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Traveling from the desert to fertile land

SERGEJF, – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ottonassar/4914440936/

Driving from Cabo de la Vela to Santa Cruz de Mompox

After my Colombia travel to Punta Gallinas in the department of La Guajira, I spent another night in Cabo de La Vela and the next morning I continued my tour to Santa Cruz de Mompox before dawn. Unfortunately, I had no time for one or two day’s of holidays in Colombia. For the distance of almost 500 km, I should be traveling about 10 hours; my destination was in the department of Bolivar, between different lakes and next to the Rio Magdalena. The drive from the desert back to fertile, overgrown green areas was truly a hit. The condition of the roads was also above expectations. At the roadside fruits and gasoline were again offered. The gasoline comes from Venezuela, sold at a knockout price. One tank (about 80 liters) costs only 12 USD.

The closer I got to Santa Cruz de Mompox, the less traffic there was. But surprisingly in that region nasty road bumps are on the roads. There are no warnings and they are not marked. These road bumps are short, tall and difficult to see. When I overrun one of these objects at 40km/h due to lack of attention, I immediately thought of a broken axle. Fortunately, everything remained unbroken. Arriving in Santa Cruz de Mompox, I set off on foot to explore the city. The colonial-style town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, small and very pretty. Moreover, Santa Cruz de Mompox is a place of pilgrimage of Catholics and devout Colombians travel frequently.

After only one night, it was just too hot and too humid for me, I went on to the department of Santander. In Colombia it is said that the “Santanderianas” are “brava”. Freely translated this means that women from Santander stand their man and talk straight. My neighbor in Bogota is a Santanderiana, so I can confirm it’s true.

In Bucaramanga, the capital of the department of Santander, I had a date with Lina for dinner. Lina is a former classmate and reminds me again and again that the Colombian women are not unjustifiably among the most beautiful women in the world. The next morning I drove on to Barichara, a village about 3 hours drives south of Bucaramanga. Barichara is one of the prettiest villages I visited during my Colombia vacation. The colonial architectural style is holistic and very well preserved. The village is also included in the National Heritage Inventory. Throughout Colombia, this inventory counts only 17 municipals. A few days Colombia holidays in Barichara I can only warmly recommend.

Close to Barichara is San Gil, a not so pretty city, but nationally known for its sports activities. River rafting, climbing, paragliding and canoeing offer a wide variety of adventure sports. Unfortunately, I did not have time to test only one of them. However, for a corporate event with my employees, this destination is at the top of my list.

After my journey to the Caribbean, a whole month on the road and about 4’500 kilometers driven distance, I finally went back to Bogota. It was exhausting, but also very nice. For people who intend to travel Colombia by car, I have now some good advice.

OTTO NASSAR, – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ottonassar/4914440936/

Pelecanus Travel Colombia

May 2017

Blog Frank Spitzer


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