Departamento de Bolívar

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  • Day18

    Colourful Cartagena

    February 1 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Cartagena has so many colourful buildings and fabulous architecture. Every single building is unique. There are huge old walls surrounding the city to stop pirates from sealing the gold from Cartagena! The streets are like a cobbled maze with every colour everywhere you look. It’s not just the exterior of the houses and shops but the insides too. The doors are wide open and all the artefacts have vibrant colours catching your eye wherever you go.

    I will remember Cartagena for its heat, horse drawn carriages, the stunning sunsets every evening, the loud music in the evenings and the really fun place we had pizza whilst waiting for our laundry 😂
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  • Day177

    Here we are, Colombia!

    March 2 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    A long boat trip came to an end this morning when we arrived in Cartagena. After another 4 hours from the anchoring spot, we passed the fort of Bocachica, saw the highrises and the marina of the city. We had a final breakfast on the boat (hamburgers), before inspecting our luggage for any damages due to the water. Our panniers were dry as well as one of the big bags. The second one got completely soaked - but luckily there were no electronics in it. Michl's iPhone did not survive a swim in the salt water though. The captain took him to his favourite technician later to replace it with a new one.
    However, we left the boat and went to immigration. This was pretty easy. We handed all our passports to a lady at the marina, she had them stamped somewhere and came back later to return them to us.
    We then went to our AirBnB, took a desperately needed shower, dried some wet stuff and gave a package of dirty cloths to the laundry service. Then we headed off to find a bike for Michl, so he can join us during the next few days. We checked some bikeshop just to see what's on the market, but didn't buy anything yet.
    Afterwards, we walked along the beach towards the historical center. It's interesting how quickly the environment can change here - from a slum-like road to pricey highrise apartments within one block. There's lots of streetart around all parts of the city. And the historical center is quite beautiful. Surrounded by a stone wall, many colonial style buildings, very colourful and lively, bars, restaurants... We really liked it.
    At 7pm, we met the boat crew at a pizza place to have dinner together. Nice to see everyone again after a shower and in clean cloths. But as we were all pretty exhausted from the cruise, we called it an early night and said goodbye to everyone.
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  • Day178

    All about bikes

    March 3 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Today was dedicated to prepare for the road again. Firstly, we found a decent bike for Michl, so he can properly join our CYCLING trip. Secondly, Herbert did some maintenance on the bikes. The tyres got damaged quite a bit on the boat, so it was perfect timing that Michl had brought the new ones from Germany.
    In the evening, we decided to head to the historical centre again to discover more of this lively city. After a short stroll, we met Amanda and spontaneously went into a bar for some beers. What a fun night full of chatting and laughing!
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  • Day39


    June 24, 2019 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We flew up from Medellín to Cartagena, a quick flight! We checked into our hostal and headed out for a delish Greek dinner. The people running the hostal were lovely and welcoming and the hostal had a homey vibe.
    We spent the next day exploring the old city of Cartagena. The old city sits within a fortress built by the Spanish when they came to keep the pirates out. A huge stone wall surrounds the city, lined with canons. Inside the ‘compound’ lies old stone buildings and narrow streets. Beautiful and bright with great art work and hanging plants randomly around.
    The weather is warm and very humid. A great change from the below zeros we’ve experienced not too long ago.
    Although this is a ‘beachside’ city the water looks like it would do more harm then good. Icky and grey with rubbish floatin around yicky. Off to Tayrona National Park we go. Hoping to find some clearer waters and even some WAVES. Boy I miss the beach!
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  • Day179

    Hitting South American roads

    March 4 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    It almost feels like a new start: after 13.440km, 140.000m of elevation gain and almost 800 cycling hours in North and Central America we had a bit of a break while sailing from Panama to Colombia. Today, we are back on the bikes, this time in South America.
    The first stretch took us out of Cartagena, passing the fishing harbour and a really poor residential area. What a contrast to the touristy historical centre! But people looked very curious and smiled and waved at us.
    After some km on a dirt road, we got onto the 4 lane highway 90B, smoothly paved, no traffic and a shoulder. Quite nice to cycle! Unfortunately, it changed to a 2 lane highway with no shoulder. But at least not too much traffic.
    Roads here in Colombia seem to be toll roads most of the time. The good thing is that motorcycles don't have to pay anything and get an extra small lane to pass the barriers. This is actually quite convenient as we can use the same lane to pass quickly and easily as well.
    Cycling today was relatively easy, quite flat, nothing particularly exciting. We just had to fight the heat and some slight headwinds (of course, the wind had changed from Northeast to South, now that we are going South).
    Michl did well on his first 90km ride. When we found a restaurant that also offered rooms, we called it a day. We had dinner at the restaurant, as the room was already full with our luggage and bikes, so no proper space to cook. Plus, Colombia is a lot cheaper again compared to Costa Rica and Panama. This, we enjoyed yummy grilled chicken breast with rice and salad and fresh juices! Sleeping early to be able to get up early to be the heat...
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  • Day279


    February 29 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Cartagena ist die letzte Station unserer Südamerika Tour. Da es keine Landverbindung nach Centralamerika gibt, verschiffen wir unsere Fahrzeuge hier nach Panama, fliegen dann rüber und holen dort die Autos wieder im Hafen ab.Read more

  • Day182

    Last cycling tour with Michl

    March 7 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Michl's last day of cycling has already come. In the morning, we were all a little tired, as the owners of the hostel had talked loudly until late. We got breakfast in a roadside restaurant next to our hotel. The first course was a fish soup - Michl's facial expression says everything... None of us could eat more than a small spoon to give it at least a try. The second course was eggs with fried platano, rice, cheese and a sausage. Pretty standard, nothing real tasty, but I imagine that it's also quite difficult to cook with thos scarcity of water or get fresh groceries.
    After breakfast, we cycled 40km to Magangué, a very busy town next to Magdalena River. It was quite difficult to cycle in between hundreds of motorcycles and some horse carts. In Magangué, we tried to sell Michl's bike. He had decided to not cycle all the way to Mompox with us, but take some transportation. However, we weren't lucky as most of the shops did not buy second hand bikes. And the only guy who did, did not have any money on him today to buy it.
    So we decided to give it another try in Mompox. Inorder to get there, we had to cross the river. We took the ferry and - thank you Colombia again - it was free for bikes. We even had something to see as at the other side one of the big construction machines had fallen half way into the river and couldn't get moved anymore.
    Anyways, we found a collective taxi for Michl and his bike (they just tied it to the roof) and cycled the remaining 40km to Mompox.
    Here we were pretty successful: we first got a bus ticket for Michl to Bogotá leaving tomorrow, then sold his bicycle (we are expecting the second half of the payment tomorrow, as the lady did not have enough money today) and found an AirBnB in an old colonial style building for a decent price.
    After a shower, we went for a stroll through UNESCO world heritage town and cooked a final dinner together. It's a very nice town with beautiful colonial style architecture, so we are looking forward to some more exploring tomorrow morning.
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  • Day278


    February 28 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Getsemani, das Viertel, direkt neben der Altstadt gelegen, ist mit Leben gefüllt. Hier sind all die Restaurants, Bars, Bunte Häuser, tolle Graffiti und vor allem viel Trubel und Leben. Man sitzt am Gehsteig und nimmt einen Drink. Der Name Getsemani kommt eigentlich aus dem englischen und heisst "Get The Money"Read more

  • Day42

    Cartagena, die Perle der Karibik

    February 10 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Gestern sind wir mit unserem Mietwagen 5h von Minca nach Cartagena gefahren. Am Flughafen Cartagena haben wir dann das Auto zurückgegeben und haben uns per Taxi zum Hotel Casa la Tablada fahren lassen. Das Hotel liegt im historischen Zentrum Cartagenas. Beeindruckend all die farbigen Häuser im Kolonialstil. Die meisten sind in perfektem Zustand. Einzig die vielen Strassenverkäufer nerven etwas. Allerdings wird man mit der Zeit immer abgehärteter. Sind heute auch ins benachbarte Getsemaniquartier gelaufen, wo es gefühlt etwas ruhiger zu und her ging. Es hat wunderbare Restaurants und Geschäfte. Wir sind begeistert von Cartagena. ❤️❤️❤️Read more

  • Day46

    Happy valentine in Cartagena

    February 14 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Auch am fünften Tag im bezaubernd schönen Cartagena geniessen wir unseren Urlaub in vollen Zügen und lassen es uns gutgehen. Die Temperaturen bewegen sich am Tag bei 34° und in der Nacht bei angenehmen 24°. Je nachdem wo man sich gerade aufhält, bläst eine angenehme Brise vom Meer.

    Gestern Abend waren wir noch im legendären Club Cafe Havanna, wo von Mittwoch bis Sonntag immer live Salsa gespielt wird. Es war ein mindestens zehnköpfiges Salsa-Orchester auf der Bühne und animierte die Leute zum Tanzen. Sie spielten mit unglaublichem Druck und Präzision. Phantastisch. Kikiribu Mandinga, Kikiribu Mandinga 🎶🎵 🎤🎹🎷

    Heute, zum Valentine, haben wir uns eine super Relax Massage gegönnt.

    Morgen Abend (Samstag), besteigen wir das Segelschiff Vanett, Auf diesem sind wir dann 5 Tage nach Panama unterwegs. Auf der Strecke liegt das San Blas-Archipel (bereits Panama) , wo immer wieder geankert wird. Vermutlich hört ihr erst wieder von uns, wenn wir festen Boden unter den Füssen haben. Hasta luego amigos....

    Hier noch einige weitere Eindrücke, welche wir in den letzten Tagen eingefangen haben.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Departamento de Bolívar, Departamento de Bolivar

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