Getsemani is a small neighborhood nestled just south of the tourist-saturated El Centro in Cartagena de Indies, a bustling city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It’s known for it’s posh eateries, as a hotspot for backpackers and budget travelers, and for walls adorned with color-saturated murals and street art. This is a visual guide to its narrow alleys and walkways — or at least some of the paint on its walls. Read more about Cartagena.
One of the oddest things I notice in Colombia is the ubiquity of people. It’s not that there are so many people (Cartagena is the second largest city on Colombia’s North Coast, after all), but that they seem to pop up in some of the least expected places.
When January gives you a 60-something-degree weekend (and just a week after snow at that!), you don’t ask questions and you go outside. My wife and I didn’t argue. We grabbed pit bull Peaches and set our sights on House Mountain, a pointy bit of hill just eight miles outside of Knoxville that also happens to be the highest point in Knox County, Tennessee, and off we went.
A night’s antics on Bourbon Street was still taking its toll when my wife and I reached Fontainebleau State Park on the north banks of Lake Pontchartrain around noon. Thankfully our hikes — or strolls, rather — through the marsh lands turned out to be easy to navigate and not at all strenuous, even being a bit hungover.
We would have made it into the woods before dark, but instead we stopped at the Tapoco Lodge right over the North Carolina border to see an old friend there cooking pizzas. It was Friday night and we ate sandwiches and drank IPA until sundown, then we made for the Slick Rock Creek trailhead and headed in.
By the time my wife and I made it onto the trail it was nearly pitch black. For a few minutes we could see the fog rising thick off the Little Tennessee River, then nothing but the 40 feet of trail lit by our headlamps. The fog eventually made its way to the trail about 50 feet about the river and visibility dropped even more.
Editor’s Note: Have I been slacking? It doesn’t feel like it. Even though I haven’t posted in nearly two months now, I’ve been busy. You may remember in one of my last posts I laid out our month-long itinerary for a trip across Europe. We made the trip, and as soon as we got back to the states we hit the ground running, officially making the move to Knoxville, Tenn. and starting work in a four-day window. At any rate, expect journal-style entries from our European adventure to start popping up soon, and for now there’s this:
I can’t believe there’s nobody else on this trail. It’s 10 a.m. on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning in Knoxville, Tenn. and the pooch and I are virtually the only ones out here at Sharp’s Ridge Memorial Park just north of downtown. What’s going on here, Knoxville?
This place is a mountain biker’s paradise. The first thing I see after finding my way onto one of the unmarked trails running the south face of the ridge is a sign for the expert-level mountain bike trail that cuts off to the right. “No foot traffic” it warns, so I go left.