On the Road

Street Art, Cartagena

So much to cover. The gears change as we morph from the volunteer aspects of our trip to the exploratory section. Hectic barely begins to describe the pace at which we’ve been going. Varied does not come close to speaking to the types of experiences – geographical, personal, and meteorological that we’ve been living through.  Lori and I have visited three vastly differing regions over the past four days. It is difficult to keep stories and detail fresh as each new adventure tends to result in the previous ones falling off the mental screen. Akin to the lowest rows of Tetris blocks. I will attempt to briefly encapsulate recent happenings.

Mompox The town is named after Mumps and Smallpox, in memoriam of the entire indigenous citizens wiped out by the Spanish conquistadors of the 15th century who intentionally spread the diseases to obliterate the natives. This is not at all true, but makes for a great intro sentence.

Getting there required another cramped car ride. This leg only lasted 5 hours. Piece of cake.

Happy Birthday Lori. New people; new places.

My New Competition

Passed through a village that seems to know my Mom.

 Just another one horse town, though.


These yellow flowered trees are everywhere.

The plant that made Colombia famous

A plant

A Flower

A Pink Flower

A White Flower

$8 a piece at Westmount Florist

Now for the fauna

Thought this Meant Twisted Road Ahead. Big Mistake.

El Vaca

Unknown Species. Probably Endemic to South America

Hombre a Trabajo (Very Rare)

Aunt Eater. Vera, stay Away.


Hunted all over South America. Very Tender

Cross Country Skier Crossing


No Idea

Moose (Great Balance; Camouflaged)

Back to Mompox

River View.

1,000 Pesos to Anybody who can Explain the Need for a Snow Plow here

For those of you who have either been to Hoi An in Viet Nam or who have read our blog on the city that was posted about 6 years ago, the comparisons are legion. Both cities had been major trading centres, situated on important waterways, the Magdalena and the Mekong respectively. Both rivers mysteriously changed courses, leaving the two villages hi and dry, literally. Both were considered secure ports and saw their share of smuggling and contraband. Both have been named UNESCO heritage sights. Both have artisanal shops with Mompox selling beautiful filigree silver. Food was delicious in one particular spot run by an Austrian ex-pat. Certainly was odd to see pork schnitzel on a Colombian menu. A bit of frustration involving transport getting both to and from Mompox as the leisure vehicle promised ended up being a small taxi and a compact car in respective directions. Lori’s back took the brunt of the blow but I am pleased to say that she is recovering nicely and will likely be out of traction in just a few more weeks. A tour of the old city squares, each resplendent with cathedrals, churches and the like (no sign of Chabad) was followed by a boat tour through the various marshes and lakes which made up the surrounding topography. From a historical perspective, Simon Bolivar, 

the George Washington of South America, assembled his first phalanx of fighters in Mompox. The 400 men started the series of pushbacks against the Spanish which ultimately led to the liberation of many countries. The Statue of Liberty’s Colombian cousin stands,

sword in hand, broken shackles on her wrist, personifying the glory of the era. Or it’s an advertisement for the S&M club around the corner. My Spanish is not fluent enough to decrypt the message at the base.
Lori near big Church

Lori near big Tree

Hangout for large Religious Birds

Ste. Hydronomique of the Delta


is the home to Colombia’s Nobel winning author, Gabriel Garcia Màrquez, known as Gabo.

In a sleepy little town, the home in which he was raised by his worldly and fascinating grand father became the inspiration and backdrop for his beautifully presented literature. Reading excerpts from his novels, posted on the interior walls of the home which has been preserved as a museum today with original furniture, kitchenware, pictures, etc., offered a clear and personalized insight to the creative force behind the writer. 

I suggest picking up a copy of 100 Years of Solitude (not to be confused with Hugh MacClennan’s Two Solitudes) and taking it for a spin around the hacienda. Lunch was had at a restaurant that was the former home of Leo Matiz, ‘Taca’s other favourite son. 

A renown photographer, Leo and Gabo grew to be great friends and inspired each other to mutual greatness.

Leo’s best known Photograph

Finca Barlovento Moloka 

is an idyllic setting on the Caribbean coast at the northeastern tip of the country.

It could also be construed as a perfect mash up name for the President’s wife and daughter. A massive property owned by a well heeled Colombian was divided into three sectors and apportioned to her three children; each of whom has built a splendid resort featuring seascape on one flank and a river view on the other. Although a pounding surf (not enough to discourage the local surfers) along with a serious undertoad was a bit of a deterrent,

 the calm river on the other side housed hungry crocodiles. So pick.

River Views

Wonderful company, a well stocked bar, beautiful sunsets and delightful victuals made for a bit of a spoilfest. 

Although we are still hankering for our first hot showers in nearly a  month.
No Comments

Post A Comment