Monday, 24 June 2013

Learning about ourselves

Let it be noted that the Captain is a Very Bad Tourist.

To be fair, also let it be noted that the Crew throws Fits.

On being a bad tourist: the Captain, although very mild mannered most days, has one key focus when visiting a new place: Where is the cheap beer?  If it involves museums and tourist attractions, he is not interested; very likely the beer is overpriced and the admission costs take away from the money that could be spent on cheap beer. Other tourist activities are not acceptable either, such as:
  •  shopping (All I want is cheap beer. Oh, okay, if I really need a new pair of swimming trunks I will get them, but that can be done in 15 minutes. Back to the beer.
  • walking around historical sites (I'm tired. Where is the beer already?
  • eating in nice restaurant, (Possible, but only if there is beer and it CAN'T be expensive.
  • staying in nice hotels (Definitely infringes too much on the beer budget.)
To give some context, the beer, Aguila, the Colombian equivalent of Red Stripe, sells for 1500 pesos at the small local bar at the end of our street. To buy six at the grocery store, it costs 9700 pesos. In some restaurants we've eaten at it costs around 3000 pesos.  At the restaurants we've chosen not to eat at, it sells for around 6000 pesos.

FYI the exchange rate is roughly 2000 pesos to $1 US. The beer is good, but not that good.


On the Crew that throws fits: some of you who know me may already be aware that regular feedings are VERY important.  The Captain, who is a smart man in spite of his failures as a tourist, also learned this lesson early on in our association.  Well, the other day there was an unfortunate interruption in the feeding schedule so the Crew fell off the rails and into the land of Very Grumpy.  Unfortunately for the Captain, this occurred in the grocery store, where food was all around but not available for eating. It sounded something like this:

Captain: "What do you want to make for dinner?"
Crew: "I don't care."
Captain: "What about tacos?"*
Crew: "I don't care."
Captain: "Let's have tacos.  What should we put in them?"
Crew: "I don't care. Let's buy a tub of ice cream."
Captain: "Darling, it's really hot outside. The ice cream will melt before we get home.  We can get an ice cream cone next time we go into town."
Crew: "Hmmphfff."
And so it went.
* NB. Tacos are one of the Crew's favorite foods.

In spite of it all, we really are still talking to each other, although we are very ready to get back on our boat and sailing again. The tentative plan is to leave Cartagena on Wednesday, so watch the Spot tracker from then onwards (click above on "locations via satellite"). I've also marked the Colombian islands we plan on visiting on the way to Panama (click above on "travels").

A few more pictures from our weekend around the city are below.

A very colourful bus for tourists parked outside the grand San Felipe Fort

The acoustics in the fort really worked for this busker.  When I dropped some change into his hat, he asked me where I was from.  The he played the first few bars of "O Canada"!

From on high

There were tunnels into the centre of the fort.  The Colombian soldiers did not seem to be very tall or were extra good at stooping.  Some tunnels were well lit and opened out to another level and some tunnels were dark (we brought a flashlight) and damp and ended when our feet got wet and we decided to turn back.

More tunnel entrances.
A conquering hero?

While we were looking for more cheap beer, I took pictures.

Oh so cool.

Even cooler. And I can't do that.

Oh Cartagena de Indias, you really are beautiful. Thanks for the memories!

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