A travel day. When transportation will likely take more than half of the available daylight, we don’t plan an activity. Instead, we expect to either play accidental urban spelunkers or arrive late enough that the story will be dinner and bed. We were lucky to experience the former…
The Human Conveyor Belt
The Rapido boat picked us up from Calanoa early in the morning. It was a sad goodbye to a new friend and a wonderful host from which we learned so much about Colombian culture. Packed with both locals and travelers, it made stops at many villages and the Peruvian Marine base, where presumably, someone’s passport number was logged.
Navigating Leticia’s boat docks to the airport seemed like an easy task for us. We’d already done it once, but when the 90-degree humidity is high enough to drink, a roadway of wooden planks lies before us and a couple of 30 lbs backpacks lie on us, patience runs thin. Immediately off the boat, we quickly became part of the human conveyor belt taking everything from fish to TVs back and forth between land and river. The guy carrying a box the size of a fridge made us feel pretty good about our own situation.
We hope that as the river rises, the arduous walk becomes shorter and less grunts are heard throughout the riverbank.
The flight from Leticia to Cartagena was painless, thanks to a quick Tuk-Tuk (a three wheeled car made famous in Thailand) ride from the docks and an agile flight attendant in very high heels who led us to the connecting gate – and should try-out for the Amazing Race.
We got out of the taxi and found ourselves instantly immersed into the completely different Caribbean culture. Weather hot enough to make the Amazon feel cozy, music to dance to, an ocean that extended past the horizon and the most well-preserved, historic city in the country.
This part of the trip was designed to ease back into urban life – without the pressure to do anything more than explore the most popular and historic city in Colombia at its notoriously slow Carribbean pace.
The oldest Spanish Fort in the South America, over-priced/beautiful clothing boutiques, coral reef islands, Atlantic food, pirate stories and the kind of cocktails you can only make with 1,000 varieties of fruits were waiting.