So we made it! “Smuggled” into Columbia through the San Blas Islands on a sailboat captained and crewed by what Nicki (my German companion on the sailboat) so eloquently named “modern day pirates”. That they were indeed, modern day pirates!! We actually arrived and docked in the water on the Panama side in a little inlet that had the teeniest towns nearby. From there a local took all of our things and put them in a little motor boat, squished us all in (we finally got to get our shoes back, mind you!) and motored us around the inlet bend and into the Colombian side of land and dropped us off at the dock of Capurgana, Colombia.
The first thing I remember thinking about this place was how colorful it was! It was so Caribbean and the vibrant colors of each building just added to that cool Caribbean vibe of “come as you are and chill, man”!! Just adorable and quaint and just the place that was needed to go and relax after the onboard adventures of the previous week on the sailboat.
We all disembarked from the little motor boat on the dock and went our random ways to find hostels/hotels for the night. I chose a place not too far from the dock and stayed the first night in a room fit for several people (though I was the only one) then moved to a smaller, better suited room on the second floor for the next week. Now, one must remember that after being on the sailboat for 6 days certain things hold true… First and most important, I had to get my land legs back! Even though we had been on land for little bouts throughout the week on the sailboat, my sea legs were still well intact. Hence why I chose to stay for several days in Capurgana… Not only because it was so vibrant yet chill, but also so I could fully recover from the crazy sailboat tour we had just come from.
After getting settled in the first afternoon of our arrival (oh and of course getting our entrance stamp from immigration, which was closed for the first several hours we were on land so had to wait a while to actually be legal in the country) Nicki and I headed around town to find a cup of coffee. Now, honestly I’ve never really been a big coffee drinker in the States. Maybe because all the famous blends and roasts come from places like Costa Rica and Colombia. Or rather especially Colombia… So we thought it would be quite easy to find a place that sold coffee since we were afterall in one of the countries that was best known for their production of coffee… No. Not at all. It literally took us the better part of an hour, plus going into dozens of stores before we actually found a place that begrudgingly made us a cup of coffee!! And to boot, it wasn’t even anything that special. Apparently, as we came to learn quickly, coffee in Colombia is served only at breakfast and is really not available at any other time! Ok, now perhaps I really shouldn’t generalize for ALL of Colombia, so I will just say for sure in Capurgana:)
Anyway, all in all the time spent in Capurgana was quite nice. One day was full of hiking through the surrounding jungle, others just wandering the small town watching and experiencing life. The evenings were spent passing time with card games with friends from the sailboat. Oh and one afternoon was spent watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in England (just to give a time stamp of when I was there:)).
To be honest, though I knew I had to move on, I really wasn’t looking forward to it. The only way out of the town was either on a teeny tiny plane literally fit for two people and luggage (that could not weigh more than a certain amount) or to take a motor boat from Capurgana, across the bay to Turbo, then catch a bus to the next destination. After having spent so much time in the simplicity of life, between Puerto Viejo, the San Blas Islands and now the tiny town of Capurgana I wasn’t looking forward to getting back into the “hustle” of the faster life. Honestly, I don’t even recall vehicles in town, only horse drawn carts. That’s how isolated and simple Capurgana was. No roads actually lead into it, only a small airstrip and dock for boats connected this small Caribbean town to the rest of the world.
Alas, I did have to get back on the road again however and booked my trip out of Capurgana via the boat. Nicki, the Aussies and the British fellow had already or were soon also getting on with their travels too. We each went separate ways. Though I had wanted to go to Cartagena, Colombia, oddly enough I had gotten an email from my brother saying he was in Bogota for work. So I altered my plans to try and catch some time with him in Bogota and opted to head first to Medellin.