Luís Simões, travel sketcher around the world
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Last days in Caribbean coast
Before Luís and I heading to inside the country, Tuchin – Colombia, we agreed to enjoy last days in Carribean coast. Refresh our bodies in the warm beach – that was our purpose. However, Tolu was too noisy for our taste. Unsatisfied, we continued our travel to San Antero on the following day – last hope before we say goodbye to the Caribbean.
San Antero has a quieter atmosphere, away from the touristy and fun crowds. Even though we were there on the weekend, the beach was pleasant to visit and enjoy. It was excellent!
On the campground where we stayed for a few nights, we met a couple of travelers from Argentina. They quit their job, bought a van, turned it into a camper van by themselves, and traveled around South America in a year. Nowadays, in 2020, when we are back in Portugal with Coronavirus around, we have a dream to continue to travel n live in a camper van.
San Antero was indeed a goodbye to Caribbean coast. It’s time for us to continue our trip through inside Colombia.
The next destination after San Antero was Tuchin – Colombia. It is a small town where the typical hat of Colombia originally came. Lucky us, we have a friend we met in Puerto Colombia that originally from Tuchin, John Mario. To story short, we can stay with his parent.
Apparently, John Mario’s house isn’t exactly in Tuchin. It’s located 14 km before the town, that called Palmito. Also, there was no exact address. John only gave us his parent’s name and a screenshot of a map from his mobile phone. Hehe.., this brought me to my childhood memory of my grandparent’s house. The only way the postman able to deliver the package is by asking the neighbors.
Isn’t it funny to find this idea still lingers in these present times? But I think it also a good thing. It shows that social communities still exist in this modern world. People nowadays tend to become an individualist that sometimes they don’t even know who lives near them.
However, the ride was pleasant. We rode our bicycles through the greeny countryside peacefully. After some efforts of asking local where is John’s house, we finally found it. Yet, John’s parents weren’t at home. John’s aunty said that they are still working.
In the beginning, John’s aunty was skeptical of us. The fact that two foreigners came to such a humble house by bicycle was enough to make her apprehensive. But after some calls, she welcomed us warmly and said that she would cook lunch for us.
While we were waiting in the hammock on the terrace, we saw green around us. There was a sapodilla tree in front of the house and some tamarind trees around. Even so, the weather still hot and humid. If Jhon’s aunty didn’t put the fan on the terrace, we would be wet from the sweat.
The water resource of the house came from a lake in front of it. We saw chickens went in and out of the house freely. There is no door in this house, not even in the bathroom. The only thing to cover the bathroom and the bedrooms are the curtains.
Even it’s such a humble house, John’s family gave their best for us. They even gave us a private room to sleep instead of letting us sleep in our tent in front of the house.
After we had lunch, the family members came back home. We talked and got to know them. Jhon’s father and family used to live in a bigger town. He thought he had enough of hustle-bustle life and moved here. He is really enjoying the countryside life that is simple, calm, and less in demand.
John’s father activity during the daylight will be like going to the farm to feed the cows or fishes he has in a big pond on the back of the house. When John’s family back home, their entertainment is a TV in the middle of the living room.
We also met Camilla (8), Jhon’s sister, and Sofia (7), Jhon’s niece. They were so cute! Even though I couldn’t speak Spanish, they would talk and play with me. Jhon’s father said that they are 100% indigenous Colombians. Luis thinks that I could be a native Colombian too because I have a similar look to them except for my Asiatic eyes.
Jhon’s mom came back from work in the late afternoon. She is a local artisan who makes sombrero vueltiao – the Colombian-traditional hat made out of cane. She showed us her sombrero’s bible. It content with the history, types of braids, and how to do the coloring. She told us a lot about the hat, and she is proud to be one of the artists since the sombrero vueltiao is one of the Colombian symbols.
Before we left Tuchin – Colombia on the next morning, we took a picture together with the family member.