We got up late (later than what was agreed upon) as we all slept late. But regrouped quickly and headed to see the walled city after checking out from our hotel. With no destination in mind, our small group (some members decided to stay back and enjoy their bed than what Cartagena had to offer), once again resorted to group think tank way of thinking. After some deliberations we agreed to go and see Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. But as luck would have it, it started raining and we had to take shelter next to a closed store.
Finally the rain stopped but we lost a lot of time and had to change plans. We headed to the Hard Rock Café. In the meantime, rest of the members joined us. We split into small groups and headed on our own little expeditions. Our group decided to walk through the lanes to absorb the beauty of the walled city and I promise you it was totally worth it.
Eat like a local is my motto at all times and so we tried cocadas. Cocadas are a traditional coconut candy or confectionery found in many parts of Latin America. They are particularly popular in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile. They are oven baked but are served at room temperature to ensure the nice chewy and soft texture. Made with eggs and shredded coconut, cocadas come in a variety of colors due to the modern use of food coloring; however the traditional variations are golden brown.
The cocadas were tasty, although too sweet for me. We found a small market where people were selling handmade stuff and souvenirs for travelers. I bought few of them for my friends and family. Finally we came back to our hotel and then headed for lunch. And once again, it was a decision making time and once again we all were divided. Finally we decided to go for Jeno’s Pizza. The food was quite fine.
All that walking made us super tired, we got on to the bus, napped and in no time, we were back at our hotel. The trip was brilliant and something I’d recommend to everyone traveling to Colombia.
As I reflect back on the time we spent, I feel us, as a group became closer, some of us now have stronger ties and some of us are still tied to ourselves. As they say, traveling together makes you see the real person. Plus the IBM CSC assignment makes it all more challenging.
There is so much I want to share – the ‘dance’ island, the masseur who wants to name her kid ‘Khalid,’ the story of my lost slippers, the guy who almost sold me ‘Colombian happiness’, the gift Dani got from a street vendor, the boat which stopped in the middle aka the scary boat ride, the ‘lizard’ apartments, the thundering night (see the video below) which scared me and much more. The weekend was a lovely one.
Tomorrow, we are going to meet ex-armed guerrillas and I am looking forward to it. I am told, that to do so sometimes, we have to take the police along, as the neighborhoods are not safe. But I am hoping tomorrow it would be all fine. I will share with you how it went. Till then, be well and make this world a better place for you and everyone else. Cheers.