Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cartagena

After a week in Bogota, I was ready to get out of the semi-gritty, semi-glitzy Colombian capital. The city was fine, if surprisingly cold. I was comfortable and enjoyed it well enough—visiting Moneserrate, the Botero Museum and the Museum of Gold. I liked the city well-enough, but I didn't find that it was a city that especially inspired me.  It was simply another sprawling Latin American capital--although on the upper-echelon of such variety.

I left the cool air of Bogota and arrived into the warm night of Cartagena de Indias on the Caribbean coast. I was greeted with the sultry humid wind as I was dropped off in the midst of the walled city. 

 I checked into the hostal, and checked out the colonial charm of the little plazas and narrow streets. The humid night kissed me with a Caribbean-Colombian charm, as the midnight breeze tasted of rum and coconuts.

In a small bar on the corner of pastel charm, I sipped a cold Aguila beer as the fans clacked above and salsa music blared out of the speakers, punctuating the night. This was interesting; this had potential.

The next morning, I walked along the walled ramparts, watching the surf crash into the rocky shores. I listened to families of green parrots squawk overhead, and I found some shade near a security guard and her cat to read Harry Potter.

I wandered back down through the curving streets of the pastel colonial gem bathed in lemon, lime, tangerine and periwinkle. Creeping tree branches wrapped around the white wrought-iron bay windows and along the stucco tile roofs.

Banyans offered tropical shade in little plazas.

I found myself caught up in the dreams and memories of one Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It will be Gabo who accompanies me to the year's end. 

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