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Thu Oct 31 2013: Melting in Cartagena

We jammed 14 or so motorcycles in the tiny Ambar hostel in the Getsamani district of Cartagena. You couldn't move in the courtyard without hitting a mirror or sidecase. So we didn't. We just stayed around the hostel as the rest of the bikers who unloaded off the Stahlratte fanned throughout the city to explore. It was interesting contrasting how fatigued we were in comparison to these fresh-faced travelers.

Is Cartagena where we'd put the sidestands down for a while to recoup and regroup?

Adventure bike convention

I walked out into the lounge of the lobby to use the wifi so I could type out a blog entry. Our fellow moto traveler from Germany, Toby was on the couch surrounded by the kids staying in the hostel with us. They were enraptured by his Thor-like beard and listened to his stories that he told in fluent Spanish. I thought to myself: Wow, he's really good with kids.

Kids never seem to get tired listening to the ancient tales of Asgard, Loki and Frost Giants...

Then Toby said, "That's Gene over there. You guys should teach him some Spanish..."

That didn't turn out too well. Apparently my aptitude for learning grade-school Espanol wore their patience thin, so we ended up looking at pictures on my laptop instead. They were very curious about where we came from and were captivated with my pictures of Toronto and wanted to see more. So I brought up our wedding photos. They loved it! They said Neda looked like a movie star. Then they looked at me. Nothing. And then pictures of Neda... "So pretty!" Then me... confused silence.

Sorry kids, I don't know what to say. Sometimes the abacus breaks and the math just doesn't add up...

Huddled over my laptop looking at wedding pictures.
At this point I'm thinking: "Wow, I'm really good with kids..."

I glanced over at Toby. He was happily typing away on Facebook, or his blog, or something.

Waitaminnit... Wasn't *I* supposed to be working on *OUR* blog right now...?!?

And then I realized... these kids weren't enthralled by anyone. They were just bored and wanted someone... anyone... to entertain them!

By Odin's beard! Thor totally pawned these kids off on me!!!

Streets of Getsamani were flooded with blocked sewage systems and rainy season downpour

If you've joined our blog recently and skipped the earlier bits, there are more pictures and descriptions of Cartagena the first time we sailed through - back when we were less fatigued by travel!

You can view them here: http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/89.html

We did make it out of the hostel a few times, venturing out on Halloween evening to grab a bite to eat at the plaza down the street. Tons of kids in costumes walking around with their loot!

Maybe she can wave her wand and make all this water go away?

Gondola rentals go through the roof this time of year

"My name is Inigo Montoya..."

"I'm Superman, bitch!"

We spent four days holed up inside the tiny hostel, bidding goodbye one by one to each of our fellow moto-travelers as they rode off towards more adventurous pastures, until we were the only ones left. The oppressively hot, humid days melted me into our surroundings, made me feel like a lump of sweaty clay. I didn't want to move.

Unfortunately, mosquitoes love Neda as much as small kids do, and during the nights, as I lay welded to our tiny hostel bed, she was eaten alive by the swarm that made it through the tiny cracks in our room's window and door.

As any married man can tell you, a happy wife equals a happy life. So Neda fetched a large enough sized spatula from the kitchen, scraped me off where I was sitting, strapped me down on my motorcycle and pointed us towards somewhere less humid and less mosquitoey...

Peaje means toll in Spanish. This is Neda no peaje...

We love the toll booths in Colombia because motorcycles go through free! What a contrast to the super-expensive Cuota (toll) roads in Mexico! There's a narrow lane to the right of all the booths just wide enough for two-wheelers, so they can bypass the gates. Everytime we see a sign that reads, "Peaje 1km" we yell at each excitedly other over the communicators, "Pee-ah-HAY!!!!"

Simple pleasures...

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