Anna and I arrived in Aguachica on the night of Sept. 1, 2011. We immediately got in touch with my friends there and they asked us to take a taxi to the Mela’s, the grandmother’s, house where everyone usually meets up at night.
After a long journey, it was good to finally feel safe and comfortable again. I explained to my friends that Anna was a vegetarian and they immediately went about procuring some eggs for dinner. Marina, my friend Anuar’s wife, hopped on her scooter and went home to pick up some rice that we could eat our eggs with. What great hosts!
We spent the night at Anuar’s house. The next day, Julio, one of the brothers-in-law, wanted to take us to the school where he teaches English to introduce real English speakers to his classes. Anna and I got to be celebrities for the morning. The kids asked us about our travels, our favorite music, sports, etc. I made sure to let the kids know how important it is to stay in school and study hard so they could find good jobs and travel as we do.
Later in the day, Julio took us to Gamarra, a small town on the Rio Magdalena. Personally, I didn’t like it. It was really hot and I had already been there last year. I just went to avoid the oppressive afternoon heat of Aguachica by riding in an air-conditioned car. After walking along the river for a little bit, Julio asked if we wanted to see more of the town. I was like, “Uh… that’s ok. I’m good. Let’s go.” What I really meant by that was “Let’s go back into the air-conditioned car and out of this heat!” The ride between Aguachica and Gamarra was only 15 minutes, but still a welcome respite from the heat.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the family before hopping on a bus to Medellin later that night at 11. Our bus never came due to a landslide so we took another bus at 3 am to Bucaramanga, arriving at 6 am. From there we took another 10 or 12-hour bus to Medellin. It was a long journey made all the more endurable by my Kindle and the Rubix cube that I’d picked up from a street vendor in Bogota.