A Travellerspoint blog

Cartagena

When we arrived in Cartagena, it was night time, but still incredibly hot.

As we arrived so late we ordered the cheapest and nicest sounding Hostel we could find on Hostel booker. It was pricey, but everywhere here seems to be. and was far far away from the centre. however it was by the beach, had a swimming pool, air con, a fridge and was a private room. it would do.

Although the Hostel was very nice though, it was too far out and we soon realised that the amount you spen on taxis in and out of the centre was making the stay there not worth it. we soon moved on, and found digs in Getsemani, the main area for backpackers and just a stones throw away from the wall city centre.

There is not really much to say about Cartagena, except that it is very pretty and very hot. quite a few days here, the weather has not been up to scratch, very rainy, but still incredibly hot. i could not cope with this full time. but our last day the sun finally came out, which made us happy indeed.

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We are off to santa Marta tomorrow, hopefully the sun will stay out and we gte out beach holiday.

Posted by Lisaann 12:32 Archived in Colombia Comments (0)

Plane ride to cartagena

27 °C

After finally tiring of all the long winded bus journeys, and knowing that to get to Cartagena from Cali it would take about 20+ hours, we opted for an hour long flight, for the bargain price of 45 squid! just a teeny bit more than a bus would cost, so i think all in all, it was a fabuloso idea!

And everything went so smoothly, we arrived at the bus station to crab a bus to the airport - easy peasy then got to the airport and aside from being moved to different queues for no apparent reason, everything went fine. we boarded, we flew we landed we arrived, got our bags and our hostel guy was waiting to pick us up from the airport. theonly thing i was not prepared for was the heat. my my was it hot, and kind of wet, like a damp heat that ,ade you feel wet all the time.

Posted by Lisaann 11:05 Archived in Colombia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Popayan and Cali

sunny 27 °C

After doing a bit of research and listening to some peoples horror stories we decided not to take the long rocky and apparently very scary road to San Augustin from Popayan. We will now be doing that from Bogota which is flat straight road. Joy.

So We headed to Popayan on a bus with a freaky guy who spent the entire journey trying to take any possible leg and arm room i had, then he did a weird disappear and reappering act at the bus station, but we outsmarted any plans he might have had by making a sly getaway to a cab.

We stayed in a hotel that night called Hotel Colonial. it was lovely. double bed, clean bathroom, hot water, tv. and sadly Popayan was raining so no pics, as although its quite a pretty place, does anywhere really look that great when its bucketing it down?

Off to Cali..

We got a 2.5 hour bus to Cali, and nice short ride, and the last bus ride for a while as we are flying from Cali to Cartagena on the 8th August.

Cali is hot hot hot, and like a lot of cities, is just formed of boring buildings. I need a sea and a beach to enjoy this kind of temperature. Also, Cali is the plastic surgery capital of the world! and is filled with beautiful women. (i was about to feel very down about myself!) but after being here for 4 days, i relaised for all the nose jobs, eye jobs and very obvious boob jobs, id rather have my flat chest and pelican nose and laughter lines! to me, these women are not all that! just lumps of plastic! :)

We thought we were being smart by already booking our accomodation (the cheapest we could find), however, when we arrived at said hostel (Colours Hostel) the woman was extremely hostile towards us, saying she did not need to speak english, and that she had no room, and that it was not her problem. ruide rude rude, and i hope Karma comes along soon and ruins her business and she has to earn a living on the street. (i know thats evil- but she was so rude and just left us there!!!!!).

We found Hostel Colonial, on the otherside of town and quite a bit more pricier, but they had a room, and sweating and tired from trekking the town in my jeans long top and backpack, i was just so happy to find somewhere.

We decided a drink was in order to calm ourselves down.

So we found a little English bar, which proved to be very english (meaning the prices were that of the same in England) so moved next door t a rather authentic feeling colombian bar. we likey.

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then we went to another bar called circus and had a very pricey cocktail. Fiona decided she wanted to dance, and even though i was a bit tired, i thought why not.

However, nowhere was open. so we bumped into a colo,bian, an american and a mexican who took us to a casino. (we did not gambe, but had a free drink) and got bored after about 5 mins. Fi wanted to dance. they told us there was a discotek downstiars, so we made our way to there, only to be told NO GRINGOS! the night was not turning out good. No one back home would get away with that kind of racism!!!

so we drove off to try and find a place open. and the american got all excited when he saw a strip club. and it was open. oh joy.

So my first ever strip club visit was about to happen in Colombia!wow! only after going in and sitting down for about 5 mins we realised,this was no strip bar. It was a flamin Brothel!!!!! oh lordy! we danced a bit, which really wound the women up as they thought we were trying to steal their punters, and then made a very bad, but it worked escape from the colombian, american and mexican.

They were annoying us, and we just wanted to go, but they were watching us like hawks. when we made an escape to the door and tried to grab a cab, he guy followed us out. he just would not take a hint. Then fi came up with the amazing plan of pretending to be ill. and it worked - just about. woohooo! FREEDOM!!!

The next day we craved being healthy, and thought we were being very smug when we found a little place that did Fruit Salad, and we ordered the Fruit Salad ROYAL! It had to be good. but alas when it came, lets just say it was not quite what we expeceted. Ice Cream, tinned fruit, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, biscuit things and.........CHEESE!! it was disgusting!

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Posted by Lisaann 08:55 Archived in Colombia Comments (0)

Into Colombia

semi-overcast

Soi we took a 5 hour bus journey to the border town of Tulcan. The bus got rather packed and for a while i was of much interest to some local children.

Tulcan is not a very nice town, and has been sugguested that should you wish to cross the border then do not stay here long.

So we were at the bus station for all of a matter of minutes.

We met a rather cute Aussie surfer dude, who was heading to Bogota and an english couple, who we ended up crossing the border with. Its so nice to meet normal home grown ppl!!! hehehe, okay one was from Oz, but he can be one of us as far as i´m concerned.

Crossing the border could not have been easier, i was expecting drug searches, strip searches the lot. My guide book has it all wrong, it was so simple. just get a taxi all the way to the border for $3.50 and then check out of Ecuador, then stroll across the short bridge to get stamped into Colombia. It was quiet, and so simple, i really was thinking ´wheres the catch?´. then we got a taxi to the small town of Ipiales for $1 and now here i am after eating fried chicken and chips in an internet cafe, my bed waiting for me less than 5 minutes walk away! ta daahh!!!

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We are getting a bus to Popayan tomorrow morning, roughly 7/8 hours which will be fun, but then off to San Augustin, which is going to be really fun. Crazy 7m statues await me, all looking strangly like Helen (the sister) in the morning! hehe.

Chau for now.

Posted by Lisaann 17:40 Archived in Colombia Comments (0)

Onto Quito

sunny

We grudgingly took a bus to Quito the next day. I say grudgingly because Cuenca was the first plce in a long time that was really lovely.

the bus journey to Quito was long (10 hours) but weirdly i enjoyed it. Some of the views were out of this world. like more exaggerated versions of the highlands, but instead of Lochs the clouds were below us. sadly no pics, as the bus was going to quick for me to get anything decent.

Quito in comparison is rather yuck. shabby on the outskirts and very very big. its a very intimidating place to find yourself, especailly after a long bus ride.

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When we eventually crossed the city to our hostel, we were confronted by yet another irritationg yank who felt the need to make us feel as bad as we possibly could about not speaking spanish. he constantly kept asking us if we knew how to say different things in spanish, and just generally being annoying. (why do i always find myself surrounded by these kind of people!? my luck needs to change pronto!). We decided all we wanted to do was cook some food (hece find a supermarket) shower and read. but he was adamant that he wanted to ang with us, telling us he knew a good place to eat even though we said we wanted to cook ourselves. finally fi had enogh and we stormed off, leaving him. only to then see him at the hostel waiting for us later, and asked if he could have some of our food. we were livid. but somehow managed to shift him.

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We walked around the Old town the next day, hoping to find a badge of Ecuador, but to no avail. Its quite pretty and at least the sun was shining. Quito though is so large, and sadly we did not have anough time to fully explore and therefore to get the real gist of it. Guess maybe one day i will have to come back - if only to go to the Galapogos islands! hehe

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Hoping to the border tomorrow - fingers cropssed all goes smoothly.

Posted by Lisaann 11:15 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

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