Colombia!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
1
130
332
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Colombia  , Choco,
Saturday, February 4, 2012

At around lunch time yesterday we weighted anchor for the Colombian coast.  The words I dreaded to hear are passed around my companions lips; a twenty hour, overnight, marathon sail.  I decide to lie down as early as possible, stuff my face with anti sickness remedies and hope for the best.  Sometime after sundown I awake, and once again the nightmare beings.

I'm left to lie with my eyes wide open staring at the leather underside of the seats inches above me, with the boat thrown around the ocean with complete disregard for the kid praying for mercy in its hold.  I must stay like that for hours.  As much as I try to invoke the Tao of Pooh bear, I'm left to over think things as per usual.  One small thought consoles me.  I imagine what it must have been like in days gone by on prison or slave ships, piled high with thousands of starving, dying people, vomit and feces everywhere, at the mercy of a merciless crew and equally unforgiving sea.  Suddenly my situation doesn't seem half as bad really.  My only significant issue is lying next to a lanky German, who for some reason keeps trying to kick my foot.  Maybe that's got something to do with how I've positioned myself as a starfish on our mattress.

Sleep manages to take over and I wake with sun streaming through the open port window.  We still have some distance to go, but at least the night is over and the end is in sight.  Eventually land appears, and begins to get pleasingly closer on the horizon.  Colombia.  Finally.  I stare through tired eyes at the green country enfolding before me, and day dream of all it's dangers and all it's possibilities.  It helps make the last few waves flow a little easier.

We dock in the beautiful sleepy village of Sapzurro, inaccessible by roads and devoid of cars.  In relative silence we gather our belongings and board the small, rickety launch which will speed us to customs in nearby Capurgana.  We swap one tranquil coast town for another, and get a new stamp in the passport.

Capurgana has a handful of hostels and is very much a no frills destination, slightly off the gringo trail.  Most take the boat to the colonial town of Cartagena further north, but those who tread slightly off the beaten track/sailed waters are rewarded with a perfect getaway.  There isn't much to do, save trekking into the jungle, so it's not going to hold my attention for very long, but it's a nice stop off on the way to exciting things further inland.  Military presence is strong too, as you would expect being so close to the Panamanian border and the infamous Darien Gap.  These guys are packing some serious hardware, with one youthful looking grunt sporting a long distance radio pack on his shoulders.  It reminded me of when I was back in 'Nam.

We bid a fond farewell to our hosts and choose the first hostel listed in the Lonely Planet.  It does what it says on the tin, but I'm just thankful I can finally have a shower.  My face has grown a half arsed scraggy beard with red hairs, and I don't even want to think about the rest of me.  Now if only the world would stop rocking and I could get my land legs back.





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