The night before ..
What a night we had yesterday haha! When we arrived at Hippie Beach but there was not much to do, only a few people. Most naked, doing yoga poses and swimming. When the sun went down we hoped for the drums to be played but alas … no drums tonight. The beach was left alone and all you saw were a few lights in the mountains were the people have their self built homes. Beautiful views! After we ate the sashimi and drank some wine we decided to drink some more wine and we turned up our own drum base music on board. And we drank again some more wine and by the time we went to sleep it was 03.30 in the morning! OMG! Maybe a bit too much of the wine? But as we always say in Dutch: a man in the night a man in the morning! So everybody was awake quite early again without any headaches as far as I know. We had breakfast and off we go to Cartagena! Fishing rods out, coffee and just chill. 12.00.
The art of catching a fish.!
The reel of the fishing rod was rolling! All the fishing stuff ready for the catch: alcohol, knife, cutting board, and a plate to put the fish on. When we catch a fish we first pick it up with a fishing net. Then we put alcohol in the gills to make sure the fish is not alive anymore. Then we cut the head and cut the fillets. That’s it! Maybe we are not taking the fillets all properly from the fish, but for us, that’s not important. Then we throw away the bones. You can also spare them to make a nice fresh broth. But it takes a lot of gas to do that, so better have tablets for that purpose! Today we caught a MAHI MAHI for the very first time! And a big one as well. And again with the 3 hook lure! Wow! Trudy again prepared the fish. A fresh ceviche! What a nice lunch we had. (without alcohol this time as we never drink while sailing!)
Cartagena. Amazing and interesting City!
Today the weather predictions were not that good. Lot’s of wind in the afternoon and little rain. We decided to go into one of the marinas for the night. No problem at this time of year. To be sure we would be in time before the wind would be turned on we put on the motor and motored to Cartagena. The weather got grey-ish and the clouds were packing together. It started to rain a little, we were only waiting for the wind to come. We could see the entrance of Cartagena at around 14.oo and the massive wind was predicted around 16.00 to come in. When you enter the ‘bay’ you’ll first see the lighthouse in front of Fort Christmas. When sailing into the bay there are 2 marinas just in front of you. On the port side, there is the Puerto Deportivo and Yachtport Cartagena on your starboard hand. We went to the Yachtport. Space enough this time of year so easy to berth the boat. By then it started raining a bit harder and it was cold as well. We would meet up with 2 Belgians who were interested in seeing a Soana and soon after we berthed they arrived. We showed them the boat and we had a nice chat sitting outside. With our coats on, off course ….. after they left we went to see what was going on in the marina. A lot of people had gathered for the weekly Sunday bbq. Bring your own food principle and shared bbq’s available. We went to the marina office to arrange everything so we could leave whenever we wanted tomorrow. At night we would go out for dinner but first, let’s explore Cartagena a bit!
To explore Cartagena!
Cartagena is pedestrian friendly. It’s ideal for self-guided touring. Tourist sites are concentrated in a relatively small area. There are hills, but you’ll be able to walk around them to avoid steep slopes and climbing stairs. Use the Panoramic Lift to ascend 150 feet to the top of Concepcion Hill, the highest hill in the city. People in wheelchairs can get around. There are ramps and lifts at most tourist sites. The city we call Cartagena today was called Carthago Nova when it became a Roman Colony in 54 BC.
Roman Theatre and Roman Forum
Like always when exploring: don’t forget to put your walking shoes on!!
A good starting point for your walking tour of Cartagena is the Punic Wall. Built to protect the city during the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage in the third century BC, these walls are one of very few remains of Carthaginian civilization in Spain. Today, the Muralla Punica (“sacred wall”) is built around a protected section of these ancient walls. The views in between the walls are incredible! Look around you everywhere I would say! It’s a short stroll through winding, cobbled streets to Torres Park, which is atop the highest hill in Cartagena.
Two of the most important sites are the Roman Theatre and the Roman Forum. Ruins of these historic sites are along Calle Mayor. The Roman Theatre is across from City Hall. The Roman Forum is north of the City Hall on Calle Honda. The Roman Theatre Museum is connected via an underground passage to the Santa Maria Cathedral and the Roman Theatre. There are escalators, elevators, and ramps, but you’ll have to climb quite some steps if you wish to explore the Roman Theatre. There are many excellent statues, busts, columns, etc., on display in the museum. We did not visit the museum as we were too late, but it seems to be very nice.
The theatre was built between 5 and 1 BCE, and for centuries was covered by a cathedral built over the upper part of the theatre’s “cavea”, or seating area. The first remains were discovered in 1988 only!, The theatre underwent restoration to be completed in 2003. Today the ancient arena still holds performances, and there is a museum at the site displaying the finds from a series of archaeological excavations. Visiting the theatre you can imagine what it would have been like in Roman times. The cavea sits above a series of vaulted galleries. The arena can seat some 6,000 spectators and is divided horizontally into three parts, in order to be occupied by various social classes. The public would have entered from two side passages (“aditus”) and the semicircular orchestra contains three rows of wooden seats which would be reserved for the authorities. To the rear of the stage were three semicircular plinths decorated by two rows of pink travertine columns, with marble bases and capitals marble. What a beautiful part of history! The following link is an interesting guide to visit Cartagena: https://www.tomsportguides.com/uploads/5/8/5/4/58547429/cartagena-spain-08-20-2013.pdf
We strolled a bit more in the city and went for dinner. My feet were sore from walking. And I was happy not to be too far away from the Marina! We went back home for a good night sleep. Tomorrow we are sailing in the direction of Alicante. What a beautiful town. A gem you should not forget when cruising the Andalucian Spanish Coast!