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Suicide drivers and a spectacular panorama

Driving from Medellin to Cartagena

When I was driving in my car from Medellín towards Cartagena, I had to realize once again that there are a lot of mountains in Colombia. Due to the topography and the lack of infrastructure, most of the main roads and main routes lead over the mountains because there are hardly any tunnels or highways. This is the reason why all the heavy traffic is always going over the mountains.

The Colombian per se is a very nice contemporary. I think I have rarely met people in my life who are so friendly. As soon as the Colombian sits at the wheel, his personality drastically changes and he thinks he is Michael Schumacher. When I was on the way to Cartagena on my Colombia travel from Medellín, it happened that I came around a curve and I looked at two large trucks side by side. Overtaking seems to be a popular sport in Colombia anyway. Even if the view is limited or hardly available, drivers over take each other. This makes it all the more unpleasant if it goes down steeply on the side and there is no evasion possibility. Apart from a full brake and a thrust prayer, there are no other options in such a situation.

After about 3 hours of descent, the panorama changed dramatically. At last you could drive the road straight over longer distances and one was not constantly in the curve mode. The climate became much warmer and the road was lined with shady trees. Again and again I passed sales stands, where fresh fruits were praised. Finally, after about 9 hours drive, I arrived at the Jewel of the Caribbean. Cartagena welcomed me with open arms. But when I got out of the car in front of the hotel, the sultry heat of the Caribbean coast hit me with full force.

After a long sleep and a good breakfast, I got up early in the morning to visit the various hotels of the old town. I was surprised by the high quality of the different houses. The majority are boutique hotels. There was a lot to admire, such as incredibly high rooms, fantastic roof terraces, classic designs and extended luxury. At noon, however, the temperature rose so much that I longed for an air-conditioned hotel room. I also let myself be tempted to have an extended siesta after lunch. In the time between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm Cartagena is hard to think about work.

In the afternoon and evening, however, it is wonderful to stroll through the old town and enjoy a cold beer. The selection of restaurants in the different segments is very large. As a pedestrian, however, you have to be on your guard constantly, since there are also coaches with a horse-drawn carriage. These coaches are usually faster and wider than you think. Something irritating is the fact that in the evening, many sex workers in the middle of the old town to advertise their services. Despite all this, however, I never felt insecure and the police presence is one of the highest in the country. After a few days and kilometers in my feet I reserved a day for Isla Barú, a beach day at Playa Blanca. Although it was not holidays in Colombia, it felt almost like that. Playa Blanca can be reached by boat or by bus within an hour. The beach is very nice, but lined with salesmen. You can hardly lie 15 minutes, without being addressed. In addition, I was told that on weekends and in Colombia holidays people are crowded like sardines at the beach. Jet skis on the water, many sellers and dealers, women advertising massaging; I think for the average European this is not the idea of ​​a nice, relaxing beach day during his vacation.

For me, Cartagena is almost like Disneyland and I always like to spend a few days there. The great romantic, almost kitschy ambience makes Cartagena a gem of the Caribbean. If you travel Colombia and have some great final days in your holidays, this is the place to go.

Pelecanus Travel Colombia

May 2017

Blog Frank Spitzer


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