My First Ever Donkey Cart Wreck

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
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Trip End Dec 22, 2011


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Flag of Colombia  , Choco,
Friday, October 14, 2011

Our group has moved over one bay from Sapzurro to Capurgana and what a different world.  Only about two miles at most separates these two villages where wealthy Colombians vacation.   Capurgana is definitely the more developed area with more restaurants and very modest infrastructure.  We hired a boat to take us between the two villages and for an extra dollar got the driver to take us over to La Miel, Panama for a couple of hours so we could swim at a pretty decent beach.   We packed our bags into an open air speedboat and made our way back over the border.   Immigration procedures are not necessary since the border between Sapzurro and La Miel is open.

Eight of us decided to go swimming at a waterfall outside of town which is about a 45 minute muddy and horse turd filled walk so we decided to go by animal taxi.   Yes, animal taxi.  And I use the term taxi loosely.   This is a wooden cart with plastic chairs with legs cut off tied to a piece of plywood.   Nothing motorized rolls down these streets so this is big pimping to be able to afford this kind of style.   About 5 minutes into the journey we discovered walking is about as quick and probably more comfortable as we bounced over boulders and slid through mud.   PETA would have a field day down here for sure.

It's only taken 111 countries but it's finally happened, ladies and gentlemen. I have been in my first ever donkey cart accident.   Just after passing through a large mud bog, our cart lurched and tossed us off into the roadway without any type of warning.   One of the wheels had come loose and we were dead in the mud.   After laughing and I think offending the driver, we just continued on in flip flops following the other cart for another 30 minutes. Our own power proved to me more reliable and safer in the end.  I can now say with a high degree of authority flip flops are not practical footwear for walking through the jungle but they turned out to be the right choice as we crossed about 12 creeks nearer the falls, some knee deep.   And it turns out the animal taxis can't even reach this far up the road so walking is necessary anyway the last 20 minutes.

On the return walk we saw our driver waiting in the jungle and indeed our taxi once again was two wheeled and four hoofed horsepowered.   I guess turning down a fare in these parts won't put food on the table so somehow the wheel got some surgery.   The driver did knock a dollar off the roundtrip so we came in at about $3 for the whole journey including accident.    Halfway back we made a pitstop for some wheel tightening maintenance so who knows how close we were to once again cheating death by donkey cart.   I've survived chicken buses, third world airlines, and motorbike rides in Hanoi traffic, but leave it to the donkey cart to strand me by the side of the mudpit.

How I got here:

Dona Triny Hotel to dock on foot - One minute
Fast boat from Sapzurra to Capurgana via La Miel, Panama - 10,000 pesos ($5)
Dock to Hotel of Unkown Name - One minute

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