Cartagena – arriving in Colombia for start of Andes cycle tour – South America

Flying with our Fat Bikes was much easier than we had expected. Avianca, the Colombian national airline, were great and allowed us to bring two large bags each. We used their size restrictions to the nearest mm and weight restrictions to the nearest gram. And like everyone else on the plane we had massive hand luggage. The bikes arrived in Cartagena in very good condition which was a relief.

Lovely colonial buildings in the old town of Cartagena

Amazingly the taxi that we took from the airport loaded all our luggage, two bike frames and large boxes inside a small hatchback. So our first view of colourful Cartagena was from a low  crouched position under our luggage. Mind you the way everyone was driving it was just as well we couldn’t see much.

Arriving at our hotel in Cartagena
In the old part of Cartagena
Wandering around Cartagena old town

We had booked an AirBnB for the first few days in Cartagena old town until we had rebuilt the bikes etc. So on arrival, after completely filling our room with boxes, and eating our 3rd breakfast of the day (time change!) we set off to sightsee the old town. It is very hot and humid!

We have always hated traditional site seeing especially in places where there are lots of other tourists, where if you stop for a second to look at a map you instantly become a tout or taxi magnet. The boom in tourism since Colombia has started to become a “safer” destination shows in all the building renovation work being done in the old town. Unfortunately this does not seem to have spread to the rest of Cartagena.

One of the many murals in Cartagena

Cartagena has a fascinating  Museo de Oro  (Gold museum), where they had some beautiful and tiny gold animals and figures as well as fine filigree jewellery from around 3000 bc and some expressive burial erns.

The fat bikes are now built and ready to go. Had a quick turn around Cartagena to check all is well before setting off tomorrow. In a change of plan we are going to head off up the Caribbean coast road to Santa Marta, and spend 5 days walking through the jungle to visit the Lost City, Cuidad Perdida.

Setting off from Cartagena in the heat of the morning

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