Cartagena Colombia Sexy

Posted by Fatimah Imah Selasa, 09 Agustus 2011 0 comments
Cartagena Colombia Sexy Magical Realism Realized in Cartagena” by Bill Fink Congratulations to Bill Fink, who won the Gold Award in “Magazine Articles” category in the BATW BEST Travel Writing & Photography Awards for his delightful San Francisco Chronicle Magazine story “Magical Realism Realized in Cartagena.”





If you’re going to Hawaii, someone might ask you to bring back macadamia nuts. Go to Belgium, they’ll ask for chocolates. Tell them you’re visiting Colombia, and people will just snicker and wink and pretend to snort something through their nostrils.

As far as many Americans are concerned, Colombian cities are named after cocaine cartels, the streets are regularly crowded with shoot-outs, and the only regular visitor is the drug-addled Al Pacino from Scarface, commuting down to throw someone out of a helicopter.

I pondered the threats around me while I sipped a mojito at the Café Del Mar perched on the old city wall in Cartagena, Colombia. There might be too much mint in my drink. I might not have the best angle to see the sunset over the Caribbean. If I attended the classical music performance in the plaza, I might miss the party at the sugar baron’s mansion.

Waves rolled onto the shore beneath the setting sun. A pickup game of soccer unfurled in the park below me. A guitarist strummed local vallenato tunes while couples strolled the walls hand-in-hand, stopping to kiss in the old gun turrets. The smell of sizzling plantains wafted from the grill behind the bar. Truly, my life was fraught with danger. I ordered another mojito.

I began to think of the city as a version of the mythical Shangri-La, but this hidden paradise was separated from the world not by physical barriers, but psychological ones. Instead of vertical cliffs or raging rapids, the borders of Colombia are guarded by a jagged fence of fear, a scent of seediness and the dark cloud of recent history.

I explored the city of Cartagena and its surrounding areas to see if a casual traveler could bridge these barriers and discover a sense of safety, culture and the beauty of a South American Shangri-La.

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