Cartagena with the Hinks

We were super excited to see Jazz’s parents for the first time in three years. So we stopped at a flower market on the way, and showed up at the airport with a printed sign. We expected to wait at one of those restaurants outside the arrivals gate. Instead, we found that it was a much smaller airport than that, and we were left to wait outside and watch the fuel trucks go by.

The Hinks arrived after only a minor flight delay, and we made it into a cab and back to the AirBnB, where we got Captain’s approval by putting the flowers in the closest thing to a vase that we could find. (Every kitchen we stayed in has a blender; Colombians are serious about their breakfast juice!)

It was a pretty long flight, and the weather was stormy (hence the delay), so we took a relaxed day in the apartment. It cleared up a bit in the evening, so we had dinner at a Frieda Kahlo-themed restaurant close to the house. Then back home, chill time for Captain to chase the local lizards (uncharacteristically successfully, it turned out the next morning). He continued to explore the new space for most of the next day.

After breakfast, and a short walk around town, we took a taxi over to Bazurto market; Andrew mostly fit in the car, though the driver was much more comfortable. The market is a sprawling mess of hallways and stalls selling every kind of product or service as long as it’s cheap. Picture Chatuchak, but dirtier and without any right angles. We had a good time walking around and browsing for wallets in between shoes and fruit stands and eyebrow salons, but when we found ourselves in the middle of the fish market we decided it was time to head back to the walled city.

In the afternoon, we took a tour of the walled city. We started at the edge of Getsemani, which meant we were treated to a couple of pieces of street art along the way.

The transition between Getsemani and the walled city took us through Centenial park, where we met some birds. We were told that the park also has monkeys and a sloth, though all we saw were iguanas. The route continued through several transitional squares and parks on the edges between the neighborhoods.

And then along the walls of the old city…

And through San Diego with its many flowering vines. We also stopped to take the obligatory photo with the Palenqueras, who nominally sell fruit but actually mostly sell photos.

And then down into Centro proper, where the buildings get richer and sport correspondingly more opulent balconies.

We never managed to make it into a Botero museum, but we enjoyed this statue out in one of the plazas.

When night fell the scenery transitioned to Christmas lights and “typical sweets”, which after a taste test, we agreed ranked on a scale from mildly chalky to gravel. The choices in the background are much wiser.

We met up with a friend of ours from Santa Marta, Petra, who’d come in for the night, and had an excellent Italian dinner in Getsemani, followed by a quieter beer back in the apartment.

Sidebar: the view from this AirBnB was absolutely stellar, and a real highlight of the trip. Eighth floor of one of the taller buildings in Centro, and unlikely to lose that moniker any time soon as the whole area is a UNESCO heritage site.

The next day, we said goodbye to our AirBnB and had one more breakfast out in Cartagena, at our favorite coffee shop (Epoca) which turns out to have a really cool roof upstairs.

Then we were off to the bus station to return to Santa Marta and Villa Veritas.