|I got everything ready by 6:45am. Rey came and called a taxi. It showed up about 7:00am. When we got to the Marsol bus station, it was only 7:15am. I was told a van was leaving at 7:30am that I could get on. I started to load my luggage and realized that I left my camera backpack on the back seat of the taxi. My heart sank. It has not only all the photos I took at Colombia but my credit card and ATM card. If it could not be found, I would be in real trouble. I called Rey immediately and told him what happened. He said he would call the taxi company to locate the driver. I waited about 30minutes and called Rey back. There was no answer. I waited another 15 minutes and texted him to see what it was happening. I started to panic. I asked the bus station staff if I should notify police. At that time I received a text from Rey that says the driver was coming. When we were discussing, a taxi drove up and the driver waved to me. What a relief! I gave him some money for bringing my backpack back. By that time it was 8:15am. I had to wait for 9:00am bus. Considering it could be much worse, this is the best outcome. My head hurts from the stress.
The bus arrived Cartagena at 11:00am. My new host was home to wait for me. She is my age and lives alone. Her son is in the US and her daughter is at Spain. She makes me feel very comfortable. Her apartment is spacious and very clean. She showed me around and gave me a set of keys. Each place I stayed the host gave me 4 keys: 1 for the front gate, 1 for the unit gate, 1 for the front door and 1 for my own room. There seems to be excessive number of locks and metal grid gates. Each window has metal grid also. Probably this is what left over from the violent years. I wanted to visit the old town that has a nickname Walled City. Across the apartment building there is a large park called Central Park. Just across the park it is the entrance to the walled city. The city as founded by Spain in 1533. It became the important port for Spain to import Peruvian silver and export African slaves. The prosper of the city attracted many Caribbean pirates. They raided and looted the city. In 1586 even the British explore Drake attacked the city with success. The house he lived for a month still exists. I happened to pass it. I could hardly imagen to cross the same gate that Drake did. I also noticed the door knock looked similar to old Chinese design. There were many street vendors, performers and women who dressed colorfully with fruit basket on their head to post for tourist to take photos. I took one also and paid them a small amount of money. I climbed up the wall and walked for about 1km. From the high wall I could see Caribbean on one side and the old city on the other. The wall took almost 200 years to construct and reinforce. It is very wide and tall that reminds me of China’s Great wall. For lunch I ate at outdoor section in front of the large church. I ordered Caribbean black mussel. Somehow, it did not taste as fresh as those I had in Washington. A group of youngmen performed street dance and asked for donation. Later, I visited a religion museum, an Esmeralda museum and the University of Cartagena. Colombia supposedly has the best Esmeralda in the world. The university has a Solo performance at 4:00pm. I was asked to attend. I did not understand much of it.
I left the park at 5:30pm. When I was crossing the park, a few people was starring something on a large tree. This picked up my interests. They pointed a branch to me. I saw a large 3-toed sloth hanging upside down, cleaning himself. What a surprise! Too bad I did not have my good camera. The cell phone picture is just not as good. When I got back, after shower I went to a supermarket to buy some food for tonight and breakfasts. When I came back again, Gladys was home. We chatted a little while. After dinner I started to work on the journal to catch up.
Tomorrow I am taking a shuttle to the largest aviary in Colombia nearby. I wonder what I would see.