I had dreamt about this continent for almost 15 years. So much I heard, so much I read and saw in pictures. I was connected to South America. Through friends. Through my university Spanish teachers. I can’t believe I put off coming here for so long.
Boyacá. Beautiful, mountainous. The climate is cool, there aren’t mosquitoes and, it’s safe. Or at least there isn’t someone always telling you to watch your back, as happens almost everywhere else in Colombia.
Colombia is a fascinating country. It’s geographically diverse. Spectacular in parts. Better yet, Colombians are some of the most soulful, warm and well-humoured people I’ve been around. I’ve come to love it here.
Travel. Those who love it swear that they can keep traveling for years at a time without settling down. For the past decade or so, this is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve traveled somewhere for about 9-10 months each year.
To immerse myself in the luscious, green mountain scenery just one more time. To experience the worry free small-town-life. My journey through Colombia was winding down and this is what I wanted to do before leaving.
Surprising. That’s the main word that comes to mind when I reflect on Colombia. Of course this may have to do with my own ignorance and the ignorance of much of the rest of the world, really. When we hear Colombia, rarely do we associate it with a desert by the sea...
There are places that everyone tells you to avoid and there are places that EVERYONE tells you to go to. So far I’d been mostly visiting the “don’t go there places” in Colombia and had a great time. Over the years I've found that to generally be the case.
It’s where the sun was born, the heart of the world, the most sacred of places for the Arhuaco people. Of course I wanted to visit! The place is a remote, traditional village in the Sierra Nevada mountains called Nabusimake.
Despite all the warnings of the impossible roads and the supposedly dangerous locals I made it to La Punta Gallinas and, I loved it. With the years I've come to appreciate the remoteness of places like these. There's something special in getting away from the masses, from the traffic and the noise.
I navigated through the cactuses, past the donkeys, down the winding gravel road to the beach. Julian was untangling his fishing net, which is referred to locally as chinchorro. His wife Veronica and daughter Valeria were nearby keeping him company.
"Don’t go! You’ll get lost! The road is horrible! There are bad people! ”For a few seconds the words of the hotel owner's wife made me a little concerned and then… they made me want to go even more.
The noise, the movement and then the sight of fish in boxes drew me in like a magnet. Those who know me, know that I fish whenever I can and that I’m obsessed with everything fish-related. The discovery that my hotel was right next to a fishing settlement got me pretty excited.
Everything that I imagined Colombia to be, seems to have come to life in a strange, but pleasant way. The music, the parties, the laid-back attitude (at least so far, on the coast).