I met our agent, David, at 09:00 and gave him our passports to clear out of the country. My pal is to. Leave at first light for the 24-30 hour sail to San Blas islands en route to Panama. Then we all headed to town, Emily to a wifi spot to update her log, and the rest of us to Citadelle San Filipe. The fortress is almost pyramidal, with stone face walls sloping up to a peak. It was built after the French sacked the town, and was impregnable when attacked by Admiral Vernon with his 183 ships and 23,000 men. There was not a lot to see other than the massive walls, but then we found a small doorway with steps leading down and down, through passageways lined with alcoves, where explosives would be stored so that they could blowup under the attackers feet. It got quite claustrophobic as not all the lights were irking and sometimes it was a question of feeling ahead in the dark, finding a right angle bend and feeling one's way along hoping there wasn't a pit to fall into!
Then, very hot and thirsty, we walked across the causeway into Getsemane, where we found a section of the city that had not all been improved, painted, gentrified and boutiques. This proved most enjoyable, and we turned into a dark doorway. Beyond which a little green courtyard beckoned with tables. We ordered Arepas stuffed with various things. An arepa is a 4" circular pitta bread, opened to receive a filling - I had fish in coconut and chilli.
Then I said that I needed a haircut, and stepping outside we saw a sign pointing through a gate into a dusty yard, and there, under a tree was a barber shaving a young man. The tree trunk was painted pink, and teh house walls beyond were a orange ochre, so it was a colorful sight. We settled ourselves in a ring of plastic chairs to wait our turn, and eventually Mark and I had our long locks shorn, and my beard trimmed. All very atmospheric and memorable!
We wandered and expired for the rest of the day, and then went back to the marina where I settled up with David and retrieved our passports and international Zarpe document that authorises our departure from Colombia.
We also enjoyed meeting Paul, Jane and Lily Thornton and their energetic dog, Skye, and learned of their 4 years touring Mediterranean and Caribbean, aiming to now head north with a view to visiting Guatemala.
We did some shopping to finish up up our Colombian pesos, and then headed back to Tin Tin for supper. With the wind picking up we should now have a fast trip south to San Blas islands, where we will pass a coupe,of days, and then on to Colon on the 13th to meet Steve Tecbury, who is coming to help us through the canal to the Pacific.