Cartagena, May 2007
Late afternoon in Cartagena and the heat is becoming bearable as the sun sets. Sitting in the plaza where they used to sell slaves, I was mugged by the cutest pack of little girls, three from Bogota and one from Baranquilla. All about 5 years old.
What are you drawing where are you from what is that I'll help you what color do you need are you going to draw the coffee shop sign what's your name which color...
So I gave them some sheets and we all drew and they argued and chattered. Did not have the camera.
One thing that must be said, in spite of the good time we had, you can't help but notice and be affected by the absolute poverty of the people living here.
- shot of coffee in the street: 15 cents
- meal from street vendor: US$2
- beer: 50 cents
Walking around the old section of Cartagena. Saw several men who were missing limbs. Wondered about the healthcare. Local drivers are homicidal and actually accelerate when pedestrians try to cross the road in front of them. Declined to ride motorcycle taxis.
- Price of coffee in a sit-down cafe: US$1
- Clown Tip US$0.50
- Making clown cry by feeling his ass and pretending to steal his money: priceless
Taking a mud bath at Volcan de Lodo El Totumo
New rule for street food: If it's too dark to see what you're eating where the food cart is, don't buy the food, or at least don't eat it.
After re-learning this rule, took a little tour to a small mound of mud about 50km north of Cartagena. Volcan de Lodo El Totumo is this 40 or 50-foot high mud mound, a natural bubbling warm mud bath that has been built higher and reinforced by the locals. The bath itself is only about 15 foot square, and we walked up some slippery improvised steps to get there. The strangest sensation of weightlessness once in the bath. It is difficult to get your feet to go below the surface of the mud, and moving from one side to the other once in the bath is a slow and funny experience. I don't know if it made our skin any smoother but we had a good time.
Took and then lost lots of photos of Cartagena, all that remains is this pic of other people in the mud bath that one of the worker guys took with our camera.