Gabriel Garcia Marquez died Thursday. I had already planned earlier in the day to write a post about our visit to Colombia, but it now seems appropriate and timely as a way to recognize a literary giant.
Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate writer, fueled the popularity of Spanish-language literature with his books "One Hundred Years of Solitude," "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Chronicle of a Death Foretold." The author ranks as one of Colombia's most famous citizens, so I became familiarized with his work and history before we embarked on our visit to Cartagena in 2011 during our cruise on Celebrity Equinox.
On our day trip, we made a quick stop to the fortress on our way to a tour through the mangroves. The fortress and surrounding areas are very touristy, and merchants will be persistent in trying to get you to buy their wares. We thought you might like to be warned.
Colombia is very rich with history, and we need to get back to more fully explore the area, especially the colonial city. We chose the mangroves for this day, though, because we enjoy learning about a region's biodiversity. The mangrove swamp system in La Boquilla, about three miles from Cartagena, is home to a variety of fish and other animals. The dense root system also serves as an important barrier between the land and violent ocean waves.
On our tour, we loaded into colorful canoes steered by guides using long poles in the shallow waters. The route took us along the line of the mangroves and through tunnels. We saw tiny fish and frogs in the early stages of their lives, as well as birds and large termite nests. This was a nice tour that gave a more intimate experience away from the masses that crowd the colonial city area.