Wednesday, January 18, a very early rise and breakfast. Into the van and to the bus station in town. At the bus station we have to wait for half an hour or so and get some snacks and water. The public bus leaves around 9:00 h and we’re on our way to Medellin. The road is under construction, so the 150 km takes the whole day. At 16 h we’re at the Acqua Hotel in Medellin. The spot is perfect at the bar street. At a rooftop bar, close to where we stay, we enjoy a drink and the amazing view. Medellin is so green. Tonight, again, too much good food.
Thursday, this morning communa Moravia is on the agenda. A lady guides us through this part of the city and shows what is improved for the community. Apparently they did a project with a German group to improve the infrastructure of the area. The streets are quite clean and green. We end at the community centre and walk further to the cable car. Go up all the way, over the nature park in the mountains and by van to a flower house. Have lunch here and hear about the traditional flower parades. Back in town we have a walk. Many shops and in the end, Plaza Botero. Sculptures of chubby persons and animals, like the paintings in the museum earlier on the trip.See a strange building, Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe and have a drink at the coffee bar.
Friday, we take an uber to San Javier metro station. Here we will meet Sulay to do a Communa 13 tour. In the past a violent and poor part of town. She shows us the communa 13 district and tells lot’s of stories. We see the graffiti, rap, break dance and of course the houses. Nowadays a concrete road is leading into the community and excavators making life easier. Sulay tells how it was in the old days, she is 25, but when she was 7 years old regularly she had to walk along dead bodies to school. Gangs killing each other and police coming to the comuna killing also a lot of innocent people. That was normal in those days. Crazy. Now she’s an artist, makes graffiti, does these tours and some modeling. We have lunch at Mi Palenque and end the tour at Casa Kolacho, the initiative for starting the tours. Have a coffee in the Botanical Gardens and some drinks near the hotel. After dinner a nice bar with a ball pit. Yes, like for children, but only grownups jump in. The music is Colombian and good fun.
Saturday, next stop is Cartegena. The old centre is a Spanish colonian walled city. Touristy, but very beautiful. We walk around and see Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. Too hot, but nice view. Then a city walk. We walk to Puerta del Reloj to enter the old city. Just before we see a sloth and a small monkey in the park. The Plaza de los Coches is lively with nice old buildings around. We try some local coconut sweets. Tasty, but very sweet. Parque de Bolivar and the Plaza de Santo Domingo are next. In between, more old buildings, tourists and shops. After dinner a drink at Plaza de la Trinidad, which is crowded with locals having a drink and some snacks. Good atmosphere.