ColombiaSightseeingSouth America

11/26: Jairo Our Hero

Morning Activities
We got a late start and didn’t rally for breakfast until 9:00 am (we’ll blame that on the boys last night). Ji constantly attempted to order her omelette “sin queso” but it’s not so “sin” as much as “con”. We packed up our room so we could move for a late checkout and then went out for a day of fun.

Inquisition Museum
First step was the highly recommended Inquisition Museum. Only bits of the Inquisition reached Cartagena; and then only as a port that transferred prisoners from one place to another. But the museum showcased some of those torture devices that give the Inquisition its name. We hired a sweet old man as a guide to show us around, and while his English was passible his jokes were poor. And he continuously reassured us that the torture devices “this only in Europe. Not Cartagena”.

Our guide

Ji particularily like the rack, since it had five ropes: two for arms, two for legs, and one for genitalia. Ouch.

Finger crushers

Neck brace

Ahem. Breast-crushers. Serious ouch.

Head crusher

Witch scale

Museum courtyard


Canon inscription


Ji in pretty doorway

La Cevicheria
Lunch was at La Cevicheria, because Anthony Bourdain told us to. We sat outside at a table to enjoy the breeze, but soon the afternoon rains came. Our waiter put up the umbrella because we didn’t want to move inside. The ceviche was citrus marinade was a mixture of lemon and tangerine. Ji claims her bowl had a hole in it and kept refilling since she the more she ate the more shrimp appeared in the bowl.

Ji outside La Cevicheria

The teeny kitchen of La Cevicheria

Showing love for her placemat and soon-to-be lunch

Bottomless bowl of ceviche

Street Wandering
After lunch we meandered thru the streets, looking for streets we haven’t hadn’t taken before. But we somehow end up on the same corners. Cartagena just isn’t big enough to get lost.

Ji in front of prettiness

Pretty doorway

Heidi’s favorite blue building

Colombian Starbucks

It was when we passed by the clock tower and rounded a corner directly into our Carlos and Sabrina from out Taganga dive trip and Tayrona hike. Colombia is a small, small country. Ji and I had lamented that we didn’t have the pictures from our dive trip, and here were Carlos and Sabrina with a USB drive loaded with dive pictures from Aquantis Dive Center. What are the chances? We went to our hotel so I could copy the pictures and we exchanged information so we could keep in touch.

Snacktime was at Ji’s favorite pizza place, Pizza Reina, which unfortunately wasn’t open so we opted for the pizza across the street. Not a good choice. Too much cheese and barely any tomato sauce (though one can’t really complain about Italian food in Cartagena). We will say that they were muy rapido, which was a bonus. The cucaracha climbing up the wall was not a bonus.

We did run into a minor trauma at the airport. Here was the plan: a 6PM flight to Bogota would get us in at 7:20, which left us plenty of time to get to our 11:59 BOG-JFK flight. But the flight from Cart to Bog was delayed from 6:00 to 8:50. Um. Yikes. We spoke with Jairo (hi-row), the Avianca supervisor, who assured us over and over that all the other flights were booked and there was no way we could get on another flight, but we could check in at 7:00 to see if there were no-shows on the 7:30. Sigh. Worst case: we miss the connection to the Delta flight and have to spend one more day in Bogota to catch the next day’s 11:59 BOG-JFK flight. It was slightly stressful, but the best part of Ji and I is that we take things in the same stride of “it could be worse”. This wasn’t ideal, and neither of us wanted to miss our flight (especially since we’d been upgraded to business class) but we’d figure it out.

At 7:00 we waited at the counter for Jairo for a tense, hope-filled 10 minutes before he arrived with a brief nod and immediate instructions to the ticket agent who booked us two tickets on the 7:30. Hooray for Jairo! We boarded our flight to Bogota, took a bus to the International terminal, and ended the trip with business class seats to New York City. A wonderful trip all around.