Colombia Advanture travel blog

Castillo de San Felip

Castillo de San Felip

Cotton Tamarin

I was eating breakfast at 6:45am. Gladys got up and made coffee for me. We talked a little about our kids. I asked why her daughter lives in Spain. She said she got a Ph.D. in social psychology and found a job there, then married. She has a twin boy and girl. They are 6 years old now. I told her my son is studying kinesiology. At 7:30am I hurried out to a hotel that I made reservation for a shuttle to go to Colombian Aviary. I found the hotel in 10 minutes and waited, waited, waited until 8:30am. I tried to call the travel company but their phone did not work. I sent an email without reply either. The hotel staff helped with their phone without success either. By 9:00am I left to go back to Gladys’s place. I received an email that asked if I have located the shuttle. It is strange because I have no way to locate the shuttle. I asked them to refund my payment of about $20 at least. So far, there is no reply.

I realized that I have only C$150,000 cash left. I definitely need more cash. I went to 3 banks nearby that have ATM including bank of Colombia, but my ATM card did not work at all of them. Inside the walled city I found a bank that has an ATM that finally worked. Then, relax I bought a cup of cutup watermelon and relaxed at a bench of a small park. When I was crossing the central park, I saw a few people were watching something on some trees again. This time it was a troop of Cotton Tamarins (small monkey with a tuff of white hair on the head). A woman pointed a sleeping 3-toed sloth inside a dense tree. I hurried back to get my camera and leave the cash in the apartment. When I returned, two other young women arrived and asked me about the sloth. I pointed it out. We all took some photos. The sloth has a baby sloth. It was crawling around on her. It was very sweet. I noticed a black young man had been hanging around the animals. He asked us to leave. I thought he might be a volunteer or park worker to try to protect the animal. I left and looked for birds nearby. A boy with the man came over and pointed out a few birds. He told me they are Venezuela. I asked him where the monkeys were. Soon, he shouted, “over there” and led me to a troop on another tree. A tour group arrived there, and the guide let them feed the monkey. The black man came over and the tour guide asked the visitors to pay him some tip. Now I understood why he was asking us to leave because our presence attracts other onlookers and he would not get paid! I told him I had no money on me but will return to pay them. He pointed to the boy and said, “Not him” then pointed himself “me only”. I felt angry because he did nothing, but the boy found the monkey for me. I will not pay him at all.

I saw a restaurant near the apartment that has fish. I ordered a local fish with coconut milk. It was delicious. Then, I walked to the Castillo de San Felip (Spanish Fort). Its building was started in 1536 and re-enforced over next 200 years. It was used in some battles against invaders. In 1984 together with the walled city the fort was declared world heritage site by UNESCO. It is a large building 41 meters or 120ft above sea level. It has many tunnels and designs to aid the defense. The view from top of the fort is magnificent. It was too hot to stay on concrete. I returned to the apartment that has air conditioning. When the laundry was running, I took a shower. I am too tired to meet Abraham’s family. I texted them to say perhaps in a few hours we could meet for a short time.

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