3. loka, 2017

The hot and humid Colombia ends our time in South America

The day has been humid and hot. Somewhere in the distance there’s a thunderstorm. We can hear it’s rolls continually, even over the relentless crashing of waves onto the cliffs at the shore. We’re also surrounded by countless sounds coming from a tropical rainforest. I can hear squeaks, babble, croaks, chirps and whistles. We’re sat on a beach, watching the reddy orange sunset over the Caribbean sea, in Tayrona national park in Colombia.

Our limbs are feeling tired and heavy after a full day of laying in the sun and swimming in the warm sea. We also got to take a peek at the colourful underwater world of corals etc earlier, when we did some snorkelling near the beach. Now, at sunset, we’re watching the local fishermen at work, stood in their humble wooden boats using only lines and hooks to catch their prey.

Sat in our camping chairs we chat again about all we’ve experienced. Our latest travel destination, Colombia, has positively surprised us a few times by now. On route from south to north on the Panamericana, the windiest and hilliest highway ever, we’ve found some beautiful and peaceful camping spots in the midst of nature, admired the colourful splendour of the flowers and plants as well as enjoyed the joyful and friendly welcome of the locals. One of highlights must have been our visit to Ocaso coffee plantation in Salento. We got to witness the different stages of coffee growing, from planting the seedlings to harvesting and peeling, all the way to sorting and roasting the beans. And of course, we got to enjoy some genuine, first class Colombian coffee.

We’re grateful for our protection from above, because we are of course aware of the ugly reality hidden under the peaceful surface of this country, currently classed as the worlds most dangerous travel destination. Parts of that reality include conflicts between different drug cartels as well as the semi militant guerrilla forces fighting against the government. They tend to fund their operations by criminal means, such as ransom moneys from kidnappings.

As soon as the sun sets, it gets pitch black. Fireflies light their lamps on the nearby tree branches. We hear scurrying from outside the camper. It’s only lizards, going about their nightly business, with their long tails whizzing behind them. We settle down to bed knowing that our time in South America is nearing its end and soon Epeli will have to get on the boat to Panama. We have spent just over nine months in South America so far, and driven over 30,000 km. We have especially loved the numerous natural wonders, and the cultures of the indigenous people here. Our patience has at times been tested by the complicated procedures and slow pace of getting things done. We’ll definitely miss the smiley, helpful people here as well as the fresh exotic fruits. South America is incredibly vast and there’s a lot we still haven’t seen. Perhaps we’ll be back one day.