January 08, 2010


After 2 days of travel we finally arrived back in Hot, Hot, Hot Cartagena! It seems to be just as we left it. We arrived with 8 huge duffle bags filled with boat parts and Amelia's clothes.

We found 2 taxis, to take us and our belongings to our rented room. I had to laugh as I watched all of the people trying for a few of our peso's hoist rapidly the duffle bags into each car. Graham's carefully packaged radar (in its own custom bag sewn by his mom) was going to be left in the open trunk with a bungee cord attaching it to the car. Graham quickly veto'd that plan.

I showed the drivers the address I had written out and I then I remembered the language barrier! We received the thumbs up from both drivers but I didn't feel very reassured that they knew where they were going. The kids and I jumped in one car and Graham (and the radar :-)) jumped in another.

HOLY HANNAH. Our fella rips out of the airport like he is fleeing a fire. Horns, traffic, near misses, sharp corners, fast stops, yelling out the window at other drivers. Total chaos but strangely warm and comforting to us. In amongst this craziness I watch an ant (in the HOT taxi)traverse the ceiling of the car, back and forth. The ant seems to be moving as fast as the taxi? The kids and I don't speak for the first half of the ride. We are all just stunned a bit and beginning our Cartagena sweat.

We get to our area of town but the taxi drivers have no idea where it is. They keep driving up to one another and yelling through their windows and I keep trying to show the driver the piece of paper with the numbers on it. He couldn't speak 1 word of english and I couldn't speak any spanish. Finally he stops the car and Graham and the other driver come to our car to talk. I ask them to call the fellow renting us the room and voila all is solved.

So I need to give you a bit of background on this next part. Graham and I realized that we would need to stay in a place for the first week or two while we got Artemo ready for launch. We both began researching apartments, rooms and hotels. Our criteria seemed to differ a bit, so it was a point of contention between the two of us. I managed to find a nice new apartment fully air conditioned and with a pool for $100 a night. Graham managed to find a couple of rooms in a shared house (the rooms themself were air conditioned) for $30 a night. He wasn't able to get any pictures but after a brief discussion (I mean fight) we agreed to rent the rooms.

When we arrived our landlord Manfred met us. He looked a bit surprised to see four of us? I am positive though that Graham mentioned this in the email. He said that unfortunately he only had one of the rooms available at this time. The Swiss couple in the other room was going to need their room for another week. He took us through 2locked gates to get to the house and then we walked through the kitchen and the HOT living room and then up the flight of stairs to our new home......

Ok, ok, it isn't that bad and we are now settled into this room but after 2 days of travel to arrive at this room with 1 bed and looks a bit like an unfinished basement....We were a bit let down. The good news is that Manfred turned on the wall a/c in the room and it began to blast out cold air. SALVATION!!! Halleluiah.

Manfred let us know that the kids could sleep on the couch in the livingroom (I whispered to Graham...."This will be your bed"). After Manfred left Graham and I carried the couch and 8 duffle bags up the flight of stairs in the extreme heat to our room.

We all crashed pretty hard and slept for the day. We went out to our favorite restaurant in the old walled city for dinner "El Bistro". We ate like kings (steak and grilled fish) and loved the fact that the meal came only to $25 including drinks.

The city looked amazing at night. They still have many of the lights from Christmas up. Everything looks more beautiful than I remember and everyone seems to be smiling and saying to "hola" to us.

There is a really nice breeze here now and it makes the heat bearable. It was the perfect night temperature. Amelia was so happy to be able to switch to her summer wardrobe. She put on this beautiful dress none of us had seen before. It was really light and it seemed to dance on its own in the Cartagena breeze.

It is early morning here now and once the kids wake up we are going to see "Artemo". We are pretty excited about this.....I will keep you posted.


  1. Thanks for the quick post! I'm glad you are all safe there and got some rest. I hope Artemo shines for you today:)

  2. Come on Graham, splurge for the nice airconditioned hotel with a pool!

    The heat must be a bit of a shock after leaving here.
    Miss you lots. Hope Artemo is looking good.

  3. Cool. I like the pink tree. It was very pretty.

  4. Happy to see you've all made it there safe and sound!

  5. Glad you made it okay and welcome to the world of "hot". Hope that everything is okay with Artemo and you get all your new equipment installed without problems. Grahams is doing it - "no problem!!!"

  6. sorry - finger slip - that last comment was mine
    Dad/Grampa Griff

  7. Glad you are there and happy. Keep on blogging. It keeps us connected.
    Love you all Mom and Earl

  8. Very funny post, as Killeen said it would be.
    You need to trust that Graham, and you (by agreeing) made the right decision with the hotel room.

    Your hair looks very red in the last picture! Nice!

  9. OMG Julie I laughed so hard when I read this blogg. Especially where you whispered Graham would have to take the couch...to funny! Hopefully you wont be stuck in that room for to much longer. Love the night shot with the pink tree!

  10. PS I loved both your dresses...very nice