Cartagena Travel Blog› entry 13 of 71 › view all entries
We are in love with Cartagena already. It is so nice here, we have decided to stay another day longer overall so keep checking the blog out to see what we are up to in the next few days - especially since the internet here is so cheap which always helps!
The temperature here is about 31C so not so bad as Santa Marta. We headed out to see the city with an Australian guy called Jason who we met yesterday on the way from Santa Marta. We walked some of the wall today which was really nice actually, and found a new friend which you will see in some photos. We called him ¨Baxter¨, which is due to the Poms on the Lost City trek calling every dog we came across Baxter! It has now stuck! The dog was pretty loyal actually, and kept following us, not expecting anything it seemed for ages, until it got shooshed away by the security guard at a mall we went into.
First stop was the Naval Museum which was bigger than we expected and really nice. Lots of information on the forts and walls around the city and pirates which is the main reason we obviously went! Amazing how many different forts and building were actually constructed and the amount of battles that went on against the English and French. The wall was built as at the time Cartagena was the main port in the Carribbean, shipping gold and other artifacts found in Peru back to Spain. Hence it was a target for pirates. It was pretty amazing really and well worth a good visit. Also had other artifacts such as fossils, guns, lots of models of different ships, and even the head of a dog which had been the Colombia Navy´s mascott with framed newspaper clippings of it´s time in New Zealand from some New Zealand newspaper which I think was in Taranaki.
Church of San Pedro Claver
The church itself was built in 1603, but was actually renamed to honour the Jesuit priest San Pedro Claver. San Pedro Claver came from Spain at the age of 30, and went door to door begging for money which he gave to the African slaves which were bought over and sold by the Portuguese. San Pedro Claver was a human rights activist also, and he would baptise the slaves. On average, he baptised 10 slaves per day which is pretty amazing. About 2.2 million Africans were bought over on the ships in total, with about 700-800 Africans on each ship. Not everyone survived of course, and they were only given some water and little food once every 24 hours. We saw a lot of paintings of San Pedro Claver and the African slaves, and were also told that as he could not speak their language, he would often draw to show the history of Christ.
Plaza de Los Coches
We briefly passed through the plaza today. This is where the Africans were bought to from the ships to be sold off. We were also told on one of our tours today that one entire African town was sold off by it´s leader for money. He even sold off his own family. So disgusting when you think about it. The Africans were men, woman and children. They did not discriminate against age or gender. The plaza today is rather nice, wit lots of stalls selling sweets.
- Naval Museum $6,000 each
- Pedro Claver $6,000 each - student rate
- Church San Pedro Claver English tour - $12,000 for 3 people