Thursday, November 1, 2012

This little piggy went to Market

One of my favorite places to go while on vaca in distant lands, is go to market. Depending of the size of the city/town/village, the market can be a daily happening or in the case of Boquete, an once a week affair. In Cartagena, home to 1 million point five inhabitants ( the 5th largest city in Colombia) Market is a almost a 24/7 operation. Yesterday we took the plunge. Really. This was our bus. The bus only slows down at stops. One hops on and off, as do vendors selling candy, oranges and bags of water. The really nice buses like this, have long curtains to shade customers from the relentless sun.

The Cartagena market is huge. I mean getting lost in the maze huge and everything is offered: Computers, pig parts, hula skirts, cow eyeballs and clothes. As far as food was concerned, nothing is wasted. We saw shower stalls that could be rented, discotheque's with music blaring at 10am, Casinos, Doctors and Dentists and the ever present prostitutes.On the main street outside the market were lines of motorcycles that serve as taxi's - the really nice ones had a helmet for their clients to wear. Grocery carts served as "taxi's" for the interior of the market, hauling fresh vegi's, fragrant fish and sometimes small children when mothers were tired of lugging the around.

 Interesting facts (interesting to me, that is!):
Both Panama and Colombia have smoking bans. No fumar in restaurants, in the parks, on the street corners and just about any place except your home. Folks tell us that both Governments aim to eradicate all smoking if possible. It's not good for your health and certainly not good for one's wallet.
Secondly, all the water is safe to drink! Yummy, cold water right our of the tap. No need to worry about bad bacteria in water getting to our delicate intestinal system.

Harvey and I are the brave eaters! This is the beautiful restaurant offered fried fish, pork loin, braised cabbage, shrimp fried rice, fish head soup, chicken soup and several types of plantains. This establishment also was positioned as to get a breeze, which is muy importante in this labyrinthine of stall. You can just barely make out Harvey at the table behind the chef. He had the rice, pork and cabbage while I stuck just with the shrimp and rice. Both meals, including water and beer was about seven dollars US.

I did buy a new Camera in David. One of the settings is "meal". Just like close up and panoramic. We splurged and took a taxi back to Centro where we continued to walk off this large meal.

Thursday we must find other lodging. The apartment which we are currently ensconced was only available for 3 days. We are hoping to find something nice in Boca Grande or Boca Chica. Another apartment would be nice, but a hotel with a large pool would even be nicer (so says me!) Lodging is not cheap here so locating a reasonable choice is going to put our travel skills to the test.

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