[12/04/30~05/06 (D+249) Colombia] Running away from a robber (?)

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30th April 2012

I feel free because I got entry stamp of Colombia.

 

The most important thing in Panama was to find a boat to go to Colombia. So, I didn’t know what Cartagena is. When I looked Cartagena from the sailing boat, it just looked so big a city. But I find that it’s very historic city.

 

Colombia is known for emerald. It’s true that emerald is so beautiful. But when I look kind of emerald, I feel a little bit uncomfortable because I know how we get this one. When I look jewelry, I feel like seeing both of dark side and bright side.
That’s why I like to see the ocean. There is no dark side but only beautiful light which reflects sunlight and it makes me relax.

 

It’s sad that Cartagena has history of Spanish Colony and African slaves.

 

The more they had, the more they had to protect.

 

It’s too humid and hot in Cartagena.

 

The port, the fortresses and the group of monuments of Cartagena were selected in 1984 by UNESCO as significant to the heritage of the world, having the most extensive fortifications in South America.

 

A castle wall is beside the beach

 

Definitely, Latin’s color is so pretty.

 

It’s my lunch which is made of sausage, cheese and fried banana. I am expecting that I might have many different kind of their culture food like when I was in Mexico.

 

It’s too hot so that people need the shade.

 

I spent the time at the Caribbean Sea for a few days so it is not much interesting to hang around the beach.

 

The best time to take the picture in a day is the sunset. It looks like everything is so warm.

 

I stay in a hostel for 13$. Fortunately, my room has air conditional. When I have dinner, I find cats so I share my food with them. But I am sorry that kitties are too afraid of me.

 

1st May 2012

The next day, I meet them again. It’s so cute.

 

I go to old town in the night again. It looks like they are filming a movie there.

 

I ask the staff of hostel, travelers and police security so many times. But everybody says it is no problem now. The weird thing is that Korean Embassy says on online that Colombia more dangerous than Mexico and they are warning that we should not go to many areas around Colombia.

 

2nd May 2012

Riding a bike is in a long time. But I don’t feel strange. I think because I am used to ride a bike now. When I get out of the city, there is traffic. The interesting thing is that there are many motorcycles and people use motorcycles as a taxi. When people wave to a motorcycle, then a motorcycle stops and picks up passenger.

 

Totally it’s quieter. But I couldn’t see any sign for a while so I have to ask people direction many times to make sure where I am going. The question is so simple.
“Medellin (Name of big city)?”
“Si, derecho! (Yes, go straight)”

 

There is a yellow bridge. Again I ask people direction. Actually I could buy GPS if I can keep saving money. But I don’t feel I need it. I feel more comfortable to carry a paper of map

 

Children are playing a baseball on the road.

 

I’ve seen police all the time in Colombia. I think because Colombian civil war is not ending. I am riding a bike by myself so that I feel safer to see more police officers on the road. Kindly, they give me 4 L of water and a map.

 

I spent much money to come to Colombia so I will try saving money as sleeping in a tent for a while. The chief of police is so kind and friendly. At first, he didn’t allow me to stay in the police station for a night. But later we talk more and become a friend on facebook. Later, he lets me put my tent at police officer. He is just my age but he already is the chief of police. He studied hard in a police universe. Anyway he gives me dinner. Actually, he is such a cute boy!

 

After dinner, we patrol the town together. Population of the town is 3,000 and police is over 23 people. Police office is also nice. I think this town has many police officers. The strange thing is that I found when I was looking for a fire station; they said they don’t have it in the town.

 

When we are patrolling, we see the white tiger in a truck. INTERESTING. Where are you going?

 

3rd May 2012

The next day, I see many motorcycles in the town. I think the motorcycle is the major means of transportation.

 

I was worried about the road. Because when I saw a map, it looked far between cities. But I find that there are many small towns so it is no problem to find a place to stay for a night. And every town is different. I can see in this town that many stores are selling kind of hammock.

 

It is very hilly from Cartagena. When I go an uphill, I meet another cyclist who is coming from other side. He traveled Mexico and Central America before. Now he is traveling Colombia. He says Ecuador was not much fun unlike Colombia and he missed Colombia so he is just back from Ecuador. He says to me another experience that he met robbers in Mexico 4 years ago. They showed him a gun with smiling so he was angry. There was much traffic so he just drove his bike into the middle of the road and every car must stop because he blocked the road. Then the robbers were embarrassed and run away. Yeah, I think it is a good idea but too dangerous. He knew it and he also carried small money and card which didn’t work incase he met robbers. But he says he lost his mind because of their smiling with gun. After then, he could not enjoy biking much like before. Latin America is different from the U.S that I’ve seen local people on highway every time and sometimes I am nervous to see local people in the middle of the road because there are only local people and me.

 

It looks like pumpkins so I ask him what that is. He says it is an avocado. It’s very interesting that Colombian avocado is bigger than any other country where I’ve been. They also give me piece of it and it is good!

 

Totally the road is hilly but the scenery is so beautiful.

 

Always there are venders around a speed bump. A big piece of watermelon is only 500 pesos (28 cents).

 

Small bread is 200 pesos (10 cents). So, I eat six pieces of bread for 1200 pesos (67 cents), a piece of water melon(28 cents) and one candy 100 pesos (5 cents). Total is one dollar for lunch. Actually Colombia is not much cheap like it. Just what I did is trying finding cheap things to save money. I was supposed to spend 100$ to go to Colombia but the true was that I spent over 300$. So it is time to save money!

 

(★He in the above picture is nothing to do with accident what I am saying.
I just want to show how knife looks like.

Every day I’ve seen the knife which is used as cutting plant or wood in the above picture since I came to Mexico. Unlike the U.S, I’ve seen local people in the middle of highway since Mexico. When I see people holding that knife, I feel uncomfortable.

When I ride a bike on the flat, somebody carrying a knife at his side is smiling at me and shows me hitchhiking sign with his thumb. Of course, he is joking to me who am traveling by bike. When I try going around him, he tries following me. So, I have to change a lane, but he still tries catching me up. And then I realize that it is a dangerous situation. So, I do my best to run away from him and then the terrible thing happens. He runs for his life and so I also do pedal for dear life. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen on an uphill and it is over after a few minutes. I am really slower on the uphill so if it happens on the uphill, then… maybe I could figure out why he is trying catching me up.

I am really wondering what happens!!
Do I meet a robber or a mischievous local people??

If he is a robber, then why doesn’t he use a knife which is on his side?
If he is a robber, why does he try catching me up for only a few minutes?
If he is not a robber, then why does he runs for his life?

Anyway, it is terrible experience in my trip ever.

The cyclist who met robbers in Mexico said he was afraid to see local people on the road after that accident. And maybe I would be the same as him.

I think accident happens at the point. When he follows me, there are no police, no people and no car which I was seeing all the time.

But I don’t want to judge everything of Colombia with only one side that I experienced.

I don’t want to judge that Colombia is a dangerous place in the world. I think it can be happened everywhere so I will keep going to the south although I have weird dangerous experience in Colombia.

As long as I can do, I will keep going.

 

I meet a wide bicycle lane for 3 or 4 km (1.8 mi~ 2.5 mi) before a city. But as soon as I reach at a city, the bicycle lane is gone and traffic is started.

 

When I go to an alley, I look for a place to set up my tent. At that time, the woman in the above picture is smiling at me, so I stop at her house and ask her for a place. She lets me stay at empty room where I can put up my tent, take the shower and she gives me dinner.

 

4th May 2012

In the morning, she gives me a cup of tea with breakfast. After saying goodbye with her family, I start riding a bike. But after only a minute, my chain is broken. I think when I came to Colombia from Panama by sailing boat, sea water made my bike worse

 

The person on the road helps me to find a repair shop. But it is not a bicycle repair shop so I am worried about how he can fix it without chain breaker. But he fixes only with a hammer and nail. Later he uses a new part which I carry. Actually if I carry chain breaker, it couldn’t take long time. I should buy it in a big city.

 

I also pass many towns today.

 

When I am hungry, I eat fried things for 1500 pesos (84 cents).

 

I think Colombian is more kind than any other country like Mexico.

 

The police officer buys dinner for me.

 

It is hard to sleep last night. When I closed my eyes, then it reminded me of robber’s (?) smiling. When I opened my eyes, then the darkness made me scared. I want to sleep well tonight. That’s why I ask the police officer for a place to set up my tent.

 

5th May 2012

Always I love morning.

 

It is too hard because of hilly. But scenery is fantastic.

 

It is my snacks. I think Colombian has much fried food.

 

Every town looks different. In this town, I see this scene that horses carry containers.

 

These days, there are gifts which are called mangos. Sometimes people give me and sometime I pick up mangos and eat from the road. But mangos in the above picture are totally different mangos which I got on the road. It’s bigger and more colorful. I don’t like to drink mango juice but I love to eat a mango!!! I am going to miss a mango and an avocado when I leave America.

 

I like to buy food from a street vendor because it is cheaper and I feel like I am learning about their culture. I ask him what he is making. He says it is called Arepa which is made of ground corn dough. He cut half and put butter and cheese between. And then again he put butter and cheese on the top. Actually it is greasy to me so I do need spicy Mexican sauce at that moment. It is only 500 pesos (28 cents).

 

She is looking at me for a while. I think she is very curious about me. Actually I can feel change in Colombia. These days, more people surround me.

 

I was thinking of taking bus from Cartagena to Medellin. But I decided to go by bicycle because I wanted to meet more local people from start. Also, I don’t like a big city where is too much traffic and because of too many people. I don’t regret about my choice. It’s hard because of hilly, but the scenery is so pretty. Grassland and river stretch as far as the eye can see.

 

I meet the cyclist whom I met in Panama. I started from Cartagena on 2nd but he started on 3rd. He already catches me. I think he will arrive in Medellin earlier than me.

 

The green grassland extends endlessly.

 

Again, I ask local people for a place to pitch up my tent. It rains heavily in the night with a thunder but thank to a roof, my tent is not wet.

 

6th May 2012

In the morning there is no more rain and my tent is totally dry. The owner of house gives me bread and coffee. Colombian is like the Mexican people. They are so generous.

It’s beautiful scenery of morning. I highly recommend this area. It’s really green. Riding a bike on the beautiful road is in a long time since the U.S.

 

Today is the best of the best. I feel like I am visiting the town of Teletubbies.

 

Latin love to raise a parrot. I’ve seen a parrot many times and some parrot could speak many words and some parrot couldn’t speak any single word.

 

There is a long river so I can see the person cleans fish.

 

It’s really interesting that Pepsi and coca cola is not popular unlike other Latin country but Pony is really popular. The tasty is strange to me.

 

It’s 1000 pesos (56 cents). There is potato, vegetable and meat. I think I will eat this kind of food many times in Colombia.

 

They put much money to machine and I think if they buy Pony with that money, they can drink bunch of Pony.

 

I like the above picture because I wanted to take this kind of the picture before.
I think I can’t take good photos. I am seeing really amazing things so far but always my photos don’t show everything what I feel.
If I have a chance, I want to learn about photos professionally.

 

This town is really different from other town. Water is abundant so that this town is busy for washing car for trucks. I am wondering that why water doesn’t stop. So I ask local people and she says it is because of the mount.

 

It looks like water never stop. Water flows for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, year after year. I watched documentary that some of town in Africa doesn’t have enough water so the towns are fighting each other with GUNS. I am wondering that how we can share water with that towns.

 

The town overflows with water. I think the town should change their name to Pueblo Agua (much water).

 

In the town it looks like they have only Water.

 

I can see a big mount over there finally. I’ve heard that I have to go to there to get to Medellin.

 

I am going to stay in Puerto Obaldia tonight.

 

Again a local people lets me set up my tent around her house. So far every people lets me stay around their house. How come every people say to me “Yes”. I think Colombian is so kind like the Mexican people. I heard from many other travelers that the Mexican people and Colombian are so generous and friendly. Sadly, both of them are known as  most dangerous country in America. I hope peace comes to their counry as soon as possible. Then I can see more amazing people than now. The nature is so beautiful and people are so kind. Although I met a robber (?), I believe that everything will be all right.
I have to go to mount tomorrow which I’ve never done.

Can I…..?


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