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Cartagena

December 24, 2010

Walking out of the Plane in Cartagena was like walking into a sauna. As I waited for my bag I realised that I didn’t have the piece of paper with the name of my hotel on it. The lovely tourist information lady let me use her computer to check my email. I like her more than the man in Bogota. The hotel was OK, but not really worth the money they were asking for so I decided not to stay there for more than the first night. I intended to look for somewhere else to stay that afternoon, but I got distracted by the city, the music everywhere and the dancing.   I also came across a stage being set up and when I asked what was going on was told there was going to be a free concert to celebrate Cartagena getting World Heritage Status.  I went, got a delicious early tea and came back for the concert.   It was great.   Lots of different types of music, dancing, carnival costumes, people climbing cirque de Soleil style, a shower of glittery confetti and fireworks. While I was there I got talking to an Australian tourist and his American and Brazilian friends and we ended up drinking aguadiente in a bar on the walls,  overlooking the whole city and the sea under a full moon.  You can’t complain!

Dancers at the Concert

I woke up feeling a little rough and realised that I had forgotten to buy water on my way home. I showered and went out in search of coffee as fast as I could after ascertaining that check out was 2pm so I had time to go in search of  Spanish lessons and accommodation.  The school that I had emailed about classes suddenly decided that I could only do full weeks at a time and had to start on a Monday, which was no good to me at all. I was a little irked to find that out after having walked all the way over to their building.   I was hoping that they could find me accommodation too, so I then had to go in search of hostels. I took advantage of the 7000 peso lunch menu, free WiFi and air conditioning in the Hard Rock Cafe and got myself a list of places to go and see. Only one of them had space and they were just round the corner form a Spanish and Salsa school that didn’t mind me starting mid week and offered to give me lessons every day until I leave (that includes Christmas day!). I went back there later to have a taster course and rather enjoyed myself. Roll on proper lessons later today!

 

The evening looked like it was going to be another lonely meal and early night but, as I sat in the square with a glass of wine waiting for my food and watching the street theatre, an American came over, said he was eating alone too and asked if he could join me. He had ridden his motorbike down from North America, through central America and now is working his way south through South America. He was interesting to talk to and it was nice to have company. We went for a drink after the food. I then had to go as I needed to be up early(ish) to be at my first Spanish lesson at 9.

 

The other person in the Spanish group is a Russian, living and working in Paris, who has a lot of Spanish friends and so speaks Spanish with quite a strong Spanish accent.  He is having lessons to improve his grammar. This suits me fine. I now have quite a lot of homework to catch up the last 3 days worth of work.

 

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