Caribbean cruising in Colombia pt. 1
I spent two months on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, riding almost the entire coastline. I had a partner for my adventures for the most part in Colombia. A young dude named Carlos andres, with dreads, a resemblance to Jesus, a passion for life, and a similar flow as mine, we got on very well. We had met for the second time in Cartegena a surprisingly huge city, famous for its port, old charm and history, and yes the streets in certain parts have that elegance, like in the historic centre, but there is another side to Cartegena. Many people go there just to “hang out” with extremely beautiful prostitutes, which means the streets are full with them, identifiable only by the presence of heels.
Leaving the city we went north, finding rocks to climb, free meals to feed both body and soul, (Andres was really good at asking for food), beautiful beaches to camp on and great seas to swim in. It was indeed a lush paradise, with banana and coconut trees in abundance. Dissapointment came when we viosited popular hippy hang outs like tatanga, but we were happily surprised often by random kindness, beauty and chilled vibes. The average Colombian understand ths basics of the vagabond, im probably hungry and probably broke, so a helping hand will be recieved graciously.
A note on Colombian police, They suck! I was robbed, had a gun in my face, was harrassed for hours, thratened, kicked out of towns, and more. They are ignorant nazis for the most part, ex paramilitaries who like to say things like, what have you got for the head? And this is colombia! mmm ok, do1 will ya! I met other travellers who had good experiences, so i put it down to the way I look, that old stereotyping, someone has to get it, in Colombia, that someone looks like me. This is the only thing that sucked about Colombia.
We did do a few interviews and appeared in the regional newspaper and radio, which was awesome as people recognized us and knew who were we. Also it helped us secure place sto sleep, “look were in the newspaper”, at times its hard to find somewhere to sleep as people are wary of strangers. People would shout out at me, hey caleño ( a person from Cali ; Colombia) wheres your friend the English guy? A black dude from England is just unheard of, seriously!
here is the link, check it out
Heading way up north, things changed from lushness to dry desert, it was super hot, not many people or villages, and the people we did meet were living way different. There were not any fruit trees and life was just way harsher, even for us the change was evident, rolling up to the first store we had seen for ages, I told the woman I almost died getting here, pointed to my salt covered body and asked her to give me some water please, which she did. I had drunken bad water which increased my dehydration and it was not so nice in 40c heat. A few times we entered villages an dthe people were scared of us, which was not so cool, but when they found out our humble mission we we accepted and welcomed. It turnd out that people we getting murdered in the area, so everyone had enemies, and there was this whole wild wild west drama going on. It took me over a year to learn the word for enemy, which surprised me as its really similar to friend in spanish, amigo/enemigo. Further on we found amazing beaches and salty scenery, but in the end instead of making the whold loop around, we decided enough was enough and headed back down south to start our mission into the Andes.
And so it was that a long chain of blessings carried me right through up into the Andes.
Tags: abundance - bahamas - bikes - biking - body and soul - boiled egg - caribbean coast - coastline - coconut trees - colombia - cycling the caribbean - cycyle touring - dreads - elegance - free meals - goodness - hammocks on a beach - how to open coconuts - jason mcanuff - living on the caribbean - lush paradise - old charm - palomino - prostitutes - random kindness - resemblance - santa marta - second time - steel legs - switchbacks - tatanga - vagabond - vibes