City Hopping to the Coast

We made our way north from Salento to Medellin. A city famed for it’s turbulent history and is now home to some of the most welcoming people and one of the best nights out in South America.

Me and Chris spent a weekend in the city and had a great time. We were taken out by a friend of a friend from my Spanish class and they welcomed us with open arms.

Before you go to a bar or a club in Medellin, it’s tradition to go to sit in a local square and drink a few beers (or swig on a bottle of the local spirit, aguardiente). They even have guys that wander round the square with chilled beers so you don’t even have to get up to get a fresh bottle.

Both me and Chris will admit it’s been a while since we’ve sat in a park and drank alcohol but everyone here does it. The square was so full that we genuinely struggled to find somewhere to sit.

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After a heavy weekend drinking mixed with the usual city exploration, it was time for us to move on.

Next stop would be Cartagena, a stunning spot on Colombia’s Carribbean coast and we decided to fly up.

Not only is it far quicker (a 45 minute flight over a 12 hour bus) it’s also cheaper. Since I was last in Colombia, a budget airline has been introduced and we took full advantage of their super low prices to help us avoid an uncomfortable overnight journey.

Cartagena was a shock to both our systems.

We were now fully in the tropics and you feel the heat and humidity as soon as you step off the plane.

To our disappointment, we arrived to our hostel to find the whole block was subject to a powercut which didn’t just mean no lights, it also meant no air conditioning or fans.

That first night in a small 4-bed dorm can only be described as a sweat box.

Only down to luck, I think I fared slightly better than Chris who struggled to get much sleep at all.

The hostel wasn’t in the best part of town either so we made it a priority the next day to find somewhere new to stay.

The rest of time in Cartagena was a dream.

The old city, exactly as I remembered it (and exactly as Chris remembered it from one of his favourite childhood movies Romancing the Stone) is beautiful.

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Now on the coast, we found an amazing fish restaurant and we drank the local beer. It felt good to be back by the ocean again.

One thing you quickly realise is that you don’t stay cool for long in these climates. We also relaised that this would likely be the same for the next couple of months as we head further north.

Either way, there’s a lot worse places in the world we could be!

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