For the first 10 days I have tasted Colombia gradually, somewhat restrained. I was very fortunate that through couchsurfing I got in contact with some warm and hospitable people. This way I had had my first taste of true Colombian coffee in Barranquilla accompanied by Daniel, Lili and Wilburto in Puerto Colombia made sure I got acquainted with local food while Cielo, Marta and Salomon enabled me to get a proper rest in Cartagena.
Based on the first impressions I would say Colombians are happy people that like to laugh. Sure they do have their own problems but they seem to disappear with the first sounds of salsa. Every small shop, not to mention bars, of any importance has at least one, evidently oversized loudspeaker from which rhythms of salsa come screaming normally in the afternoon hours. And it is not rare to see a couple or two outside on the terrace dancing to this sounds.
After ten days of heat and humidity of the coastal plains (35°C mixed with humidity give a feeling of 45°C) it was time for me to head inland. Somewhere in front of me lay hills and with them a promise of more bearable temperatures. But the initial few days will still be marked by the heat. It is going to be tough!
On the first day I managed 85 km before reaching a roadside restaurant whose owner, Jhon kindly allowed me to set up my camp somewhere behind it. Anywhere will do.
I looked around for a while before settling for a decent location on a patch of dirt which is a kind of mixture between clay and fin sand. It is the flattest area and I seem to be the least in the way.
Once I start to set up my tent it starts to rain. This rain feels so refreshing!
It only rains for about 20 minutes. Not really heavy but enough to make everything wet. And my decent piece of dirt becomes very decent mud.
I was furious with myself. As if it was for the first time in my life that I was picking up a location for setting up my tent. The next morning I did however confirmed to myself that there really wasn’t any other better option available around here, but this did really help in the given moment.
Besides turning everything around to mud the short-lived rain also contributed to an incredible rise in humidity in the air after it stopped raining. Inside the tent it was like sauna. Just entering and I was covered in sweat. Even my glasses got all misty.
The night was humid. No, outside it was not raining anymore but sweaty as I was I managed to thoroughly soak the silk liner I use as a sheet. It was just short of needed to be drained. All the clothes from yesterday that were wet partially by my sweat, partially by the rain, were as wet in the morning as they were when I left them last night. And outside there was still mud that I have, in surprisingly low quantity, managed to get on quite a few of my stuff.
I wasn’t feeling very olympic (for those of you that have no idea what I mean by this, here’s a link. For the other, you can still click on it) when Jhon came around.
“Did you get a good night’s sleep?”
“No.” (and surprisingly they were not biting during the night, nevertheless they were way more successful in the evening and also early morning)
“Have you had a shower?”
“Yes, in the evening!”
But wait, I can have one now as well. Given the fact that this restaurant has a toilet with a shower water is no problem. And why wouldn’t I take another shower?!
I grab my towel, soap and straight for the cold shower. I turn the handle and from the pipe in the wall comes water. Cold, pleasant, refreshing. I’m enjoying it!
All that anger and negativity with which I have started the day and came here to the shower, is slowly disappearing as if it was being, with the help of this refreshing water, slowly rinsed off.
From the shower I come smiling, ready for another day of Dreams.
Coffee that Jhon offered to me was great.
Interesting how a “small thing” like a cold shower can change your day.
With a Smile on my face, until next time!