I have concluded the diary of the trip to Mauritius saying: "see you in six months..."

Only two weeks later we are on the road again... I still can't believe it...

The instinct of the traveller, like a hawk on a prey, never changes!

This time the destination is Cartagena, north of Colombia...

 

"Oh, man!
Leave your Lari and seeks other shores,
wider horizons will open to you. "

- Giovanni Papini - (1881-1956)

25 january Somma Lombarda (ITALY)

When you travel the unforeseen event are always there...

And here we are in an inn not away from Malpensa Airport instead of being in flight towards South America...

They have shifted our flight for Cartagena of more than eight hours!

They have made us lodge in a hotel near the airport.

This delay will make us reach our destination in the night instead of the afternoon! What a pity!

 

26 january Cartagena (COLOMBIA)

The jet lag has defeated me again... Despite we have gone to sleep at four o'clock in the morning, I was already up two hours later, fresh and lively, wakened up by some howls coming from the beach of my hotel.

I lean out me and I see a big group of girls and guys that, entirely naked, were having a bath in the ocean and howling so loud!

Bienvenidos a Colombia!

Yesterday's flight has been very tiresome also because of twelve hours of flight!

Landed at two o'clock in the morning in Cartagena we directly move to our luxurious hotel: Hilton, while they are keeping on warning us on this Country and while the "Italian young fellow" (this way we rechristen the 60 years old men, our fellow countrymen, "sexual-tourists")

Immediately after leaving our stuff in our room we go to the famous: "Dolce Vita" (everybody were talking about it), it's a disco attended only by the "young fellow" and prostitutes.

As soon as we arrive there, from the main door, we see a beautiful girl accompanied by the European "grandfather"... She: tall, blond hair, tan, with a very sexy dress...

Next to us there is a ridiculous Italian man that, sitting on a bench, as a playboy, near to a beautiful girl, in an invented Spanish asks her: (textual words) "But dos horas in my room... Cuanto?"

We decide to go to rest without even entering there while two more fellows, countrymen and contemporaries, bargained over with Julio the quantity of drug to buy...

I forgot that among the so many "loosers" known so far there was one, who was like us: Ivan, a Sardinian man that, South America lover, was about to start a true enterprise, from Colombia to Canada (jumping U.S.A.) in six months, following the Pan-American road!

[N.d.r.] I hope not to offend anybody, but it wounded me really badly seeing those girls exploited by married men...

In the morning, with Ivan, we walk a bit along the beach and start to have a first idea of the place that hosts us!

The beach is nothing special, it is volcanic, therefore: black, full of local people and with huge buildings along the whole coast that makes you feel to be in Brazil!

The Colombian beach boys are sticky and petulant, I'm sorry that they only offer us drug and prostitutes, but anyway this is what the 99% of the "European middle class men" looks for here!

With a taxi we go to the center. Cartagena is a mixture of Panama Vieja and the Havana.

It alternates very characteristic alleys with colonial colored balconies to small squares Cuba style! Sometimes it reminded me of the magic I used to breathe in that mythical city!

We have visited the center, its calles, confused among them, chatted and joked with them!

We had lunch in a supermarket, in their cafeteria, on a small balcony that leaned out on the Plaza des Rolojes, tasting their everyday life!

In Plaza Santo Domingo we have met Iris, a Nick's friend! It's been beautiful to stroll around with a girl of the place that explained us the beauties of her city! We have drunk something in a small cafe just for Colombian, they gave us attentions, they were curious for us...

[Iris Pomares Belem from Cartagena, Colombia]: "He conocido dos nuevos amigos, dos personas que vienen da otro mundo, otra cultura, otras costumbres"...

[Nick]: "We have filmed some boys that were playing chess and it has been exciting when the promoter of the event has left us a video-message that recited more or less like this: "Look and you will understand that Colombia is also able to do beautiful demonstrations as well!"

27 january Cartagena (COLOMBIA)

 

[Nick]: "Maylediz lives in a popular district in a small apartment in the Barrio Nelson Mandela... We have been kind with her, we have offered her a day as "tourist" with swimming pool in the Hilton Hotel and a nice lunch in a small restaurant nearby".

[Maylediz Vega Puello from Cartagena, Colombia]: "Me agradaron mucho. Son personas muy simpaticos, espero que algun dia regresen aqui a Cartagena. Para mi, es la primera vez que vengo a este Hotel a nadar en la piscina, nunca habia estado ante. Espero que continuen viajando y conociendo muchos lugares. Tambien me gusto mucho cuando jugamos en la piscina, nunca habia jugado asi".

This is the message left by the dear Maylediz. These people don't have anything and spending a day like that, becomes something great! Maylediz had never been to the Hilton, she had always admired it only from passing around and today she has been, or better, she has felt as a client of it! I will never forget her smile. For one day she has been a tourist as well!

A pleasant evening in the Casco Viejo walking and chatting. It's cool to drink something sitting in the Plaza des Relojes, among Colombian and with loud music as background!

Walking among those lanes, so much admired and photographed during the morning but that in the evening they had a different taste; too bad that we were often approached by sinister vagabond that kept on asking for some coins.

Colombia is sadly famous also for her dangerousness, in the past tourists have been killed during simple pickpocketings...

I admit that in the evening, this place scares me a bit...

 

 

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