06.04.2011 - 10.04.2011
Salento to Cartagena gobbled up some miles for us. We took a 50 min bus to Pareira for 5000 pesos then got a bus to Medillin which took about 4 ½ hours and cost 30000 pesos. We did toy with the idea of stopping in Medillin but it was chucking it down when we got off the bus so we thought we might as well get back onto another bus if the weather is rubbish. So we went onto Cartagena- 13 hours from Medillin and cost us 100,000 pesos!!!! Ouch!!
A shuttle bus got us from the main bus terminal to the centre of Cartagena when we got there quite early the next morning. It didn’t take us long to find somewhere to stay in the old town. The main hostel street is Media Luna but we stayed a few blocks away in La Casona. 18000 pp/pn. Really pretty hostel with a central courtyard and spiral staircase.
Cartagena has loads of gorgeous buildings with old peeling paintwork and balconies full of flowers and painted really beautiful colours, it all adds to its charm. The old walls are definitely old and wide and there are lots of domes, churches and plazas around.
One of our aims whilst here was to sort out a boat to take us all over to Panama. There are no land crossings to take you from Colombia into Panama. You can cross the border into the border town but then you have to take a flight to Panama City, or you get a boat to Portabello or one of the harbour towns around there. Or fly straight into Panama City from wherever. We did find a Captain called German Perez of 361 sailing. On our yacht called Eucalyptus there were 9 of us in total, a little cramped but we managed.
So then we were eventually off on our sea adventure!! First stop was the San Blas Islands but first we had to stop for petrol!!!....