Nice leisurely breakfast again (I could get used to this!), Andres is still sleeping late, not waking up until after 8am for his morning feed. He doesn’t even wake up yelling to be fed, it’s taking him 15 or 20 minutes before he gets cranky.
After breakfast we caught a taxi back to the old town, this time with cameras – although I only took the wide-angle lens on the DSLR and also had the compact digital. This combination is much easier to work with than swapping lenses all day on the DSLR. I did stop to take some photos around the hotel before we left though.
It was a particularly hot day today, and I was sweating profusely quite quickly. We had to stop several times to buy water to ensure that we didn’t dehydrate. We wandered around, looking through small shops, taking photos of the architecture and the local life.
The guide books recommend not visiting this area with a plan in mind, and I would have to agree – much better to just wander aimlessly and without a timetable, soaking in the atmosphere and the history of the area – getting lost amongst the maze of narrow streets and colonial buildings (with occasional grand cathedral or other official building).
We stopped at an airconditioned cafe for lunch and to cool down (one of the few airconditioned places we found). After lunch we wandered some more – making friends everywhere we went as people stopped and smiled, and many of them asked what our baby’s name was and how old he was. One old lady selling fruit on the street was very vocal about how wonderful he was and how beautiful he was – we quickly had a small gathering of women (young and old) fawning over Andres.
Eventually we decided to catch a taxi back to the hotel and cool off. We had showers and then we all snoozed for a while, before getting ready to go out for dinner.
It didn’t rain this evening, so we decided to try the restaurant we were supposed to go to last night but couldn’t because of the downpour. There is an Argentinian restaurant a couple of blocks away from the hotel that looked nice (and air-conditioned!), and we developed a bit of a taste for Argentinian beef on our travels last year, so we thought we would give this place a go. It does seem a little out of place in this area where for some reason every second restaurant seems to be Italian! Perhaps they just love pizza and pasta here? I’m sure there’s something more historical as an explanation though – must research that sometime.
Anyway, the service was typically slow – we are used to that now in Colombia, but it still is a little annoying when we have a young child and just want a fairly quick meal. But the steaks were delicious and Leanne’s beef medallions were especially tender and flavoursome – we enjoyed the meal.
After dinner we continued another couple of blocks to the local supermarket (open 24 hours) for some supplies, and then on the way back to the hotel we stopped at an ice-cream store for some dessert. It was still very hot even this late at night, the average temperature at night here is still around 27 degrees, and I read that the lowest ever recorded temperature in Cartagena was 19 degrees! Being this warm at night is really quite uncomfortable – there is simply no relief from the heat.
The only downside to staying out late was that Andres took ages to get to sleep once we got back to the room. Once we did get him to sleep, we followed not long after, it had been an exhausting day.