We spent about a week in Cartagena, sitting in various squares, drinking twenty cent coffee and searching for the Arepa guy we quickly deemed our favourite even though he was our first. And endlessly walking, trying to breath in the life that steamed from the streets.
By evening the walking continued in search of more street vendors and evening festivities that were the street life. Once back at our little apartment the three of us had to keep the partying down to a minimum as our landlord was worried that we, the mature adults would scare off the other backpackers. Little did he know we were asleep before we even hit the pillows.
After Brett spent 13 hours at the port getting the car we celebrated and left for Medellin the following day. However we decided to take the scenic route with a ferry crossing over the Magdalena River. The days were long as we travelled between 12 and 14 hours and into the dark, and then wandered trying to get a place to spend the night. Once settled we either roamed the town that seemed to never sleep or entertained the local hotel (water park or picnic area, not quite sure what it was) keepers as we cooked in the back of the van.
Colombia, you would have it is a very large country and it would take three days to reach Medellin from Cartagena via this route. Luckily Colombia has a good stock of street food that kept us well fed. Zarko was quick to jump on the Arepa wagon and all the other street food wagons for that matter. We ate anywhere from a dollar for a potatoes and fried chicken meal to a fancy joint that served artisan burgers for six dollars.
While Zarko seemed to thrive in intolerable heat of 40 degree weather, Brett and I were happy to put on our toques in the more refreshing climate we would finally reach. So as we ascended to the cooler grounds of Santa Elena and pulled out all of our cold weather clothing it was time for Zarko to head home. We spent an evening by the fireplace trying to keep warm in the frigid 16 degree weather. As Zarko left for Panama before heading back to Croatia, Brett and I headed back to bed that is our van to catch up on some well needed sleep.