Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 100 (125km): We finally reach our destination

Cartagena is not far away from Barranquilla so there was no real panic this morning. The only concern was that Cartagena is a very popular destination for Colombians during the holidays so I was a little worried that finding a place to stay would be hard. We had the names of a few places and we had an idea of where the cheap places would be.

Getting out of Barranquilla was tricky. We had to get on a divided road that we were told bikes weren't even allowed on anyways. On our second attempt to get on the road we realized we couldn't turn left, again. Oh well it was illegal to be on the road anyways, so we illegally used the pedestrian crosswalk to turn left and get on the road. The drive to Cartagena was a no brainer. Straight highway with not much to see.

Once in town it was a little tricky because of the one ways and divided streets to get around. Again we did some things we are not supposed to do. Thankfully a biker showed us which direction we needed to go when we got a little lost. Alberto had pulled over to take another look at the map and ask directions and we found out that we were parked exactly in front of two of the places on our list. There were tons of hotels in the area so we narrowed our choice down based on two criteria: ease of parking the bikes and internet. In the end the Marlin Hotel won out since they had triangular blocks that fit on the front steps to make a ramp. This made it easier to drive the bikes into the lobby. We had to take off everything to get the bikes in though so it was quite the job getting the cases and stuff upstairs to our room. Cartagena is warmer than where we had been, but still thankfully nothing like some of the unbearable places we have been so far. 
Starting the hotel search
That is why he insisted on the rolly cases
We are now were we planned to be starting on Dec 15 after arriving via boat from Panama. Only a few days later than expected. I fired an email off to our friend Mike, who was staying in Cartagena and learning spanish. He had some precious goods for us: a new netbook from Canada. He came by that evening and we went out for some beers on the wall. It was an awesome spot: nice breeze, ocean, view of the city at night. It was really fun to catch up with Mike and maybe we'll see him in Peru next year. It was a great evening; we even saw fireworks on the way home. So far from what we've seen, Cartagena is the nicest colonial city we've been to and well worth the detour. 
Inside the walled city
Mike taking us to the good places

Group photo
Fireworks on the way home
We were hoping to just switch the hard-drive from the old computer to the new computer since that would be the easiest fix. It worked and we were back in business. Mike is our hero for bringing us a new computer! Chicha is alive and well, she just has a different outfit.

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