We entered Curacao at Willemstad, where there is the most wonderful floating pontoon bridge. It’s called the Queen Emma Swinging Old Lady, which suggests things were pretty hot in Willemstad in 1888. It consists of 16 steel pontoons, which are boats, really, supporting a long bridge. The whole line was motored sideways to allow our little yacht to come in. A charge used to be levied on foot passengers- except for those crossing barefoot. As the then-asphalted surface must have been about 60 degrees C in the sun this was not a bargain. Now, thanks to Euro-funding, the decking is wood and the crossing is free.
Curlew’s cutlass bearing is rattling, so we had to haul her out again and fly home to make some money for repairs. First, though, we flew to Bogota in Columbia, then Barranquilla, then took a midnight taxi ride through the deserted Columbian landscape, arriving at the amazing city of Cartenega.
This was somewhere we had been looking forwards to. It is a colonial old city, where the Spanish used to receive slaves and dispatch gold in their famous galleons. It feels like a cross between Havana and Venice- with streets. We had a hotel right in the middle of the old town, and despite the heat we got to see the whole place fairly thoroughly. Highlights were the (free) gold museum, exploring the streets and strolling along the city walls, which were built to keep the perfidious English out.