|After the 11 day 'adventure' boat trip from Panama (If you haven't already read it Soap Opera script we were all very relieved to be on land again and excited to finally arrive in Colombia - a country I'd been nervous yet excited about travelling in because of all the media coverage and bad press that has scarred the minds of this very beautiful country.
The guidebook promised Cartagena to be 'one of the most beautiful countries in South America' and indeed, the old part, where we ended up staying, is an extremely lovely area and beautiful to walk around with it's old colonial architecture, narrow streets and churches. Even romancing the Stone was filmed here (not that I knew that at the time).
We spent 5 days here just chilling, wandering around, getting used to being on land again and just enjoying the city. I'd heard there were sloth bears in the park near to our hotel and I'd been trying to see one ever since Costa Rica so we went on the bear hunt one afternoon. Once we got there, I was surprised to find that the park I'd imagined to be lush and full of leafy trees was actually spartan and full of old man drinkers (who were lovely and invited us to join them)!. However, despite the lack of trees, we still couldn't spot any. Eventually we asked where the 'osos peresosos' were (literal translation is lazy bear) and a guy who worked there took us to see them. They were up high in a big tree and three were just curled up sleeping and one very s-l-o-w-l-e-y moving from branch to branch to eat leaves. Sloth bears stay high up for ages and only come down to go for a no.2! No-one quite knows why they do this....
After a few days of 'South America Acclimatisation' we were ready to move on and hit the beach!...