Cartagena was not quite what we had expected, very touristy with it being virtually impossible to walk anywhere without being pestered by hawkers. We decided to head up the coast for a while to Santa Marta for a final chance of ‘holidaying’. We found a nice hostel with a pool and a bar and hardly ventured out for days! A final few days back in the city before our flight and then it would be time to leave.
So…… Germany, Poland, Russia, Mongolia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. We met so many beautiful and inspiring people along the way and simply realised that despite how far we’d travelled there is always so much more to see. While at times its been a bind to pull everything together for the blog I cannot thank Paul enough for pushing me to finish. 4 years on my memories are hazy so its magic to be able to dip back into the adventure so easily.
To end, my final diary entries. Thanks for joining us x
Tuesday 11th December 2012. 9.25am Cartagena – 30degrees
The beginning of the end.
14 months have passed quickly and slowly. Its been exciting, scary, fun, sad, testing, awesome! Almost the best and the worst – just an extremely unusual and amazing experience. To think that we are going home is surreal. We are so used to moving on to the next place but this time, home is at the end of a 24 hour journey. We’ve not stepped foot in the UK for 14 months. Ive never left for so long. Its going to be interesting to see everything with fresh eyes and possibly feel like a foreigner.
I’m sat here in 30 degree heat – vest, flip flops and cropped pants. I am orange from the sun. I’m carrying all sorts of ridiculous and broken ‘stuff’ but this is the last time that I will have to cart 30kg of baggage.
(Continued from the airport)
Everything seems a distant memory already – airports have a strange way of cleansing – like some sort of memory clean. They all look and feel the same, you enter some surreal otherworld. Our Cartagena trip seems weeks ago. Sitting on the terrace of our hotel for breakfast, looking up at the blue sky and lush green trees against white fresh colonial architecture we knew that things were going to be very, very different from that moment. I don’t want to forget anything. The warm breeze rustling through the city as I stood next to the Christmas tree, groups of cyclists passing through, horses and carts for the tourists. Our final meal at Krioyo, Seabass and coconut rice with plantain with some dodgy over-salted margaritas, walking home holding hands. Watching more crime TV – our South American favourite! We were a little underwhelmed by Cartagena. It’s very touristy and that kind of takes away its soul. It’s still a very pretty place but not as endearing as other cities. Bogota on an evening had life and energy (our taxi ride to the airport passed through backstreets of lit up restaurants and bustling bars). Maybe this is what we needed to make going home a little easier. Or, maybe we can just no longer see.
Wednesday 12th December 2012 – 2.20pm London to Leeds train 0degrees
It really is all over now. I can’t believe I wrote the last entry in Cartagena airport 24 hours ago. I took a moment to catch the heat and the sun in my memory as I stood on the top step into the plane but even now that seems days ago. London is freezing and the north is sure to be colder!