This will be the view from the master bedroom every morning when I awake…for the next two weeks. I’m already getting used to pulling the window open, letting the breeze in and cracking a good book open for an hour or so of reading.
During our last night in Cartagena, we decided to head over to Centro for one last dinner.
We were headed to a place called Oh! La La. We sat down, looked at the menu and decided to jet…
It turned out to be a great decision because as we were walking a guy got our attention. This was normal because everyone wants you to eat at their restaurant. But when they speak English to me, they get my attention.
The guy: “Where are you from?”
Me: Oklahoma (if they know where OK is at, then I’ll talk to them, say you’re American and it’s like vultures attacking the wallet)
The guy: Ohhhhh, USA…well tonight you meet Obama and then he stuck out his hand. When I looked at him, I almost fell over laughing!
Check out the pictures….he said a few months ago some of our troops were in Centro and in Uniform and they all took pictures with him. Needless to say, he sold us on his restaurant which was great because we got 1 entree, 4 empanadas and 3 drinks for under $21…not bad…and the picture was priceless.
Centro, in my opinion, is the main reason to visit Cartagena. If you want beaches, there are several better options east over in the Islands. But of course, you only learn by doing. So even though our apartment in Boca Grande was steps from the beach, we fell in love with “Centro.”
Centro is only a $2-$3 cab ride from Boca Grande and well worth it. The city is called the walled city because it is surrounded by a wall. I’m not much of a sight-seer when I go places so I should probably know more about the wall. But what I do know is there are cannons lined along the wall so the wall was obviously for protection years ago.
Today, it makes for great pictures and a great walking space. It is very unique. I can’t say I’ve ever seen another walled city in my life.
During our weekend trip to Taganga, Colombia, we booked a diving trip with Nautilus Dive Center. Part of the package was a free stay in their Cabana. The sound of free got my ear so I think I missed the part about no running water, no electricity, no shower, no bed, no enclosed building…pretty much no nothing besides a hammock and an incredible view.
Even though I love traveling and beaches and new experiences, I typically like to end my day with a hot shower and a nice bed in a nice hotel with nice amenities. I’m no outdoors-man by no stretch. I think I camped once when I was younger. I don’t even know how to put a tent up…but again the hammocks and the free part sounded cool.
The thing is the boat drops you off there at noon, and comes back the next day around the same time to pick you up.
When you get there, there’s the feeling of excitement. The view is amazing. It is extremely remote. The weather is perfect. There’s no one to bother you with emails or phone calls. The beach is not crowded…
We didn’t go to Taganga to dive but it turns out its one of the cheapest places to get your scuba diver’s certification…in the world!
We only planned on being in Taganga for two days. We just wanted to get out of the city for a few days and do nothing but relax on a beach that wasn’t crowded by tourist, locals and most of all…peddlers.
We got to our hotel, threw our bag in the room and headed to the beach. There we met an American from Arizona. She worked for a dive shop there called the Nautilus Dive Center. She asked us if we wanted to go diving. I’ve never been and have always thought it would be fun.
She took us in the shop and explained the package was for two dives around 20-40 feet. The package included everything we needed and a free stay in their cabana…which I wrote another post for that here.
Of course, everything sounded fun so I asked the important question…price. $65 dollars per person. I almost fell out of my chair. At that point it was a no-brainer. $65 for a diving experience and a place to stay for free.
If you are booking a trip to Cartagena Colombia, the Mud Volcano Excursion must be on your to do list. This has been the most fun I’ve had in Cartagena.
First off, it’s not in Cartagena. It’s in Santa Catalina…about a 30 minute drive out of town. The road is a little bumpy but you get the chance to see some very beautiful, Colombian country side.
And like other touristy things you can do in Cartagena, the locals at the volcano are much more laid back when it comes to peddling items and trying to suck money/pesos out of you.
We booked through a hostel called Hostel Mamallena (fyi…if you’re a hostel traveler, this is a great one, I wish we would have came here on day 1. They have a lot of information about Cartagena in English and most of the staff speaks English).
The cost was 35,000 COP/ per person, about $17 US.
We showed up at the hostel at 8:25 and the shuttle was there at 8:39 am. The shuttle has to go around and pick others up before you head out. I think we were in the shuttle for an hour and a half to get out to the volcano.
You can should on yourself all day…but that won’t get you anywhere.
A few weeks ago I went on a cruise with two friends…bachelor party actually…my idea…brilliant!
It was a short cruise and the only island we stopped on was Cozumel. I’ve never been to Cozumel so I was pretty excited. I didn’t sign up for any tours or organized gathering like sailing with a bunch of people. Nothing against that but I’m more of a do what I want guy…
So me and my friends rented little mopeds and took off for the ancient ruins…after about 20 minutes of going in circles, the island boy had to get to the beach. So after my buds told me they didn’t mind if I left the pack, I headed west…I think.
It was pure freedom driving the moped around the island. No rules, no hustle and bustle, there was a speed limit, but no cops all over your ass about it…
I found a beach, parked the moped and headed to the water. While walking down the beach, one mexican gentlemen asked me if I wanted to rent a seadoo…sounded fun so I did.
When I got off the seadoo, they asked me if I wanted to go snorkeling. Sounded fun so I jumped on a boat with 3 strangers from Texas and we took off. I got some fantastic pics and 3 new friends.
When I got off the boat, they asked me if I wanted a massage on the beach…sounded good to me!
After that, it was time to head back to the boat. I made a few more detours, returned my moped and made my way back to the boat…
It was nearly a perfect day. I guess what this post is about is just having fun, taking chances, and saying YES!