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Full Circle

Day 220: Cartagena

Cartagena, Colombia 
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The murallas, Cartagena's eighteenth-century city walls. Beyond, the Caribbean and the gold route to Europe.
Michael Palin - Full CircleToday is our last day in South America. Nine weeks and a day after setting foot on Cape Horn and nearly eight months after leaving Little Diomede we are into the home straight. This is the hottest time of year on the Caribbean coast, the time of fevers and mals de mer. The pleasures of the city, with its living, breathing, civilized old town, not yet camp or chic or over-restored, have been tempered by 100 per cent humidity, which rings sweat from parts of the body I'd have never thought possible.

Colombia should be the perfect tourist destination - it's accessible, modern and, except for internal transport, quite efficient. Yet it remains in the shadow of the drogistas and the great and entrenched corruption which allows them such power and influence. I would urge people to visit but at their own risk. This should frighten away the lazy tourists leaving the adventurous to reap the rewards of this huge, rich, beautiful but blighted country.
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  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 220
  • Country/sea: Colombia
  • Place: Cartagena
  • Book page no: 283

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