Sorry, been bold, haven’t blogged in a while, so where was I….. ya had a few days after Tayrona and then left Taganga behind and headed for Cartagena. Cartagena is a real touristy spot, massively advertised all over South America. It is also the spot where you can catch a boat to Panama for about US$350/$400. So I planned to spend a couple of days in Cartagena and then head off into the sunset. The boat takes about 5 days and you cruise around the San Blas islands. By the time I reached Cartagena, the boats leaving on the dates I needed were all booked up! Feck it anyway, but at this point time is running a lot shorter than I’m happy with so unfortunately San Blas will have to wait for another time, boo :-(  But I guess you have to leave something for the next trip!?

So here I was in Cartagena, Lindy-planless (pretty much a rarity) and also minorly concerned about getting into the US via Mexico, which is where I pick up my round the world ticket. Decisions, decisions, whatcha gonna do? Well go out and rip it up with some Irish lads apparantly. Feeling a bit seedy from the night before in Taganga but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. Willie and Kenny, you have a lot to answer for!!! Had good fun at a bar in the old town……

……… lots of salsa dancing. The following day, after a very lazy start, decided to check out the old city with Alister and Kildare lad Kenny…….

 

…….who reminds me so much of Tommy Tiernan so we’d good old craic. The old town in Cartagena still has it’s original walls dating back 500 years.

It’s a really pretty place…….

…….and you can even walk the walls in some places. Had a good old stroll around and bonus, stumbled across some dancing in the local park, seriously energetic stuff!!! Check out this video for more Dancing in Cartagena Old Town 

Back out on the town that night and we found a couple of bars and had another big night out.

The following morning was not so good. Made my decision to head back to Taganga with Kenny and John who were headed that way. It’s the first time I’ve backtracked my whole trip but chilling out on the beach is all kinds of good and it’s more or less what I had intended to do anyway before I got distracted :-)

Back I went and it’s weird but kinda comforting to go back the same place. It’s kinda nice when people know your name and the like. I decided to do my advanced diving course, because of course I say I can chillax and completely intend to but the reality is I need constant distraction or I go a little crazy! The diving course was great, no exams or any of that, you just do different types of dives. Got to use these scooters…….

…..James Bond or wha? :-) Also did a couple of night dives which can be a little freaky, especially when we turned off the torches at the end – pitch black until we waved our limbs around to activate the plankton. Awwwww so pretty!! Got up close and personal with this puffer fish…..

No, I didn’t crush him with my giant manhands, don’t worry!! Also saw some giant green morays…….

……..Awesome!! They are a bit evil looking though – they watch you too closely, hmmmmmm. This really is a good spot for fishies and the company I went with were great. If you’re looking for a genuine recommendation, with small groups and great equipment, then try Vida Marina.

Other than the diving, I did relax mostly. Even read a couple of books – can you believe it!!! Had a few more big nights…….

 

and so glad I went back as I got to meet up with a few people I met along the way in South America, Cork lad Darren who I meet everywhere…….

Also Leeanna & Jason and Emma who I met in Buenos Aires. Great to see her again :-) Lastly I met up with Albert, from way back in Patagonia, so it’s true everyone who travels in Columbia seems to get sucked in by Taganga at some point. 

All the while I was quietly freaking out about this being the end of the road, or at least the roadtrip. Awww I’ll miss South America so much, the colours, the smells, the music, you get used to it so quickly and it seems like you’ve never been anywhere else. Still though, I’ve had a blast and I’ve made some genuine friends along the way. I also can’t forget that I have a few days in Chicago and my cousin’s Julie’s wedding in Louisville, on the way home.

More photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157617530611309/   http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157617797880501/   http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindybear/sets/72157617891557599/