Early start this morning – had to finish packing our bags, our taxi was coming before 10am to take us to the airport for our flight to Cartagena.
We have one night back in Bogota before our flight to Santiago, so we decided it would be easier to stay back at the Hotel Halifax – especially since we could leave some bags here and not have to pay all the excess baggage fees for our domestic flight to Cartagena. We managed to fit everything we needed into our two smallest bags and left the two big ones in the storage room at the Halifax. This had the added benefit of making it much easier to fit things into a taxi and we could easily manage the bags at the airport by ourselves.
We managed to get things organised in plenty of time and our taxi was actually early, so we made it to the airport nice and early – checkin was quick (no excess baggage fees!), and we made it through security to our gate nearly two hours before boarding. The only catch was that we didn’t realise that there were no food and drink facilities on the other side of security – other than a couple of vending machines, none of which had any water available.
The flight was okay, Andres slept for the first part of it and played for the second part – it was a fairly short flight but a bit longer than Cali – Bogota. He grizzled a little bit as we landed, but we found that the dummy seemed to keep him calm. As we got off the plane, the heat hit us – it is very hot and humid here. This is what I had expected Cali to be like, but in reality I found that Cali was nowhere near as hot. We had been warned about how hot Cartagena is.
After checking in, we settled into our room – right down the far end of the hotel with views out over the ocean. We hadn’t eaten yet, so we ordered some food from room service which was a bit of a novelty for us this trip – mostly we’ve been eating in dining rooms. After we’d got ourselves a bit more organised, we went downstairs to explore the hotel grounds a bit.
The Hotel Caribe is centred around an old colonial style building with some more modern structures on the large grounds. Our room is in one of the more modern (and slightly more spacious) buildings. They have deer roaming around the grounds and a mini-zoo with monkeys, macaws and tamarins in cages.
After looking around a bit, we headed out for a walk to find the local supermarket and buy some supplies – an exercise which involved a lot of sweat due to the heat.
Later in the evening we went for a walk along the waterfront – being a public holiday, the beaches had been crowded all day, and there were still plenty of people around at sunset – it was still very warm, and the water was also warm. The beaches here aren’t all that special, dirty sand and breakwaters every 200m or so to stop the sand disappearing. The water isn’t that clear either – apparently you have to go offshore a bit to find the clear, clean water of the caribbean.
For dinner we headed downstairs to one of the open-air restaurants and ordered pizza. Fortunately they had fans blowing which helped to keep things pleasant – it is very hot here even at night. We were the only people at the restaurant and the lady serving us took Andres and walked him around while we ate, which was useful – they didn’t have any highchairs for children at this restaurant, and we don’t have a pram or anything else suitable for holding an infant while we eat, which makes things a bit awkward.
It was a bit of a late night for Andres, but an early night for us, as we were exhausted from the early start and the busy day.
Here’s a link to Google Maps showing the hotel and where our room is: Hotel Caribe
Tweets from today
- http://twitpic.com/7imef – psycho squirrel says “watch how I eliminate this piece of mango with extreme prejudice”
- 15th June, 2009 9:40 PM from txt
- http://twitpic.com/7ijs2 – View from our room at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia – looking out over the Caribbean Sea
- 15th June, 2009 9:09 PM from txt