Final Arrangements and Bus Tour

Monday, October 02, 2017
Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
Today is Monday, and I begin the day by meeting with Katherine the “Events Coordinator.”  She has been at the Regatta for four years, but this is my first year with working with her.  We go over all the reservations and details about each one.  We make a few corrections.  This year there have been a lot of changes…most at the last minute. I arrange with her to have the hotel prepare a flower arrangement for us.  I also cover other details with the salon (hall) and set up that we will need. Scott says he’s learned that when a woman is the manager of events at the hotels we use, it is best if he stays out of the meetings except for social parts. J
While I was meeting with Katherine, Scott was at the mall doing his morning one hour walk.  He comes back a few minutes after I am done.  He’s learned how to make friends with the security guards as to enter the unopen mall to walk. He always finishes just prior to their opening.
We decide that today would be a good day to do the City Tour Bus.  We have not done it for several years.   We catch the bus on the street behind the hotel.  On the trip, we notice that they have two buses that do the route at one time, so a bus will pass each stop every 45 minutes instead of 1 ½ hours.  This makes it easier and more convenient to hop-on, and hop-off the bus.  We ride all the way around.  The audio tour is slightly different and I learn some new information about the city.  Even though many things are the same, we do see several changes, such as newly built high rises that have been made since the last time we took the bus. We also see a lot more shipping cranes than before.
We return to the hotel for lunch. Scott chooses the hamburger patty with a salad; it comes topped with a grape like a pompom on a stocking hat. I have the spaghetti with a salad.  The sauce has a very rich flavor and is very filling. We have a cup of coffee after we eat and then decide to go to the beach.  I needed to wear off that full feeling. Scott uses the water to strengthen his shoulders from injuries sustained in an auto accident a few years ago.
Happily the beach is not very busy.  It is still overcast so there is no fear of sunburn even in the middle of the afternoon. We meet a couple other friendly swim friends.  One is a man who is from Germany, but is married to a Colombian for twenty years.  He works in Bogota, but is here in Cartagena to receive a shipping container at the port. He says the Baltic Sea where he is from is never this warm.
Another man is from New York.  He also has an apartment here in Bocagrande.  He told us of his woes of trying to get decent, reliable repair help in the area.  He would rather do the work himself, but he doesn’t have any tools. When he hires someone here, he has to stay watching them all the time or they will cut corners and not do proper work. Very annoying and time wasting for him, but it is the only way to get it done right.
We swim for an hour or more and then return to the room to shower. We decide to take an additional afternoon bus tour.  The temperature is very pleasant and there is a nice breeze. We finish one tour and decide to stay on for the next one.  The second one is right at sundown, so we see a lot of different things going on.  We see people going home from work; relaxing in the park; exercising; walking home from school; buying food; and crowded bus stops with people trying to return home. We see a family in an open area flying a huge (probably about twenty feet long) dragon kite.
I like seeing the different buildings lit up with lights.  The bus stops several times because of the traffic and I am able to get a few decent shots in the low light. Scott likes to wave at residents on the balcony, and I think he has made a few new friends over the years!
We return home and decide to eat on the terrace.  There is no “menu del dia” so we decide to have oven fired pizza.  We get a large pizza with cheese, chicken, and mushroom; and a small one with the same plus pineapple.  Scott wanted the pineapple, not me! I talk to the chef and tell him that when our children were still at home, I would make homemade pizza every Sunday night. He was impressed. Scott can tolerate some pizza once or twice a year, so it is a real treat for us.
In the extremely hot stone oven, the pizza takes only three minutes to cook.  The pizza comes and it is delicious.  They are larger than what we were expecting, so we share three pieces with the two waiters and the “pizza man” who made them. They were excited about that!  There is a nice breeze coming off the ocean.  It is very enjoyable eating and relaxing on the terrace.
I checked with the front desk to make sure that the rooms for Derrik, Carolina and Rebecca are ready.  They are coming in at close to midnight.  All is ready, so I do not need to worry that there will be any problems when they arrive.  When we finish, we go up to the room.  We answer some e-mail and then turn in for the night.



Good to hear of your adventures! I also like pineapple on my pizza! :-)