No orine aquí

One of my favorite areas of Cartagena is the Getsemaní neighborhood.  My favorite spot in that neighborhood is a quiet one-way street that leads away from the friendly prostitutes of Calle Media Luna toward Plaza de la Trinidad… and happens to smell distinctly of urine.

Apparently people don’t listen very well.

When I lived in Cartagena this past winter, I walked from a residential neighborhood at the foot of Castle San Felipe through Getsemaní every day to reach the language school where I was studying Spanish.  I became familiar with the old men selling cold water in plastic bags in the already-sweltering 8 AM sun.  I ignored the catcalls to the point that I barely noticed them anymore.  I found a favorite place to buy jugo de lulo.

There was something perversely magical about the oppressive heat, the discarded trash on the sidewalk, the coconut venders, and the tropical music blasting from the taxi cabs.  I loved those walks each day because I was passing through a world I’d never known and to which I was a complete alien.  A short, blonde alien.

My local friends tell me that a few years ago, I could not have walked alone through Getsemaní.  It was dirty, dangerous, and I’d probably be mistaken for a prostitute.  Today, it’s full of backpackers, salsa clubs, and two of my favorite pizza joints.

And yes, my favorite street may smell like urine, but it’s worth every whiff.

Peyo Lives. No orine aqui!

My favorite artwork on my favorite street in Getsemani.

Another of my favorites in Getsemani

A series of amazing graffiti portraits was created recently in Cartagena and Bogota by Irish artist Fin DAC (Finbarr Notte). I can’t get enough.

More Fin DAC magic

A boy and his puppy


  1. Wow! This post is excellent! I love all the gorgeous colors and interesting photos! This one should be freshly pressed! It is fabulous!!!! Looks like I would love it there. The colors remind me a bit of Antigua. Yet more tropical looking.

  2. Pingback: A Night Out in Getsemani – Soulshine Traveler

    • Thank you beatnomad! I love the purple chick too, with her funky hair and piano necklace. I always wonder who that artists models his images after. I want to be immortalized on a brick wall too! 😉 Thanks for reading.

  3. I love these photos so much, hun. You’re so talented. You make me want to go out and take pictures of my own surrounding streets and neighbourhoods. 🙂

  4. I love the colours! I live in a complex, where uniformity is the keyword, the rules, and you just can’t break them – sure, it looks neat & clean, but very bland.

  5. THIS is what I’m talking about. The color, the life. Even the smell of urine. I’ll end up paying my house Cartagena yellow or Frida Kahlo blue because of you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: