We have continued our relaxing routine of walking, supermarket shopping (bright green trolley in tow) and spending even more time on the beach watching the world go by. It has continued to be very hot and humid and we have started to acclimatize, however we both still look like we have been doused with water whenever we go anywhere. We are sweating so much (none of this glowing thing that women are meant to do, I am full on sweating!!) It is so hot that the milk we bought from the supermarket had curdled by the time we got back to the apartment about 20 minutes later! The weather also brings the most fantastic storms across the Caribbean sea. We have sat and watched for a couple of nights with the lights off, in awe, as the huge sheets and forks of lighting are in force over the sea. It has been spectacular to watch!
We took a taxi with a lovely driver called Wilfredo, to the Convento de la Popa and Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. The Convento is on a small hill and is the highest point in Cartagena, offering great views. The Castillo is a huge fortress and the guidebooks say that it is the greatest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. Wilfredo was very chatty and he and I had a none stop conversation in Spanish, of which I understood about 50%!
The Copa America football tournament has started since we have been here and apparently it is one of the most prestigious and widely viewed sporting events in the world. It certainly feels like that here, with nearly every Colombian and their dog, wearing their yellow football shirt on match days and all the restaurants, bars and even shops showing the matches on TV. Colombia have won their first two games against USA and Paraguay, so they are through to the quarter finals. The commentary is hilarious-it is very loud and fast, like the commentary for horse racing!
On one taxi ride to the agency, we were hot and tired. The taxi drivers always seemed to struggle to find the agency address and on previous occasions we had got out and walked the rest of the way! Gav has a great sense of direction and sat in the front as he knew the way. The taxi driver started to dither around when we were almost there. Gav suddenly started to shout " erecto, erecto" whilst pointing his arm ahead with vigour. I stared on in horror and the taxi driver burst into giggles. The actual word for straight on is "recto" and this is what Gavin thought he was saying. But erecto means exactly what is says on the tin and coupled with his forceful forward pointing arm action, well you can guess the rest!
We had to move out of our wonderful apartment on Tuesday morning as new people were due to move in that day. Jack, our wonderful host, has been a star. He invited us for beers and pizza on our last night and we met a couple of his friends. They were all lovely and we got some recommendations of places to visit. Jack is also letting us use his garage which is undercover, secure and can fit Ruby in. After a bit of a disappointment on Saturday when we spent the morning waiting at the customs agent hoping to get Ruby back, we were told that it would not be until after the bank holiday weekend! So Tuesday came and we were in the process of packing up to move to another apartment over the road. We got a skype message from our agent in Bogota to say we had to go immediately to a warehouse near the port where Umberto would be driving a truck with Ruby`s crate on it! 4 strong men would also be there to help us with the rooftent! We left our luggage in Jack`s apartment and caught a taxi to the warehouse near the port. We were both really excited!
The security guard took our ID and checked our footwear for health and safety reasons. Gav had his boots on but mine were in the landy so I had my trainers on. He asked me in Spanish whether they were strong enough. Now there was no way on earth that I was going to be left outside whilst Ruby came out of the container. I decided to prove how strong my trainers were by kicking the wire fence. Hard. Ouch. But I showed no pain and was subsequently let in by the bemused security guard ( with gun!)
We were delighted to see the friendly face of Guillermo there, and it all happened pretty quickly. The truck backed the container onto a ramp, the seal was ceremoniously cut with shears, the doors were opened and there she was. We were so pleased to see her! Gavin squeezed into the container to reconnect the batteries. The man that had disconnected them for us was very slim. Gav said that he managed to squeeze in OK but when he tried to get back out he was stuck!! He said his only option was to get into the landy, pray she started and drive out! I had told everyone the name of the landrover and she came out to many voices saying "hola Ruby"!
He drove Ruby out, the 4 strong men helped lift the rooftent on, whilst I gave directions in Spanish! We then drove out of the warehouse and followed Guillermo on his motor cycle all the way back to our garage. Later in the afternoon, we took her for a spin to the supermarket and did our daily shop.
So today we did our daily checks on Ruby and began to pack the rest of our stuff. She looks well and it is great to have her here. We will move on, on Friday and then the adventure will really start!
I forgot to mention that we signed up to the Colombian landrover club on facebook and have received such a warm welcome! We have been invited to their landrover show at the beginning of July and have decided that we will go!