Sabbath and Sunday in Cartagena

Sunday, October 01, 2017
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
Saturday was the Sabbath and the Day of Atonement.  We spent the day in the hotel room resting, reading, and listening to sermons online. I listened to two sermons, plus we connected via the internet with our Mobile, AL congregation for live Atonement services.  After sundown, we went to El Carbon de Palo, our favorite nearby restaurant.  We walked into the open air restaurant and the waiter and host welcomed us with hugs and showed us to our corner table—the one where we always sit.
I ordered Baby Beef and a salad with a limonada with only a little sugar.  They make their limonada with a hint of yerbabuena, or peppermint.  It is really yummy! Scott had another type of steak with a cheese sauce, salad and patacon.  We went to the mall for ice cream for me, but the ice cream shops have closed down since our last trip here.  Then we walked to the grocery store, but the selection of ice cream was very limited, so we decided to walk the eight blocks to Crepes y Waffles where I was able to get a scoop of coconut ice cream and one of Mocca Crisp.   Both were excellent.  I ate my ice cream while walking back which is somewhat of a challenge as one has to dodge people, sidewalk imperfections, and vehicles. Scott knows I like ice cream, and although he can’t have it, he does not mind watching me enjoy it, and walks with me there for security and exercise.
After returning home, we sat in front of our windows and watched the waves and the city lights.  We saw a 10 minute fireworks display in the city, too. By 9 PM we were tired.  I laid down, but my eyes did not want to go to sleep.  I felt tired from fasting today, but because I hadn’t done anything all day, I couldn’t sleep.  I read for a couple of hours and then tried to go to sleep.  But I ended up reading for another hour and then I was able to finally sleep. Tomorrow, I will make a point of doing more physical activity.
Sunday morning, we got up and went to eat breakfast at 8 AM.  We take a leisurely time eating as in a few days there will be no time for leisurely meals once the group arrives.  We return to the room and change into our walking clothes.   We walk pass Hotel Caribe and onto and around the lagoon; we do this twice.  It is sunny and warm, so I am glad that I brought my water bottle with me. As most of you know Scott has to walk a lot to regulate his blood sugar and stay fit as well.
We stop at Juan Valdez for a coffee.  While sitting there, we watch across the mall landing.  A church service is being set up.  There are about 30-40 people gathered for the church service.  It starts just as we are leaving.  We went to the market across the street to buy a few souvenirs.  We don’t usually buy anything for us as we have plenty of things from over the years, but we had a couple gifts that we wanted to purchase.  We found what we wanted, did a little haggling, and made our purchases.
We returned to the hotel for lunch.  We have a simple lunch of chicken and vegetable soup, with patacon and a salad.  It is all freshly made and very healthy.  We do some office work in the room and then we change into our swimsuits to enjoy the sea a little.  It is very busy on the beach today as it is Sunday and many or most people have the day off.   We ignore all the vendors and head for the water where only the jet ski and banana boat people can bother us.  It is overcast and the water is a bit cool.  We only stay in about a half hour, but that is long enough for us today.  It is not very relaxing with so many people in the water.
We shower and decided to check out a new restaurant just about a block away—Hot El Punto Multiple Del Sabor—Hot, the Point of Multiple Flavor.  We like it as it has a wide variety of food—Mexican, Italian, and salads, and sandwiches—but they have many TVs around playing music videos.  The videos would not pass the “UYC camp test.” Though we can’t tell what they are saying, it is probably fortunate that the songs are in Spanish and we don’t know what the words are.  We sit in an area where the sound is lower and the TVs are not right in your face.  We ordered some chicken nachos.  They are OK, but I would have liked to have more salsa and more jalapenos on them.  I love spice!
We returned to the hotel.  Since the dinner meal is included in our hotel rate, we went to the restaurant and had the “menu del dia” which was fried robalo, patacon, and a salad.  It was very good!  I was so excited about tasting it, that I took a bite of the fish before I took a picture!  We were very full after dinner.  I did some reading before I went to bed.  I sat in front of the window and watched the waves and the city lights while I read. Scott caught up on some details for the monthly reports, a couple emails and headed to bed. Tomorrow will come soon…