After an exhausting 6 hour bus ride from Santa Marta to Cartagena, we spent 4 wonderful days in the beautiful old town of Cartagena. The best part of the bus ride was the fact that the buses are air-conditioned and have very comfortable seats that recline almost flat.
Cartagena was founded on 1st June 1533 by Pedro de Heredia and named after the Spanish Cartagena. The old town has wonderful colonial architecture and very beautiful shady plazas dot the city centre.
Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful cities in South America, a World Heritage Site and an important trading port for Colombia.
In the former workers’ quarter, Getsemani, life pulses on the streets at night, street artists show their performances to the lively sounds of “salsa”. As our hotel was located in the middle of this colourful quarter, we were able to experience the atmosphere and the pulsating life at first hand.
On 7th June, we went home to Hamburg to join a friends’ wedding reception in Bremen. After this wonderful celebration John had his hip surgery and was completely fit again after the 3 weeks of rehabilitation.
We had a great sailing weekend with our friends Jana and Hauke on the Baltic Sea was also part of it. This time we went from Eckernförde to Maasholm Sonderborg and back. It is always nice to sail there. John had a wonderful birthday breakfast on board thanks to our friends.
The time in Hamburg passed so quickly with many visits to parents, sister and many friends. I also celebrated my 60th(!!) birthday party at one of our favourite restaurants with only 20 of my friends which was just wonderful. The theme was “pink” and everyone participated!
After a total of 9 weeks, we returned to Cartagena where we spent another two nights to acclimatise before taking the bus back to Santa Marta.
Here we needed a few days to get used to the heat. On “Maya”, thanks to our German friends Catarina and Markus, everything was fine.
Except for a few cockroaches that had crept in despite the traps – grr!!
After a week we decided to do the trekking tour to “Ciudad Perdida” – “The Lost City”, as it is closed from 30th August – 30th September and there are no tours available then.
The mountain town of Teyuna was founded in 800 AD high in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and at its height about 3000 people lived there. The Teyuna people were completely wiped out by the Spanish conquest and the diseases they brought with them.
The 60-kilometre trekking tour over 4 days was super strenuous. We hiked during the day in extreme heat and the paths were extremely muddy due to heavy afternoon rains on the first day. Rivers had to be crossed and the 1200 steps to the Ciudad Perdida were also tough. However, once we had reached the top, there was a fantastic view of the architecturally fascinating complex of ruins. A family of Kogi Indians still lives up there in their typical round huts.
On the way on the muddy paths you will always meet mules with gas bottles or building material, led by the Kogis. On the hike we passed open valleys, dense green mountain forest and also some Kogi villages.
In one of these villages we spent a night and one of the elders from the village explained to us some traditions and rituals about their people.
All in all, it was a very impressive hike, but also very tiring.
Unfortunately another souvenir are the countless flea bites we got in the bunk beds during our second night.
I found it quite pleasant to cool down in between either under a roaring waterfall or in the raging wild river right next to the accommodation. Not for John, because the water temperatures were well below 28C!
Back in Santa Marta we are now recovering from the trekking tour before we go to Cartagena with “Maya” next week.
Pictures III ( Ciudad perdida)