My wife and I spent a week at Casa Portal de Getsemani in September 12. Cartagena is an enchanting Spanish colonial afro-caribbean creole city full of sights, sounds, smells, tastes. Our barrio, Getsemani, awoke to the cries of street hawkers with their papayas, citrus, plantanos. Later salsa and cumbia and champeta from doorways, somewhere in the background someone practicing the trumpet, children playing futbol in the street. Aromas of frying fish and plantains.
The bed and breakfast served both as our gateway to and refuge from this world. We could sit in the living room enjoying the tropical warmth and watch and hear the life of the neighborhood. Or we could retreat to our quiet air conditioned bedroom. Or we could cool off in the quite tiny but perfectly cool courtyard pool. Sipping on cuba libres or aguardiente or aguila. Every corner has a corner store. Some have two. All are ready to provision you with chilled bottles of ron or aguardiente complete with complementary plastic shot glasses.
Oh yes, the breakfasts. Must mention the breakfasts. Lovely fresh tropical fruit juices, eggs, queso, papaya, patacon, empanaditos, toast, marmalade, cafe. Every morning anticipation. What will we have today?
FInally and most importantly the hospitality. Muy simpatico! In short, Lea is a true jewel. Ever smiling. Ever helpful. Ever patient with our virtually non-existent Spanish. We considered ourselves most fortunate to have her as our host in Cartagena. Un abrazo grande para Lea.
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