The Hell of Cartagena

We arrived in with excessive expectations, the truth is, we might keep four nights because it was supposedly one of the vital lovely locations in Colombia. The place the place my dad and mom had their honeymoon and people magical photographs had been round the home, I actually wished and curious to understand it, after a 5-month journey by South America I remorse having to depart this testimony of one of many cities from which extra anticipated …

We arrive at evening, this by no means often goes effectively for us. We couldn't afford or wished any of the locations throughout the wall so we headed to Getsemaní, there have been some hostels that additionally handed by with the value and didn't appear to be or attention-grabbing. I do not know the way or why we ended up in a seedy mound, the place the man who ran it was extra disgusting than the entire place put collectively…. Nicely we do know the way, it was very late and we didn't need to proceed strolling by the streets, we had been drained and we wanted to sleep, in simply 10 minutes we walked by the neighborhood they supplied us heroin three instances -among different things-, I used to be left standing with out my backpacks a second and two drunk vacationers got here to me to “look for a girl.” So we went there and we hated our first evening in that metropolis slightly, we did not give it a lot significance, the primary nights, while you arrive late and drained, should not often one of the best.


Drained as we had been, we tried to sleep, we put the baggage on and received inside, even with the insufferable warmth that simply having contact with the mattress was unthinkable. One thing to go to sleep, slightly extra , and when it cleared up I left Jesper selecting up and I went to discover a place to sleep with the sunshine of day and with out a lot haste. We discovered slightly home with about four rooms for hire, I remorse to inform you that I don't keep in mind the title, however we had been delighted the remainder of the week, Carlos and Maria had been our firm, our fabric of tears and the rationale for this writing.

We went out to tour town and aside from the extraordinary warmth we felt a horrible anguish. First we walked exterior the wall, by the Getsemani neighborhood and slightly additional south, we noticed nothing however distress … Contained in the partitions Cartagena appeared like a “fairy story” all very Disney world made for vacationers, balconies with colourful flowers , Palenqueras promoting fruit on the road dressed with the flag in order that vacationers can {photograph} them with out giving a rattling (to most of them). The place does the “Palenquera” factor come from? thus forgetting that San Basilio de Palenque was the primary city of free slaves in America and the one place on the continent the place a Creole mixture of African Bantu and Spanish is at the moment spoken.… However in fact, that doesn't matter if there are horse carriages strolling on the cobblestones, if there are costly cocktails … How may all that be so removed from actuality?

Contained in the partitions hordes of vacationers taking photographs, 5 star motels with presumptuous roofs… Exterior the partitions, medication and far, a lot distress and other people at all times surviving with a smile on their faces. That did stick in my reminiscence, the arepa distributors elevating their household, deserted by a political system that prefers the vacationer with some huge cash and little curiosity and respect. Even Jesper felt uncomfortable and for the primary time –as a result of it's not that he's overly passionate- he determined to carry my hand as he walked in an try to “defend” that I didn't perceive till he requested me respectfully “Are you comfy?

I believe it was so apparent that my physique turned the other way up each time they inspected us with their that he had no alternative however to ask me and maintain my hand. Each 6 out of 10 individuals we crossed checked out me as if I had been a prostitute for strolling by their aspect. He, to my shock, admitted to feeling the identical.

We returned to the hostel and we didn't need to depart there for an entire day, our heads damage, we hated that Cartagena greater than every other place in our total journey, that hive promoting falsehood, the individuals who “ignorant” by no means depart the partitions and he goes house completely satisfied together with his Disney world postcards having drunk cocktails in costly locations. It damage us to know that individuals like María or Carlos won't ever be capable to “take pleasure in” their very own Cartagena that has been crowded and bought to vacationers. Every part damage a lot that we did not exit the subsequent day.

After resting we wished to offer the well-known “Isla Barú” an opportunity, if we get to know what we're going to discover, we higher neglect. The “accepted” path to get to Isla Barú is by boats loaded with vacationers that depart the “vacationer port” in fact throughout the partitions, from there, inside their Disneyland world, they take you by motorized boat to Isla Barú. “The paradise of the Caribbean solely 50,000 pesos away” of all this we shouldn't have photographs as a result of the reality, we weren't for nonsense.

We refused to do the boat journey after we came upon that we may do it by land. Many deny the existence of the route due to course, it means getting out of all its false and redundant crap and possibly somebody realizes that Cartagena will not be what's bought in vacationer magazines, in addition they notice that there are individuals who dwell within the metropolis and earns its bread on daily basis, no fancy swimming pools, no buffet breakfasts. The bridge that connects the land with Barú was opened rather less than a 12 months in the past solely because of the insistence of the inhabitants of the pasacaballos commune who shouldn't have 50,000 pesos to go for a ship journey. The day it opened you would learn issues like this within the newspapers:

“We're grateful as a result of we all know that now individuals can move with out worry, additionally as a result of we, our youngsters, had by no means seen a bridge. We solely ask you to not neglect us. “

We took the bus from Cartagena to Pasacaballos for just one,800 pesos, we had been in Pasacaballos for a couple of minutes speaking to individuals, some stunned to see the monkey there, others much more to see it with me. In Pasacaballos there's a jail and slightly additional south the homes and favelas of lots of these displaced by the violence of this nation that's mine that prefers to cover them underneath the carpet and create vacationer paradises in the midst of partitions a couple of kilometers from there as an alternative of investing within the schooling of his personal individuals, as an alternative of providing them a metropolis to dwell in. Folks left to their very own gadgets who, after fleeing the violence, have ended up within the nook of the world that nobody needs to have a look at. So in fact, the individuals we requested to get to the place couldn't assist however have a look at us, stunned at our curiosity in strolling by “that space.”

In Pasacaballos additionally simply lower than 6 months in the past there have been nonetheless gangs of “Black Angels” and extortionists who shot individuals to demise for any nonsense, however in fact, that doesn't occur in Cartagena, what occurs exterior the partitions will not be the issue of nobody. That doesn't seem within the magazines, for that there aren't any postcards.

We had been nonetheless disgusted, we could not assist it, the papier-mâché damage us, particularly seeing after with the ability to recognize a part of the actual Cartagena, the one which struggles to outlive with a smile on its face whereas others are devoted to destroying it. After the dialog with the lovable man from the beer stall, we take a mototaxi for 9,000 pesos, driving the bike is when you have got the pleasure of seeing the fact of town. Crossing the well-known bridge we see what's Barú (in its again half) and it is extremely removed from being the paradisiacal seashore that they promote us within the pamphlets.

The fact is a car parking zone to burst, individuals coming right here and there and rubbish EVERYWHERE (plenty of rubbish). We walked till we reached Playa Blanca and we realized that that supposed paradise that we had in our heads, even when it was just for a second, didn't exist, that it had nothing to do with the soil of Palomino or the peace of Cabo de the candle and that Cartagena, within the extension of our expertise it was going to be actual shit.

We returned that very same day a few hours later in the identical manner we went and didn't depart the hostel anymore, we had been so indignant with the world and with ourselves that we couldn't get better, as we may have been so harmless and silly and never have been stayed in some lovely place on the Colombian coast whereas we had been there trapped in that misplaced cardboard metropolis. We couldn't transfer, we didn't go to San Basilio de Palenque as a result of we didn't need to undergo extra what we had been hating a lot and that one other fable fell from me.

Cartagena was our final cease in Colombia earlier than taking the to Madrid and it left us with such a bitter style in our mouths that I can not categorical it in 2000 phrases.

Last clarification after receiving many feedback, after I imply that it disgusts me I imply that it saddens me to the purpose of giving me infinite rage, it disgusts me morally. IT HURTS.

How may it not make me indignant to see how such a ravishing place has grow to be a form of disneyworld whereas actuality goes to shit subsequent? Every part is “nice and incredible” Throughout the day you are taking a carriage journey, at evening you go on the lookout for whores and heroin, as a result of that's the reason many vacationers go to Cartagena …

That is him shit tourism that we're permitting it to reach and to whom we proceed to name, to whom we by no means tire of promoting “Come to Cartagena, have breakfast at your 5-star lodge and at evening buy groceries with whoever you need”And if we proceed like this, little will stay of such an emblematic and distinctive place and it ought to disgust us all.

Cities should not made to be museums visited by a privileged few, cities are made to be lived.

No, the issue will not be Cartagena, the issue is us who enable it.

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