When my mom stepped out of the hospital room for a few moments, I asked my uncle Sam about Colombia. I thought if I had his blessing, I'd go. He was short on words at that point, but not on fondness for this country... and more specifically, Cartagena. So, I'm here.
First of all, I have been extremely lucky to have several Colombian friends in the United States whom, not only have advised me on this trip, but, have put me in contact with their friends and family down here. So, Jamie, Jorge, Jaime, Manuel, Oscar, Natalia, and Natalie... Muchas Gracias. I have had so much help that I haven't even much looked at my guide book! I'm quite certain there is no section in there devoted to where to spend your birthday with a table full of friends; probably nothing in the index leading you to an international conference on migration with the speach writer for the mayor of Bogota; and definitely no section devoted to cruising the local malls with senior citizens for mamacitas... or perhaps I just borrowed the wrong book from the MLK Library (was the only one!). In any case, for better or for worse, as I wrote several entries back, a world traveler believes and comes to know that are some things not found in books.
So I arrived around dusk yesterday in Cartagena. In contrast to the oftentimes chilly huge capital city of Bogota set inland and high up in a valley surrounded by mountains, and seemingly always nestled among the clouds, Cartagena is situated down along the Carribean coast between Panama and Venezuela. (I don't plan on making jaunts to either to make country #21.) There are palm trees at the airport. I'm going to leave it at that for now, as it is morning and have yet to see this place in the daylight. Buenos Dias a Todos!!!
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