Colombia 1: Cartagena

After the necessary rest period, Simon and Ang were once again the first to depart the pit stop.  Their first challenge was to explore the city of Cartagena.  They walked around the old bright and colourful town, photographing the various old colonial buildings.

Colonial Cartagena Cartagena street
Renovations Cartagena style

Later that evening, they met up with a mixed team of three Brits and an Aussie and swapped notes on the previously leg’s cruise from Panama.  It was clear that Team Australia had been lucky enough to get the better boat and crew as the stories from the other team were a tad concerning.  After an average meal, both teams received their next clue.

With the food challenge complete, both teams were set a challenge to have cocktails in Colombia.  To complete this, both teams went for two for the price of one happy hour drinks at a nearby bar.  Strangely, these turned out to be two for one per person drinks.  After twenty minutes of concern, Simon was successfully able to negotiate to have this misunderstanding reversed.

Completing the food and drink challenges, the teams were given their next clue and headed across the road to the Hostel Media Luna to take part in the Noche de Velas celebration.  There they were joined by the original Team Ireland and some members of the One World crew on the roof top terrace bar.  The next drink challenge at this point of the race was for Simon to try aguardiente.  This drink is a a local alcoholic spirit made from sugar cane and flavoured with aniseed and which apparently comes with “a hangover that will make you lose the will to live”.  Team Australia reluctantly drank the cup of foul liqueur and received their next clue.  Clem from Team Ireland bizarrely enjoyed the drink and went back to the bar to get a second glass.

Cartagena plaza panorama

Team Australia’s next clue called for Simon and Ang to take a day trip to nearby Playa Blanca.  They consulted with reception at the hostel and were booked on a ferry ride to the Playa.  This unfortunately included a stop at the Isla De Rosas, where the main attraction is a crappy 1970s era aquarium.  After a lengthy disorganised wait, the team boarded the last launch to leave the docks. They sped out of the harbour and around the headland to their first stop, the Isla de Rosas.  There they were deposited at the aquarium without explanation as to when pick up would be.  Thinking they would only have 20-30 minutes, they amused themselves taking photos of the Christmas decorated fibreglass marine life and chatting with other tourists.  An hour and a half later, they finally located their boat, which had randomly and more interestingly gone off snorkelling at a nearby reef.

Cartagena fort panorama

Twenty minutes later the team was back in the speedboat and flying over the ways towards Playa Blanca.  A delicious fried fish lunch was quickly consumed and the team set off to walk the length of the stunning Caribbean beach.  Simon and Ang spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and lazing on the sand before they were given their final clue for this leg of the race.

Playa Blanca

They quickly made their way back to their watertaxi and were soon back in Cartagena.  That evening they had a fantastic dinner at a local seafood restaurant then they headed back to the hostel for the final roadblock for this leg of the race, to complete a salsa class.

Simon was nominated to complete this task and was soon learning the rather complicated moves of what turned out to be an advanced salsa class.  Over the next hour and a half a 2 minute routine was learnt and Simon finally completed the challenge.

Simon completes the salsa challenge

With this final task completed, Team Australia were given their final clue and made their way to the pit stop for this leg of the race, Old Town Cartagena.

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