Colombia! Here we are. Or to put it more precisely, have been for three weeks, doing next to nothing. We hit a major pause in our travels, just getting stuck places and seeing the bare minimum of our surroundings. And when you don’t do that much (read: be active and go see that church, that sunset, that night market) you get depressed and don’t want to do anything. A vicious circle has emerged.
Luckily we finally showed the circle our middle finger and have been like newborn backpackers going around with excitement and wonder in their eyes. Something that might have caused it is the city of Cartagena. Easily one of the most beautiful cities I have visited. You could spend countless evenings either in the Old Town (Walled City) or Getsemani eating street food, drinking corner store beers and follow different performances.
And since we were back in action doing stuff, we did all the stuff tourists do minus beaches. We are done with beaches.
Visiting the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas (on a day when we all melted in the heat) that overlooks the city, taking a free walking tour around the Walled City (free in a sense that you give a tip at the end), and the last day was spent mud-bathing with strangers and getting washed by middle aged Colombian ladies.
And of course on our last night in Cartagena, we went to a salsa club. Not the expensive Café Havana every article mentions but a cheaper, I’d assume more local one, just a couple of blocks away from the hostel.
I did say earlier that we took two salsa classes and became quite good quite quickly. Also it has been two months from those classes with zero practice. Thus our salsa relied mostly on the basic back-and-forth step and it gets boring after couple of songs.. I got lucky as the place was filled with older Colombian men showing off their skills and I got to dance with a gentleman who made me feel like I knew how to dance! He also did a moonwalk-type-of-a-thing but sideways, dressed in fine white shoes and airy white cotton pants, topped up with a vest and Cuban hat.
Little did the gentleman know that just moment ago downstairs I had to ask in the beginning of every song “Is this one salsa?” before I went to practice the same back-and-forth step. Maybe you understand this better if you know that my music teacher laughed out loud in a singing exam at the number of notes I could sing without going off tune (the number is two and I was in good terms with the teacher so laughing was fine). I’m not exactly the musical person of the family and thus I think I’ll be asking the salsa-question a few more times..
If you are still unsure about your next city/beach-destination, choose Cartagena!