On Friday morning we are driven back to the Stahlratte where our bikes are professionally and secure packed on deck. After a sumptuous brunch and after all our documents and passports are back from customs, we sail towards the San Blas Islands. After about 3 hours on the Caribbean Sea we anchor in the range of 4 small islands, all in easy distance to swim. Due to seasonal factors, we are not really sailing but travel "only" with engine power and not with the sails. Although a pity that I cannot see tha sailing ship but the sea is nice and quiet and my stomach will probably prefer if it stays that way. I am anyway quite curious how well I get along with the constant swings - have, however, for safety's sake, of course, pills against seasickness with me. We will stay until Sunday morning here: beach barbeque, snorkeling, enjoying the sun is all we “have to do”.
Saturday some of us go with the small motor boat to an island with 1 palm tree – that’s what Robinson Crusoe must have felt ;-) A great place to snorkel as there is a small reef around the island. Unfortunately we have to stop the pleasure soon, the next rainstorm pulls with horrendous speed. The small boat has to go twice to get all persons back to the Stahlratte and I'm in the second group - why I am again the only woman here? The sea now pretty stormy, it's pouring cats&dogs. 2 people are shoveling permanently water out of the boat that every wave swells into it. A slightly queasy feeling is there, we are all very aware that we make it back just in time. Bigger waves and more rain would have been slowly critical for the small boat. Back on the Stahlratte we brave the storms in rum and coke and an again opulent lunch: Pirates of the Carribean ... .. what a life :-)
In the afternoon, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, the captain stops the engine so we can cool down briefly in the water. That's really a funny picture: about 15 people in the sea, as far as the eye can see nothing but water. The captain makes jokes like: hey bye bye then, was a pleasure to meet you, have a good time .... Although the slowdown was a great idea, we all are happy to get back to the Stahlratte. And the next morning, finally: "Land in sight" !!!! We moored in the port of Cartagena and after a last breakfast the crew brings us ashore. Since it is a holiday and the customs anyway requires hours to do the import documents - everything seems even a little more leisurely in South America - we have the afternoon free for choosing the hostels and explore the city. Cartagena is again a mix of wonderful old town (expensive, all famous brands available) and seedy side streets with all kinds of people, shops and odors. How nice taking a nice shower and sleep in a not-moving bed after 5 days; we all go to sleep quite early because the next morning we have to be at 6am ready to unload the bikes. Later, it has too much "traffic" in the port and the swell is very dangerous for our motorcycles that are shipped on a pontoon on land.
Quickly the bikes are loaded from the ship and we all drive together to the customs. There the bikes are checked for the accuracy of the information and then we have to wait about 5 hours until the papers are issued !!!! After picking up your luggage from the ship - it is already 4pm by now, we are officially registered and free to drive on the streets of Colombia ;-) Oh, I forgot: we still have to buy the insurance which can only be done between 8 and noon…. So another issue that has to be done the next day.
One last drink with all bikers of the Stahlratte as some set off the next morning early, the most directly towards Medellin. I'll stay another night in Cartagena to prepare in peace my further trip - and as terrible as it sounds for me right now: I have to start to organise my return: flight, transport of the bike, etc.