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Rolling down the River

Paddle to the Sea

sunny 35 °C

Day 15 Tuesday February 13, 2018

Seems one of the main roads from Colombia to Venezula goes right past our humble abode. Never would have guessed it as it seems like a simple two lane road. Apparently that explains the numerous check points we’d been through to get here. It was an early morning wake up with the humungous rooster starting well before dawn, followed shortly thereafter by the buses and trucks going by. We can also hear the surf pounding which is somewhat more comforting.

Our guide met us at 9 a.m. to take us on a walk to an archaeological site and then tubing down the river. We took the public bus just down the street and traveled for about 20 k down to our starting point. Along the way we passed through a couple of small towns and a lot of banana plantations. Apparently the bananas do bring in employment to the area but the chemical that are used are environmentally unfriendly.


When we got to the start of the walk to the archaeological site we found it was closed for the day in order to make a movie. Plan B was to go for a longer nature walk to our tubing put in. It was an undulating walk through the jungle with steep peaks in the background. We could hear howler monkeys in the distance, saw a few birds and butterflies, and many leaf cutter ants.


Fred had asked if there might be a kayak he could use instead of a tube and the guides came up with an old sit on top. After a lovely refreshing dip in the river we got in out boat while the others took the tubes and headed down river. The river is quite shallow and some young village boys came along to make sure the tubes followed the right path downstream and when the upstream wind got too strong, to pull the tubes along. It’s a very pretty river with a few other tubers. There were a few people transporting their bananas by floating them rather than carrying them. We got back to the small village that was our starting point and headed out to the bus stop for the journey home.


At the stop were several armed military personnel watching the road but seemed quite relaxed. A reminder of the difficulties this region has had in the past. The right wing para-military had control of this area until the peace treaty was signed. They basically a private army paid for by the large land owners to hunt down and kill any one who may have been a guerrilla supporter. We were told that everyone in the area was afraid of them and was very careful who they spoke politics to. While they were here, there was no tourism.


Posted by Fredricgail2017 18:41 Archived in Colombia

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