We finally made it onto the plane… after Fabian got called into an office for a brisk pat-down by the TSA because of some substance that showed up on his hands during his 360 body scan.
The flight from Fort Lauderdale to Cartagena was quick, only a little over two hours… But it seemed even shorter having Fabian there next to me. We giggled the whole time, which was probably obnoxious to everyone around us (aka his family). I even got a sketch done of our logo (soon to come).
The views from the plane were beautiful. The turquoise waters of the Bahamas and Jamaica beckoned me to visit someday…
Then as we got closer to the ground the cities of Colombia started to sprout up from below. Such an interesting mix of everything, from tall skyscrapers to rundown shanty towns.
As we stepped out of the airport and into the steamy caribbean air we spotted our first “palenqueras,” or at least they were in the same tropical dresses. Usually palenqueras are known for selling fruits from baskets adorned upon their heads, but these two were selling what looked like coconut candies and other treats.
Then we were off to our hotel, located right on the beach, where we’d be watching the sun set with our feet in the Caribbean Sea for the next three evenings. Nearby was an outdoor restaurant (shown above), where I had some of the besting tasting fish I’ve ever experienced.
Something else we’ve been drinking a lot of here is Pony Malta.
This is a carbonated, non alcoholic beverage that’s meant to give you energy. Katya, Fabian’s brother’s girlfriend, is from Colombia and grew up drinking Pony Malta and now she’s got us all hooked.
After dinner, outside the restaurant was where we first witnessed the bus system here in Cartagena. These small shuttle like coaches are filled with people and there’s always a man standing at the door to collect money as you step on (shown below).
He then runs next to the bus as it starts to move again and gets back into place hanging on tightly to his handle bar until the next stop. It was also at this time that we saw an entire family (father, mother, and two children) all on one motorcycle… I’m still kicking myself for not getting a picture of that, but I’m sure there will be more. Basically, driving here is a free-for-all and everyone is constantly honking to alert other drivers they’re approaching.
In addition to all of the translating, Katya has also been in charge of all the money handling. I wish I would have researched Pesos more before coming out here, but I think we’re getting a hang of it now. In order to know prices in American dollars you can divide the price by 3 and you’ll have your answer. Now is a good time for the American dollar in Colombia because of one being worth three here, not long ago it was only two. So most of our lunches have been under five dollars per person.
So far we’re off to a good start here in South America.