Week of Sept22

I loved last week!
Since Anthony was out of town over the weekend, I had committed to a few different events than usual!

Saturday, I went to see my friend Martha dance in a comparsa. It was an hour long dance performance including traditional yet also modern dance. I truly enjoyed myself!

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Sunday, was international day of peace and all over the world, yoga practices were held in the name of peace. Together with Rocio, another Embassy spouse, I attended a practice in the park located just outside of the Old City.

Speaking of yoga, this cardio and weight junkie is practicing yoga, probably once a week! I take private lessons from my friend Fabiana and love the challenge I balance, core and relaxation. I’ve more or less mastered the headstand (I’m obsessed!!) and am venturing toward lizard and hopefully, someday, a handstand.


I did teach a little at the gym and since I was up early one morning, capture some amazing sunrise pictures.

Friday brought another outing for the “ladies who lunch”: La Cocina de Pepina was on the docket. We had read about it in a recent New York Times article and weren’t disappointed.



La Cocina de Pepina

A recent post in the New York Times inspired the latest outing, the ladies who lunch headed out to La Cocina de Pepina.

36 hours in Cartagena – New York Times, Sept 2014

Tucked away off Calle Larga in Getsemani, you’ll find this small Restaurant.

The menu is written on a blackboard, featuring Colombian specialty as well as specialties from the coast and Cartagena.

We indulged in fresh cherry and passion fruit (Maracuyá) juices as well as a great selection of appetizers and main courses:
Mote de Queso
Guises de Gallina

Here’s another review of La Cocina de Pepina:

Based on the size of the restaurant and this recent article, reservations might be necessary, the 6 of us (5 adults plus on toddler) shared 5 chairs and a corner table for 4, however, this didn’t affect the great experience we had. Besides the amazing food, Christian was an outstanding host and his descriptions of the food and dishes in both English and Spanish were fantastic.

When in Cartagena, 36 hours or longer, head to La Cocina de Pepina and indulge!!





Address change

No. We aren’t moving.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has mandated the use of “individual” box numbers for Diplomatic Post Offices worldwide. This change will improve shipping and tracking and allows customers to use the USPS online ‘Change of Address’ function when departing post.

All permanently assigned USDH personnel will soon receive a unique 4-digit box number, to replace the current, shared section/agency box numbers. Each section/agency will soon receive their list of new box numbers for their USDH employees. Please note that while each employee will have their own “virtual” box number, employees will continue to receive their mail via the same physical mail box that is assigned to their office.

Please use the following address for us:

Barbara Meier-Conte & Anthony Conte
Unit 3030, Box 1304
DPO, AA 34004-1304

All other contact details remain as they currently are.

Isla del Encanto

I’m one lucky girl. For the third time, I was able to spend a day in complete bliss: at Isla del Encanto, which is located about 75′ by boat from Cartagena.

While Hannah was in town, I figured this was a must, and we had a blast.

A typical day on the islands:
You’ll head to the port to leave around 9am…the boat ride takes you out of the bay, past Boca Grande and Castillo Grande to Boca Chica, one of the points of interest on Tierra Bomba. After a quick stop to learn more about the importance of the two forts protecting the originally only water way into the bay of Cartagena, the journey onto the open ocean starts. It’s one of my favorite moments, the quiet and silence of the ocean, the size of it, the colors…

After about 75′, you’ll arrive at Isla del Encanto, one of the 30 islands of Rosario Islands. We had paid for the day pass, which includes the transportation to and from the island as well as a fabulous lunch and access to the hotel’s facilities. More excursions are being offered, such as snorkeling or a visit to the Oceanario. We opted to just stay at the beach, drink Coco Locos, shop for jewelry, swim do water yoga and be silly. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story!








Door knockers

Today, Hannah and I visited the Old City for lunch, souvenirs and to enjoy a different side of the Old City: the door knockers. As the blog post below indicates, the door knockers had been used in the past to indicate the profession of the home owner:
Lion for teacher
Fish for businessman


The city is rich of various door knockers, all unique in their own way. Here are a few sample photos…





400th anniversary of the wall

On September 8, 1614, the first stone was laid to build the wall protecting the Old City of Cartagena.


The first stone was laid where Sir Francis Drake had attacked Cartagena in 1586. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cartagena_de_Indias_(1586)

No wall walking today, but I did visit the Old City today with our visitor and house guest, Hannah.

**Separate post on that to follow.