Sharks, Flamingoes, Guerrillas, Oh My!
We have a 4-day weekend this weekend. Originally, I was planning a longer trip to Parque Tayrona. Then I thought since I had the time, and after having viewed some amazing photos of wildlife in the Guajira Peninsula, that I’d go there. Gaujira is ‘the wild west’ of Colombia. It’s located a bit further from here in the Northeastern part of the country where the desert meets the Caribbean. Sounds pretty surreal.
The main reason I wanted to go however; was to see the flamingoes. I have never seen flamingoes in the wild, and this is supposedly flamingo season. A funny little tidbit: flamingoes are called flamencos in Spanish, I don’t think they influenced the music or dance though.
My surfer friend Yoyi has an aunt who lives near the flamingo park. He called her to see if she would be in town for the weekend. When he called her I could tell something was amiss by his reaction. He put me on the phone and she told me, “Mira las noticias! Tiburones estan en el parque por la primera vez!” Sharks had come to the park apparently to dine on the flamingoes. I should watch it on the news. Well, that didn’t sound very good.
Fatima has a sister who lives in La Guajira. Last time she visited her sisters, guerrillas blockaded the road. She could go no further. She ended up having a friend take she and her son on secret detours to get to safety. Apparently the FARC were robbing people, etc. That really didn’t sound good either.
This is the Colombia that we all fear, but I have yet to experience. I am thankful for that and I am definitely not up for starting that kind of adventure. I can honestly say that I feel safer walking home from the bus stop here in Barranquilla, than I do walking from Alberta Street to my house in Portland.
I say no to ‘the wild west’ and yes to Parque Tayrona, where I will stay at a farm, and go surfing.
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