We arrived in this colorful and vibrant city and though exhausted from all the festivities and travel, we pulled it together and went exploring. The narrow, winding streets that eventually take you to a dead end at the old fortress walls remind me a bit of the confusing lanes in Venice. We stopped for an afternoon snack of a ceviche sampler, plantain and manioc chips + guac, and crispy fish bites in a lovely cafe. Afterward I swore I could navigate us back to the hotel. Jeff played along all the while smirking at my utter lack of direction. We walked in a big circle and ended up back at the cafe. I blame in on the jet lag… Wait, we’re only an hour ahead of Colorado? OK, I blame it on the wedding hangover.
Palomino - Bolivar
Three nights in Cartagena was not enough. On our last night, it was as if the city queued a movie-worthy rainstorm as we walked the cobblestones streets in search of dinner. The streets quickly emptied, but all the café doors still stood open and restaurateurs huddled under their overhangs offering us shelter from the rain and a tasty meal to boot. The rain stifled the sounds of the vibrant latino beats that usually echo through the narrow streets. My flowy dress clung to my wet skin as I snuggled in close to Jeff under our umbrella. (Whoa, got carried away there, maybe I should write a romance novel?) We ended in a tiny Italian eatery and had made-to-order ceviche and seafood drowning in risotto. They don’t make wine in Colombia, so only the best restaurants in the big cities offer a nice wine list. Alas, we settled for a bottle of Barefoot pinot grigio. We left our paradise in Cartagena and headed north toward the superb beaches on the Caribbean Coast. Unfortunately, we ended up in they tiny village of Palomino after dark. Never good for an unfamiliar and rural place. As soon as we got off the bus, several young local men approached us on their motorbikes offering to take us to our accommodation. I am extremely scared of being on a motorbike since my crash in Indonesia. I loathe them. They insisted that La Sirena was quite far and down a dark footpath, so I sucked it up… Jeff told my driver to be very careful and go slow because I was scared. So he got on the back of one and I on another. They usually put your backpack between the two of you and the driver or rest it on the handlebars sort of between their legs in case you’re wondering. My driver was very gentle and I’m so glad we went with them, because even though they were leading us down a dark, unknown, dangerous pathway to god knows where, I think it would have been scarier walking there by ourselves. We arrived safely and to warm welcomes from Carolina, the “manager and cook” and to travelers who were congregated in the outdoor eating area. Lorenz and Yuan from Luxemborg and France, respectively, and Julie from Germany.