"" Writer's Wanderings: Cartagena, A Morning Of Surprises

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Cartagena, A Morning Of Surprises

 Our day began with my warning to Bob. Do not open the curtains if you're still in your underwear. Our ship was docked in a container port and there were lots of people working on the docks, not to mention the bunker that was pulled alongside to fill the ship with fuel. After our last cruise, Bob's comment was that he hoped the credit card they used was still good.

The folks in the Pinnacle restaurant for breakfast greeted us with lots of smiles this morning. With breakfast there every morning we are beginning to get to know them better. When the manager stopped by the table to ask what we had planned for the day she was disappointed to hear that we would probably stay on the ship. "Oh no! You must see the flamingos and birds in the zoo."

Bob and I looked at each other with the same question written on our minds, what zoo? As Arlin continued, we found that there was some sort of zoo right at the cruise terminal where the shuttle from the ship would drop us. When you are docked in a container port there is always a shuttle to keep people from walking where they shouldn't. After breakfast, we shrugged and said, "Why not have a look?"

The place where the shuttle dropped us off was all new and within walking distance of the ship. As a matter of fact there was even a walking path drawn on the concrete that led to the "zoo". When we exited the shuttle, it appeared the only way through to the street was through the zoo area which turned out to be more of an aviary than anything else. But what an aviary!

The area was landscaped beautifully and full of all sort of birds. There were plenty of peacocks and the males were definitely strutting their stuff, if not for the tourists at least for the female peacocks. Geese and ducks and macaws and birds I didn't recognize followed us around the paths that led through the gardens. 

A couple of places were fenced and netted and one of them had scores of toucans in it. Again, the toucans were just as friendly as any of the other birds, following us around and even nipping at our shoes. Mine have elastic strings in them. I was afraid the bird would get snapped by the elastic.

The flamingos must have been let out of their overnight area just as we arrived. The flock came running and squawking into the pen, wings flapping as if they wanted all the peacocks out of their way. 

A couple of pens held some small pigs and anteaters. I tried to get a nice picture of the anteater but he wouldn't cooperate.

There was a cafe and a very nice gift shop there. I don't know if that is what supports the garden and its inhabitants or if the port does somehow but there was no fee to enter and see all the beautiful birds. It was a great way to spend the morning.

We set sail from Cartagena for the Panama Canal just after lunch. The afternoon and evening was spent listening to more of the information regarding the canal, much of which we've heard before but just like the surprise zoo, you never know if something has changed.

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