Thursday, January 4, 2018

YOLO folks in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia
This is the Bay of Cartagena where yachts can anchor or go into the marina at Club Nautico.  
The red arrow points to Forever Young in the slip at Club Nautico Marina.  They threw a blade on their propeller when they were coming from Curacao, so couldn't use the engine to get in.  The marina helpers and the dinghy and the bow thruster got them in here, a primo spot, actually.  This shot is from the top floor of the condos across the street, where Lee Miles, aka Mister Emerald lives.  He is the SSCA cruising station host for Cartagena and is a wonderful source of info for cruisers.
One of the plazas in the old walled city, El Centro, had a group of these metal sculptures depicting everyday occupations.
The old architecture of the city is one of the draws.
The plaza is full of sculptures and pigeons and hawkers.
The old walled city has portions that you can go up on and look from the top of the wall.  Here, I'm leaning on one of the old cannons that looked out over the water.  You can see Boca Grande in the background.  Some refer to it as "Little Miami" because it is high rise hotels and condos on the beachfront.
A bronze statue by Fernando Botero.  He is known for painting 'chubby' art.  Fat people are the subject of lots of his work.
The pigeons liked the puddles left  in the plaza after a rain shower.
The waitress at our favorite cheap lunch spot was always glad to see us.
A child claimed she was watching a dragon in the park.  It was this iguana in Bolivar Park, down by the old city.
Inside El Centro is a free Gold Museum.  The ancient indigenous people, the Zenu, had a history of creating gold items.  The vault in this museum holds lots of pieces that they display.  These hammered gold bracelets were just a tiny example.
A pot full of gold earrings.
Lots of filligree gold.
Earrings, nose rings and necklaces.
We found the Chocolate Museum in El Centro and signed me up for a workshop.  Jason found the big mortar and pestle they use to pound the cocoa beans into powder.
Stone statue of winged horses, Pegasus and friends, along the waterfront just outside the old walled city.
Cindry was my teacher in making chocolate for the workshop.  The hat definitely didn't fit.
I'm roasting my cacao beans until they pop and turn dark.  Then we peeled them, using the peals to make cocoa tea.  The inside bean breaks up into pieces called nibs.
I'm using a mortar and pestle to grind the nibs into a cocoa paste, rich in cocoa butter.
My additions for my candies include raisins, chile, sprinkles, cocoa nibs, coconut, candied orange, cranberries, and coffee beans.  I used 70% dark chocolate, the good stuff, and created chocolate roses and lips.
I'm a messy chocolate maker, but they turned out very yummy!
Cindry was amazed we'd lived on a boat for so long and drew me a picture on the bag for my chocolates that I had to wait a few hours to pick up.
Jason sat in the park around the corner next to the phone lady while I made candy.  This lady lets people use her phone(s) for a small fee, a popular choice for many people who don't want to buy a phone or phone card for a competing network.
This cart seller was offering huge soursop fruit and juice.  I love the sweet, white pulp from this spiky green fruit.
Looking across the bay at Colombian submarines.  Their navy ships were berthed three deep and there were US Coast Guard ships here, too.
Steve starting his dinghy the first morning at anchor.
In town, there are hundreds of these tiny yellow taxis. Taxis here are cheap. Some run on propane and the trunks are full of the tank.  These men try to load a mattress on the roof.
Jason in front of a sculpture of Cervantes.
A mortar cannon in the plaza.
A walkway with the past Miss Colombia contestants for Miss Universe.  There have been two Miss Universe's from Colombia.

Folger's Coffee used to promote Juan Valdez; now he has his own coffee shops.
The old doors and their knockers are pretty interesting in this town and the old city.  Perhaps they were designed at a height for horse riders?  Jason had to reach up to reach this one.
A gorgeous balcony, covered in pretty vines and flowers.
Another knocker that I liked.

This was one of my favorites.
They look like they could've been dungeon doors.  Lots of big, ornate wooden doors in this city.  Some even had doors within doors, as does this one.
The Castle of San Felipe.  It was a scorcher of a day and there is not a tree in sight for shade.  The castle/fort complex is quite extensive and had a lot of tunnels where it was cooler.
The bronze cannons were engraved.
One of the bronze cannons pointed out across the land.
A dragonfly poised above the entrance to one of the tunnels.
Looking up the tunnel.
This cat was snoozing in an old bronze or brass bowl that shows the green patina of age.
This space inside the fort sold old stuff that had the patina of age.  An eclectic collection, for sure.
Karen in one of the corner parapets of the fort San Felipe.
Jason wandering the old fort.
The warning bell tower of Castillo San Felipe.
I really like the old brickwork inside the fort.
Jason coming up out of one of the tunnels.  The soldiers used the tunnels to place explosives in the ground outside to blow up the feet of enemies that might have gotten past the cannons.
Karen leaning against an old cannon in a walkway in the fort.
The streets of Cartagena still see donkey carts and hand carts.  These two guy have more plastic containers than I've ever seen.  And I love the cardboard hat.
The donkey is nose to tail with the traffic in the street.
This gnarled tree stood in the corner of a shanty just across the street from the big, new, fancy shopping mall.  What a contrast!
Jason eating a banana and nibbling on the yummy cinnamon-raisin buns we found near our hotel.
The sundial next to the window was spot-on for time.  This is on the outside of the Cathedral Basillica of Santa Cantalina de Alejandro, a church in one of the plazas in El Centro.
Steve and Jason as we walked back from lunch one day.
Sunset over Cartagena Bay.  The boats have their lights on for the holidays.
Forever Young, our new abode for a while, in Club Nautico in Cartagena.
A 23' snakeskin from an Anaconda that was eating calves on Lee's ranch.  It's hanging on the wall in his emerald shop.
Lee "Mister Emerald" Miles, who runs a high-end emerald shop in the old city.  He keeps firm prices and high quality and is one of the few emerald dealers that provides actual customer service.  He told us stories about his 40 years of being in the emerald business.  The cruise ships send folks to him to buy emeralds in the short time they are in port.  They know they won't get ripped off and will get a good price on quality emeralds guaranteed to appraise for more than they paid for them.
The shining star in the El Centro plaza.  It changes colors every few seconds.
A little lighted boat in the harbor inside the city.  It's just a decoration for the holidays.
An old car in Cartagena.

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