Touch down Cartagena.
Though this is not *technically* my first bschool trip (did a weekend getaway with a few friends to Montreal), I’m just going to pretend that it is, given the locale. It’s also the first trip that I, Ms. Always Researching Things to do on Trips, did not prepare anything. I pretty much showed up at the airport and hoped to get a guidebook (none available at JFK). I set foot in Colombia having only vague memories of reading about 36 hours in Cartagena and no idea about the exchange rate. I should have at least watched Narcos!
Well, travelling with 9 other people is always going to be full of surprises. As heralded by the cat who gave no f@#!$, who lay across our entryway, not moving an inch as 10 people with bags tried to sidle their way in through the door. Life update: I want to be this cat.
We had the penthouse and within minutes of entering the house, we could already call this a success.
After revelling in the view (and the gorgeous sea breezes that just make all your cares go away), we decided it was time for ceviches and cervezas (spoiler alert: This is a recurring theme). As we’re staying in the El Laguita neighbourhood, there aren’t a ton of nice restaurants (though there are a lot of small grocery stores and cart vendors). But we did okay and went to the Intriga Tropical, partly for the name and partly because we were starving.
I consider my greatest contribution to the trip as introducing people to ceviche. It’s probably my favourite food and the abundance of fresh seafood here just makes it impossible to not order it every meal. After lots of food, we came back to get provisions (beer and shampoo) and proceeded to lounge on our balcony as different members of our group took turns DJing. Definitely the best by far was Aris, who was mixing up pop divas with classics like it was no thang.
Though I thought I wouldn’t be hungry after our late lunch, we decided we should go get something to eat and explore the old city. We all packed ourselves into cabs, each armed with the name and address of one place that kept coming up on everyone’s recommendation list: La Cevicheria.
It was so packed! Mostly by the Wharton kids who were also in Cartagena, but also by locals. We were willing to wait for an hour, placated by some of the best mojitos I’ve ever had, after exploring the near by area a bit.
We ordered too many things to list, but try whatever is the special of the day (in our case it was an octopus ceviche) but basically, in the words of my friend Nilofer, eat everything!