Our Cartagena New Year’s
Somewhat belated, we hope
you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve.
We sure did.
First a private boat party, just us, with as fine a Chianti as can be had down
here…and our special spaghetti—fried onions, mushrooms, tubs of butter, melted swiss cheese all
swaddled in ketchup.
Well, we like it.
Then, at 9 we taxi-ed into the
where thousands of revelers jammed inside the walls.
Downtown has been gussied up in gigantic
holiday animations for months now but tonight all the restaurants had tables in
the streets—including tablecloths, candles and floral centerpieces—far, far
more festive than the everyday white plastic jobbies.
Cartagena Clock Tower
Holiday Puppet Show
We picked up some walk-around red wine at a bar. Not only
the city but all the revelers were decorated—everything and everybody (accent
on the body) vying for drop-dead gorgeous. Block after block of truly beautiful
people, a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous girls who, incredibly enough,
also happen to be friendly. Most dressed in just-shy-of-porn sexy or
wedding-worthy gowns—chiffon, fringe, ruffles—plus endless pop-tit plunges to
Music—DJ's and live bands on every block, plus
just-plain singing to themselves and anyone who'd stop to listen. Most of Cartagena’s massive but somehow manageable squares as well as the
huge Convention Center were cordoned off for semi-private galas—if you had the
300,000 pesos ($150 dollars) per person you were more than welcome.
Pay-per-seat but not
The warren of narrow streets surrounding the squares
were thus squashed with end-to-end restaurant tables (maybe only 200,000 pesos
per.) Venerable wood balconies with their twisted balustrades hung over the
tables like giant chandeliers drooping white lights and colorful flowers.
The remaining 18-inch
ribbons of sidewalk were thronged with people squeezing and squishing past each
other trying to get somewhere else.
Perfect weather of course, but it's almost always perfect
weather here. Days 80's, nights high 70's, spiked by cool
Then just short of midnight, a gay fireworks display exploding all across the
city’s enormous bay. Dancing and hugging and cheering and then more dancing
just about everywhere except the bay itself.
We managed to stuff in two excellent pizzas and another botella
de Chianti before heading home.
Magical... Ya gotta love this Cartagena town.
each and all a happy and healthy 2009.
Louise & Gary