Good, bad and crazy
From bushes outside of Medellin took me few cars and finally Roberto, 26 years old driver who is working 10 years as a truck driver (???). He told me how he transport cocaine in his truck. I’m looking around with doubts but I didn’t saw any strange things. Most important is that we travelled together 200km through mountains, but also with some adventures. When dark came I asked him why he don’t turn on lights. “Because I don’t have them!” he answered with laugh. Aha… With every second is getting darker. In front of us wall of rain and deep dark with wall of trees, mountains canyons and death. We tried to don’t meet her so like a ninja we went through small villages and fear people in full speed in our 30 ton metal monster. I saw many things on roads of South America, but since long time I didn’t been so scared. Sweated by fear, stick to front window finally we reached city.
Rain was really intensive, so my driver asked his friends in parking lot with security if I can camp under roof. They agree so we made small party there because of that. My driver invited my for dinner and with company of some bottles we spend whole evening. But in real I ended it really sily way…
When I took my wigwam, my organism woke up and ask about toilet. So I went to search it, but because of heavy rain, dark and maybe alcohol I didn’t saw very well and I felt into tunnel for mechanics. I almost broke my leg but thankfully I just scratched it deeply. Later I cure my legs for few weeks (and still I’m not sure that everything is ok). What an idiot!
In one from villages I saw how two guys, with apparition like “gimme cash or teeth” hunted for trucks. When truck slowed down before speed bump, they speeded up and tried to climb from backward on truck. If they will make it, they are going to another village to ask there people for cash. I heard stories how they are climbing with knifes and machetes to rob trucks. Even my two friends who travelled on back of truck were attacked by that king of thieves.
One from drivers who took me from road. He have profile like Arnold Schwarzenegger 😀
tamales, traditional food. So tasty!
Finally I’m 50km before Cartagena. I didn’t wanted to reach city so I’m looking for place to stay and to not be visible for people from village. I found some construction side. I didn’t know that but told me old Juan with his long machete who was like a guard there. “Please, come under roof. You can be wet here”. I gave him some coffee, which I received in coffee plantations where I worked. Juan prepared it on old barrel after petrol and that’s how passed our night with bulldozers and sunset. Next day I caught truck (my first in Colombia!) and with funny driver I reached Cartagena. Once again I didn’t found CS host so I in cheapest hostel I drop my things and I went to explore that city.
Without coffee? In Colombia it’s imposible!
And that is incredible city! Probably one from most beautiful and hottest cities which I visited in South America! City center make incredible impression. With a lot of tiny streets with a lot of flowers, bars and pubs, and artist who are selling really good stuff. That’s place where started his work Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His ashes today can be watched in La Merced church in Cartagena. Really interesting are colonials buildings which are remembering old times of pirates, siege, and conquering by many flags from Europe which wanted to transport tons of gold to Europe under full seals. Because what is here is mixing with what was before. And people. Even if in Cartagena is a lot of tourist from every sides, it’s looks that they are not tired. Still opened, caring and funny. Cool climate! Unfortunately during my three days there I could see only city center! There is also skyscrapers part and other one with beaches. But I wasn’t there because I’m an idiot. People told me that I should visit Playa Blanca. So I found that place in Internet. Was near villages called Santa Marta. But when I came there I realized that in Colombia are hundreds of beaches with that name. And that ne which I wanted to visit is really close to Cartagena…
it’s so hot that someone put working fun on the street. I hope that will not make butterfly effect and somewhere in Japan make tornado 😀
Walls are looking at me
Monument of zombie soldiers
And most crazy street seller of trips who I know 🙂
Yeah, Santa Marta. I came there after sunset so I wanted to walk to my “magnificent” white beach. I passed by some place where were some strange guys. After few meters one of them was walked next to me and asked about cash. I responded that I don’t have nothing. Than I saw second guy on the other side of me, with something under shirt. “give us everything what You have!” they shouted and took out from under shirt machete. “Wow, wow, wow, tranquilo!” I shouted. “I don’t have nothing! Get the fu** out of here!”. I had some courage maybe because everything was happened near busy road, so maybe someone could help me. Maybe. I went on other side of street and these guy without machete followed me. In one from moment he tried to pushed me out from road to some hole. I wanted to stopped some taxi, because that was my only rescue. If they will shout other friends I could have really huge problems. Finally I stopped my yellow rescue, and I jumped inside with shout “Ride, ride, ride! Anywhere!”. That night I spend in some hostel where with beer I calmed my hot head. After that situation I had two ideas:
- After situation in Lima, where two guys wanted to cut my head with broken glasses bottle, I’m more calm, steady and focused in that kind of situation
- I need to buy gas. What I had done day after. My calmness cost 15000 pesos.
Whole that place, Santa Marta, wasn’t better during day than in dark of night. Dirty streets, some strange guys who want cash and incredible warm air. Truly I don’t know why people are recommending that place. I talked with some other backpackers who are selling theirs art on street, that this place was completely different few years ago. But know industry and port are destroying that place. They told me that is really cool to visit Minca, village in mountains. But my leg still hearted so I decided to hit road to Bogota.
It’s prohibited to sell marihuana, but it’s legal to sell extract of marihuana 🙂
Took me father with son and in first minutes they asked me for cash. But when they knew my story they didn’t wanted it any more. During our trip we bought huge branch with bananas, we had a flat tire, and during half of day we watched for petrol station. But finally we came to Bosconia.
There I saw most beautiful storm in my life. Thunders lighted up sky in every second. White lines came directly to the ground on horizontally to different cloud. Whole that show was so closely that I should be deaf from thunders, but I didn’t heard nothing more than frogs. I found some abandoned home, and through window I waited when wall of rain gonna cut my view. But nothing happened! During whole night simple drop didn’t felt down, and I didn’t heard simple thunder. Strange and beautiful situation.
From that place took me for free taxi driver. We passed by few trucks. And when finally we reached some place, and I walked on raod to find good place to catch cars, one from that huge tracks stopped next to me. Driver just shouted that I can jump from back. On trailer. I went many times in the truck, but on trailer?! I catched lines and air to not fall dwon from that speedy rollercoaster. On the road jumped also Glenda and Rodrigo and together we made until 12 more than 300km.
What police about that? Completely nothing. They just took us picture and gave advice that we should grab something. We remembered history about guys with knives and machetes, history of my two friends attacked n truck and story of my new Argentinian friend, who were almost robbed. That’s why every tie when we passed through village we had our knives and gas in hands. We separated in san Alberto. They wanted to ride more in direction Bogota, and I wanted to see that place. City of saints, crazy and pools tables.
Two streets on cross and few smallest. Church, square and football stadium. Classic thing. But people there weren’t so classic. I didn’t met so huge hospitality in any other place. I walk and I hear that is shouting to me seller of fruits. “Here You go, Few bananas”. Next seller of lemonade, invited me for couple glasses of that refreshing drink. In other place seller of empanadas invited me for some of his things. I sat on wall and suddenly someone came to me with bottle of Fanta. Even more, people are greetings me and want to take picture. I was like a soldier who came back from war! I found there also really low prizes of everything. Problably lowest in whole Colombia! Two dishes of diner cost 3000 pesos, and one night in hostal 10000 pesos. I wanted to stay there for a second!
San Alberto is localized in crossroad of two roads. In one of them trucks are going directly from Santa Marta to Bogota. In other tired people from cities who wanted to see sea. People told me that here is a lot of backpackers, bust still they are not tired because of them. So why they to that? “Because is necessary to help people on theirs trips. You are from far away, like pilgrim. To be good Cristian is to help other” gimme me responds seller of empandas, when I ate few emapandas as a gift. “Because people are good, and good energy which someone gave will come back in the future” told me guy who is selling coffee on the street. In the same time he gave me few huge caps of coffee and few breads. Other started to talk with me from street. When he realized from where I’m and what I’m doing here, he sat next to me. And talked for more than two hours. Such a small place but people here have really huge knowledge! We talked about politics, economy, problems of that world. Other guys came around us to hear something. I felt like in ancient Greeks, and even temperature was similar 🙂 In salon of motorbikes, next to where I tried to find car where finally I decide to go, I found huge portion of Wi-Fi, two portions of soup, extremely small bible and bag with grass. First Aid Kit of backpackers! 🙂 And what if whole world could be like that?
I didn’t talk for so long so seriously as with that coffee man 🙂
Besides of that I found there a lot of crazy people. One women who is talking aaaaaall the time with strangers. Other who was after operation of head and probably something went wrong. I met there also homeless backpacker, who was robbed (as he told me). But I had a little scare, so I lost my tail in one from streets.
And city full of green tables to play pool. In San Alberto officially is living 18278 persons. I found there 12 places where people play billiard, with 58 tables. So one table have 315 users. And that tables all the time are sticked with people. Some of them are playing, other are just watching. Professional gloves, professional hits. That’s like a place of born of many champions. But who will find theirs here…
I found there car with Wilfred, canvasser, who is selling parts for motorbikes. I go with him to days to reach San Gil. Sometimes can say that was golden shot, and that was really nice to travel with him, but we stopped in every second villages. That’s why I saw a lot of them. And they are looks like copied and pasted in holy planes of creation. They are looks similar!
Milkman on motorbike. Alos in every place the same
But thankfully views are different from every hill 🙂
Wilfred invited me for dinner and later, when night came with heavy rain, he offered me place to stay in hostel. I was so lucky that I shouldn’t camp during that rain 🙂 Next day we ate together breakfast and we went in different directions. I wanted to stay here a little bit because I heard many good things about that place. But generally I found only.. a lot of red tiling.
In Next village I asked about place to stay. But because they said only about hostel I went on the other side of village to find there place to camp, even that rain should be really heavy. Form there, with salsa sounds from mechanic store, took me Carlos with his cistern. “I can’t take passengers. But who cares! Lets in! If we gonna meet police You will hide”. We made together 100km and he invited me for breakfast.
What? No companeros? Who cares! Let’s go!
One from main roads in Colombia. They named it highway. Well.. It’s looks how it looks 🙂
Capital city I reached with amazing Angel. We went inside of our truck, and to make space on roads we use same sounds system which police are using here. He bought that thing and paid only 80000 pesos. When we found traffic jam, Angel put on sounds of sirens and through microphone told that other drivers should make tunnel for him. Bogota we reached like a boss with salsa music from huge speakers putted inside our truck. That’s how in rhythm of salsa has started my last step in Colombia.