My map

Meet the Wayuu in El Cabo

I'm going to El Cabo de la Vela today, an indian village situated in the desert in the far north of Colombia. It's a long and complicated journey from Taganga and I have to leave by 6:30am to be able to catch the last truck from Uribia (the closest town) at 1pm.

I wake up at 6:45am, my damn alarm clock didn't work. Half asleep I dress in 2 min and run to the end of the village to catch my first bus. It will bring me to Santa Marta bus terminal in 50 min. When the bus arrives, it's full. Fuck! I'm so late! What do I do? A motorcyclist approach me, offering to take me there for 3000Pesos (1 Eur). Ok, it looks like a good deal. I lift my leg to hop on but he's gone before I have time to sit. Men waiting nearby are laughing.. Ok I'm not fully awake, ok!? Let's try again... He comes back, noticing I'm not there only after 200m... I lift...Oh! No! he's gone again! I can't believe it, what's wrong with him? The men are laughing their head off now...Wait!! I shout. He comes back. Finally the third time is the good one. He hands me what roughly looks like an helmet, I hold tight to my bags (too big as usual) and we're off on the tiny mountain roads. Then I realize that he smells alcohol very badly. He's DRUNK!! What am I doing? Riding on a screwed motorcycle through tiny mountain roads with a drunk driver... I'm crazy!! I'd better trust my good star...
He drives like crazy. We overpass the famous bus in no time. At least one good thing is I'll make up for my late wake up. We reach the city. All my muscles are tight and my so-called helmet keeps on falling on my eyes. Here we go, left of the white car, right of the red car, a bump, I don't see, I don't see, lift the helmet, hold on my bags, watch out! we almost killed a dog... Left, right, right, left, fuck to the red traffic light, we almost hit a bird, too fast for him too... I'm dreaming, this cannot be true, I'll wake up soon... After 15 min we reach the bus terminal of Santa Marta. I'm safe! Ouf!!! And... I'm early!!

Now I've to buy a bus ticket to "4 vias", as its name says it's a cross road, where I'll have to catch a community taxi to Uribia. There is a queue at the ticket office. I ask for my ticket. How much? 20000Pesos he replies. No! It should be 18000Pesos I say. He seems pissed off and give turn to the next in line. I keep quiet and wait on the side. After he has served everybody he asks me for my name. Lydie. Without saying a word he hands me a piece of paper. This should mean he wants me to write it down... I do so. He prints my ticket and asks me 18000Pesos... The bus is comfortable but it's freezing inside, I rest a bit during the 4 hours journey. I ask the driver to let me know when we are at the "cross road", I wouldn't be able to tell, for sure. It's 11am when the bus stops in the middle of nowhere and they tell me I have to get down. I've no time to put my feet on the floor that a guy runs and shout at me: "Uribia? Uribia?". "Si! Si!"... He takes my arm and pull me to an old car. How much? I check. 6000P. Ok! We're off.

I've never seen such a windscreen, entirely broken in tiny pieces, but still in place. The driver must see the road like through a kaleidoscope... We're already in the desert, the road goes straight off for 40km through sandy dry landscape. I try to start the conversation with my car companions and ask a stupid question. Where are you going? Uribia, she replies, thinking "this girl is stupid" so badly that I could almost hear it. The conversation ends here.
One hour and 5cm of dust on the windscreen later, the car reach Uribia. It's a small busy town that seems directly taken from the far west movies. I'm perfectly on time. Thanks to my crazy drunk motorcyclist...

Once there I just have to pronounce the magic word "Cabo de la Vela" and a few guys bring me to the truck. The pick-up driver takes over and install me in the cabin. I will realize later that it was a great privilege, the other passengers being in the open back whipped by wind and dust during 2 hours. After 5 min he takes the wheel and starts the engine, but a local woman runs at the window, tells him she's coming too and leave. We wait. She's gone to make a phone call. It last 15min. We wait patiently. When she's done, off we go. I'm the only passenger in the cabin. We start by introducing ourselves while he drives energetically on the dusty and bumpy track. Then he express pretty clearly his liking of my body... Now I understand why my privilege...

I beg him to look more at the road than at my eyes, but he keeps on and on... The landscape is amazing, from scarce vegetation we go to no vegetation.
We pass by what looks like a big lake, it's a mirage. Unbelievable! In between two compliments he explains me about his culture, he's an indian Wayuu. He's divorced and tells me that in their tradition they have to buy women with goats. A lot of goats. And they can have as many wives as they can afford...Well I'm not for sale my dear...:)

We're finally in el Cabo de la Vela. A beautiful fishermen village completely isolated with no water and no electricity. Sand, beaches, clear blue sea, small wooden houses, nice and very traditional indians Wayuu. Paradise on earth. I enjoy this wonderful place, hiking in the desert, swimming in the Caribean sea, exchanging about our culture with the Wayuu, showering with a bucket and relaxing.
After 3 days, I go back to Taganga, happy but longing for a shower...


Anonymous said...

what adventures u have! especially on the road ones. ;) fantastic places u're visiting. great shots! keep the pests off, and that includes the 2-legged ones.
- angela.

Anonymous said...

hello miss, no updates in a quite a while. Guess you are having way too much fun. Keep in touch! - Jag

Lydie said...

Yes... It's a long time I didn't go to a good internet cafe actually, busy enjoying paragliding and Bogota. But it's done now.. :)
Happy to see a few comments...

Post a Comment

What would you have liked to see more on this blog?

Updates in your mailbox

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

About me

About me

Travelling to learn, learning to travel.