20th January 2017. Cartagena, Spain.

MORNING!  Clank, clang, crash, wakey, wakey!  It was noisy for us but even worse for Jane and Steve who were sleeping only inches away from the noise, as it turned out the early morning wake up call was to our advantage, the forecast had been for bad weather today but when we opened the blinds the sun was shining so the four of us took the opportunity to walk into Cartagena but not before, at Jane’s request, we had moved the vans up to the end of the Areas AC as far away as possible from the noisy shelf of gas canisters and a very sensible idea it was too.

We chose to walk in along beside what looked like a river on the map but turned out to be a rambla which was empty of water except for the occasional muddy puddle.  Nevertheless it was a nice walk in.  We had no idea where we were going or what we were going to see when we got there however as we wandered aimlessly through the pretty shopping area Jane came to the rescue with her Pokemon game of all things!

She looked on her map for Pokemon and areas of interest AND information about them came up on the screen, it was invaluable.  We started walking to the first point of interest but on the way down the street we passed a cake shop filled with all sorts of goodies and we started chatting about which cakes were our favourites at home, we settled on scones and 10 minutes later as we came to square in front of some fancy historic buildings what did I see but a cafe offering coffee with a scone, jam and cream, it goes without saying we found a table in the sun and enjoyed their delicious scones.

We followed her map to the harbour stopping for a photo opportunity of Jane hugging a statue of  sad looking soldier then when we’d finished entertaining ourselves doing that we hurried after Darren and Steve who were heading towards the waterside.

Even as we hurried towards them I was waylaid by other photo opportunities.  The harbour area was very pretty with lots of great sculptures placed around it.  I am enjoying the Spanish love for works of art, it’s exciting suddenly spying an unexpected piece of art.

Jane used her Pokemon app to find the submarine we’d been looking for, the walk to it was very peaceful and most unexpected in a city.  In the building opposite the submarine we found a life size model of a helicopter made entirely from cardboard.

From there Jane led us through some little lanes up to the amphitheatre which kept us absorbed for ages, it’s mind boggling to think that something built so long ago can still be seen, there were some intricate carvings in the marble pillars, the whole thing was wonderful to see.  As we were on a budget we looked at it from around the outside then we wandered on uphill towards the Castillo de la Concepción.  There were far reaching views on the way up, in the distance we spied a derelict bull ring, what looked like an inland lighthouse but on later investigation turned out to be a tower at the bus station,  and most unexpectedly we discovered there was a lift up from the street below to the area we were passing!

A bit further up the hill Jane did a bit of tree hugging, I have to say it was a truly splendid tree that deserved a big hug!

We then scurried after Steve and Darren, who had given up waiting for us, but a little further on we became distracted and spent an inordinately long time admiring a peacock who was posing for us, the sun was showing his plumage off at its best, the poor duck sitting in the pool beneath him barely got a look in, in fact we only really registered him because of his big red beak!

Right at the very top of the hill we found a museum and Jane and I also discovered more peacocks and peahens so I felt it was my duty to photograph them too in case they felt left out!  We also noticed some little parroty things sitting in the trees above us, they all differed in colour and they had shorter tails than the green parakeets that seem to have settled all over Europe.  I was thoroughly engrossed in photographing them when a group of people came out of the museum and started exclaiming in the loudest voices ever that there were pretty birds in the tree, at which point the birds all flew away!   That curtailed my photoshoot which I suppose was a lucky break for Jane, Steve and Darren.

We followed the path and it led to a large marble tiled plaza with expansive views over the harbour and across the city, time for another photo opportunity of Darren lazing on the wall in the sun.  We could look down on the modern amphitheatre and behind it further down the hill the ancient one, what a great sight.

From there we headed back down the path, into the town and back up to Areas AC, we arrived back at the vans and stood outside discussing whether we were going to walk over to see what the huge shop across the road sold when Darren saw lightning shoot across the sky and it started to spit with rain that focused our minds, we chose to return to our respective vans until later in the evening when we met up for another meal in our van.

We had yet another lovely evening with our friends.

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