Monday, 19 December 2016

Cartagena - Islas del Rosario

We set the alarm for 7am because we had to be at the travel agent at 8 to catch the bus - min-bus actually - to Playa Blanca. The journey was about an hour, we stopped briefly to take on food and water. I made a point of leaving my bank cards in the hotel safe so I simply had 140mils for our expenses. We knew that we would have to pay for the oceanarium but I didn't expect to have to pay much more. The lunch was included in the price. So I gave all my cash to Nini. That was funny because at one stage I had to ask her for 1mil to visit the toilets! It is good if there is a money limit otherwise it is all too easy to visit a cajero for more cash. I am spending a lot of money for sure. But the cost of living is so much cheaper here than in Europe so I am not spending significantly more than I would do if I was on holiday in the Canaries on my own. But I am paying for 3 or even 4 people sometimes!

This was the boat from Playa Blanca to the island. The sea was calm on the way out so the boat was able to go at top speed which was very impressive. The voyage was about 25 minutes.Coming back, not so calm, me neither!

We disembarked and quickly I realised that the island was totally occupied by the oceanarium. We had to pay extra for that, 25 mils each but it was well worth it. The location is spectacular, truly tropical with exotic and very large birds wheeling above in the thermals.

The guide took us around various pools which contained a variety of fish. One was full of sharks, the guide called them "cat sharks" but I will look up the correct name later. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and the boat was due to pick us up an hour after arrival but it was a little late. Nini bought a shell from a guy in a boat..

For the boat trip back, Nini chose a seat at the front of the boat, with no shade from the sun. But the big problem was the sea. By now it was quite choppy but the driver didn't really let up very much on the speed. Maybe he was in a hurry to pick up another load of people. I was getting alarmed, each time we dropped down from a wave, the boat shuddered violently. And so did my spine with no cushioning in the glass fibre seat. I motioned to the driver to slow down. In the end, he stopped and I swapped seats with someone from further back in the boat where the shock of the waves is far less. I am sure they all thought I was being pathetic but, really, I didn't care. Stupid things like that happen on holiday, in different cultures where they don't recognise such dangers. I was seriously worried about the violent compressions that were going through my spine.

We spent a wonderful time on the beach, swimming and sunbathing. I am trying to persuade Nini to swim but she is not interested. I got chatting to a Colombian guy who knew well the area of Spain where I live and Nini was content to splash around in the waves.

We returned in the bus to Cartagena at 4pm which left us with about two hours to relax in the hotel and have a meal - KFC! - before going back to the travel agent at 8pm to catch the disco bus.

The bus contained a band and also a supply of the regular Colombian poison, Aguadiente (Tooth water, literally) which is about 38% alcohol with an aniseed flavour. We stopped of at a square for a few beers and toured around the city, shouting insults to other similar buses.

The final stop at around 11pm was a discotheque where we were due to spend an hour before being taken back to our hotels. Nini tried smuggling a bottle of Aguadiente into the disco in the top of her bra despite our pleas that it wasn't allowed. She soon got caught out and she was presented with a bill for 90mils which is about 30 euros for a bottle of "legal" Aguadiente. And guess who paid for it! I wasn't very happy about that because it was rather foisted on me. Things got worse. The small group for whom I had provided alcohol more or less ignored me and when it came to the time to leave in the bus, Nini wanted to stay. We were in a strange city, late at night, we had both been drinking, I had no idea where we were. I insisted that we returned to the hotel in the bus. This caused a big argument. We returned in the same bus but she sat at the back, away from me.

When we got back to the hotel, she went with three other girls to drink Aguadiente at a table in a bar next to the hotel. I was angry with her and didn't hide it. After a short while, I went back to the hotel because I was tired and didn't want to drink any more alcohol. But I didn't sleep, no surprise there. Nini came back at 3am. The argument continued with me desperately trying to repair the realtionship, she in the bed, me sitting on the side. I think I went back to my bed around 4am.

I slept a little more after my breakfast, while Nini watched cartoons on the TV.
It required all my efforts to re-make the relationship when we were at the airport. We did it with a hug. But the relationship was doomed. What does one expect when money is the major factor?

The flight was about 30 minutes late but very soon we were back in Pereira. We had a quick meal at the airport and Nini went off to pick up her daughter from where she was being taken care of.

I think I got about 2 hours sleep last night so I was glad to get back to my apartment and get some rest. It is crazy really, going out with a girl of 23, dressed to kill (I bought the dress... and the bra!) with no possibility of anything physical. It is a kind of torture as you can imagine...... But lots of fun. Just watch the video! I am more than happy spending days with her, it is different at night when it is like a date but, of course, it is nothing of the sort. In case you wondered, I never imagined anything other than that. Hey, dream on, Steve!

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