|cigar shop, Cartagena|
Here's a few more Cartagena pictures from my final day:
The next morning i flew back to Bogota and sent many hours walking around, doing a bit of shopping and finally killing time in doors when it got too cold and wet to be comfortable outside. That night i flew to Caracas.
|flying from Cartagena to Bogota|
I had a nine hour layover in Caracas, which would have been great had it been during the day, but we arrived at about 12:30 am. I thought initially i might stay at the airport and sleep on a row of chairs, but i realized that i probably needed some sleep if i was to be at all functional when i returned home and went right to work - plus, the airport in the middle of the night feels pretty sketchy. Not the sort of place i would feel comfortable sleeping in public. This is also what i determined reading accounts by other people who had been in the same situation. Indeed, the whole area around the neighborhood seems pretty dodgy at night.
Earlier in the day i did some hotel research and discovered that there are only two hotels near the airport and they are both very expensive. There are other hotels in downtown caracas of course, but they are quite far from the airport and transportation is expensive. Anyway, I was too tired to look for creative or alternative options so i got a room at a fancyish business hotel about 10 minutes from the airport. I took some colorful Venezuelan Bolivars out of the ATM and the next thing i knew i was in a tinted-windowed SUV being driven to the hotel. (the taxi ride: also expensive)
I checked in and had a restful, but brief sleep. The next morning i saw that the hotel was right on the caribbean and had lovely pools and patios. So i ate a an overpriced breakfast taking in the view before taking another taxi back to the airport. From what i saw of the neighborhood on the drive back; it looked poor and unremarkable, but had lots of colorful Chavez graffiti and beautiful mountains. That was my brief foray into Venezuela.
|my hotel pool, Caracas|
|view of Caracas from airplane|