Monday, 15 October 2012


"We are sailing................" Fortunately not across stormy waters ! At 6am on the dot yesterday morn we were awoken by the sound of the motor starting up and then the clank of the anchors coming on board. Then the 30 hour voyage North East to Cartagena started.

I mentioned in the last chapter that the motor on the Stahlratte is 55 years old. It sort of sounded like it today as it chugged slowly away with a nice slow rhythmic and slightly hypnotic sound. Time seemed to slow down today in response to the slow chug of the motor. It was a day for sleeping, catching up on blogs and sorting out maps for the next leg.

The Captain at work -

The passengers at work

Life on the ocean wave. -

Of course this journey is yet another border crossing and after the madhouse Central American border crossings a 600km border crossing taking three days is a nice change.

And this morning we sailed into Cartagena only to find it is a National Holiday albeit an unofficial one as the actual holiday was on Friday. It seems like they have taken an extra day but no one knows why. Nevertheless all customs offices are closed so we cannot get the bikes off the boat and cleared until tomorrow. So today it is a case of just looking round the old historic city which is a real charmer. We are in no hurry and perhaps this "maƱana" approach to life that is so Caribbean is not such a bad idea.

Throw the bike ashore will you -

And we are certainly in a Caribbean city - there is no doubt of that. There are jet black faces of what are obviously ex slaves. Pirate boats made Cartagena their home base. There are old Spanish fortifications that Sir Francis Drake successfully took a dislike to. Yes, and now there are even cruise boat tourists. Hang on a minute, having arrived by boat isn't that what we are also? No, we are not because in one of the long philosophical discussions on board on the journey over we agreed we are adventurers or at least travelers rather than tourists. Viva la difference !

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