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Monday, 23 April 2012

Potholes and a River Crossing in Colombia - Page 3

Written by Matt Milloway
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I sensed the journey was nearing an end as we disembarked from the barge. Back on dry land, a large wooden stadium came into view. The crowded event looked like a mob scene, with patrons hanging onto wooden railings and diagonal support beams underneath the stands. The street was packed with men and women who were unable to get closer to the action. Freddy carefully inched forward. He told me the event was a cock-fighting tournament and quickly added the area was to be avoided.

We arrived on the edge of Mompos. Victor’s relatives lived in a nondescript one-story building on the main street leading into town. We shook hands in the car and parted ways. 

Public transportation in Mompos consisted of bicycle-powered taxis. The modern era’s paved roads and stoplights were replaced with dusty paths and intersections. Cars gave way to foot traffic and locals moved along at a leisurely pace or sat chatting in rocking chairs on the sides of the street. The town certainly exuded a relaxed ambiance at first glance.

Freddy made a few turns down dusty side streets and followed the river along a tree-lined road. We passed a charming colonial era church and pulled up to my hostel, nine hours after we sped away from my hotel in Cartagena.

Admittedly sore and tired, I was still reluctant to leave the confines of the taxi as I thanked Freddy and grabbed my bag. The sun crept below the horizon as swarms of bugs danced along the water. I turned and headed towards my hostel, hoping my stay in Mompos provided as many colorful memories as my trip to get there.

Matt is a freelance writer and historian. He travels obsessively, packs lightly, and knows enough Spanish for party tricks. To date, his writing has appeared in The Miami Herald, Verge Magazine, and Next American City. Matt's published writing and musings can be found at

(c)Matt Milloway

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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