Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mompos - A Taste of Life on the Mississippi

Its easy to find towns in every country full of old churches and off beat museums but Mompos offers something entirely different. Its a small town located in between Bogota and Cartagena on the banks of the Rio Magdalena. Its really hot and humid. Probably even more so than NYC in July. You couldn´t even stand still outside without sweating. So we turned to drinking lots of ice cold Aguilla, the local light beer.

Before we could start our journey to Mompos we had to spend one night in Bucaramanga. We arrived late at night and were catching a 5am bus the next morning. We found this gem of a hotel to sleep in. They led us into a windowless room off the garage of the hotel. The lock was a 2x4 you jammed into the doorway. The shower (which we didn´t use) was a pipe sticking out of the wall with a trickle of water that didn´t even clear the sink below it. Add it to the list of rank hotel rooms we´ve subjected ourselves to for quick transit town stops.

One of the charms of Mompos is that its pretty difficult to get to but rewards you with a nice relaxing time once you´re there. They told us it would take six hours to get to but as usual this was a severe underestimate. We traveled slowly on one of the worst roads we´d been on since Bolivia for ELEVEN hours! One of the reasons for the extra five hours is below.

The humidity drove us to drinking. We hid from the sun in little cafes and bodegas around town drinking 60 cent Aguilla and Poker cerveza, and a cider called Redds. The pictures in this post aren´t the best and don´t really do the town justice. Gemma says its because I was drunk most of the time which is probably true.

Here is a view of the river which the town sits on. Most of the shops, bars and markets as well as our hotel are all situated along the river. Not alot goes on in Mompos but it has a quaint charm to it like you´ve stepped back in time and are hanging out with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

Walking through the streets at night you see everyone outside their houses rocking in their rocking chairs talking and watching life slowly go by. We finally found some to rock in at a nice hotel.

Gemma´s midday jam session over looking the river.

While neither Gemma or I can hardly claim to be a Chef extraordinaire, we have come to perfect the pasta with chorizo, onions and peppers dish. Below was a particularly inspired effort.

We spent three nights there before taking a taxi to Taganga on the Caribbean Coast. After three months on the road looking forward to the white sand beaches of the Caribbean we´re finally on our way!

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