in the lobby of the hotel
RECOMMEND at least 3 days in Cartagena, 2 in Taganga, 2 in Santa Marta and 3 in Costeno Beach.
|Dan trying to keep Guy proud refuses his Carbs
|Hello? Who's there?
|Eating chicken the hygienic way
|Drinking at the local Tienda is
even better when you have a pisser.