Colourful Cartagena

As we walked through Cartagena’s evening rush hour from the bus station to our hostel it seemed like any other noisy, busy Latin American city …. until we had our first glimpse of the imposing centuries-old, stone city walls. Tall and thick, with regular slots for the canyons, these walls protected what was once the main Spanish port on the Caribbean coast. During the 16th and 17th centuries the city was a storehouse for all the wealth plundered from all corners of the country and as such was a prime target for ruthless pirates roaming the Caribbean seas. Thirteen miles of these walls still remain, encircling the historical city centre, and are an imposing sight.

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The motorised, blue fishing launch cuts easily through the light chop of the water in the Padre Ramos estuary. The broad, ragged rim of Volcan Cosiguina lies before us, spent and burnt out after its violent eruption 180 years ago. Behind us the perfect cone shape of San Cristobal, the tallest volcano in Nicaragua and still active, exudes a constant stream of grey smoke and gases. Bordering the estuary Continue reading