Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday Oct 13, 2018 Buenaventura/Pianguita

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Saturday Oct 13, 2018
I tried letting little Nina sleep with us last night and that was a mistake because I knew that I would be doing a lot of driving today and I did not get hardly any sleep.
The plan was to leave at 6am but the women weren't ready until 6:40.  Then we had to wait on the highway at Buga for Jessica to join us.  We drove by the lovely Lago Calima, and then several mountain tunnels, on our way to Buenaventura which is apparently the largest port in Colombia.  So, much like Guayaquil in Ecuador, it isn't much of a city to look at at all.  Then it was a surprise that we had to take a 30 minute boat ride to one of 4 nearby islands to find a beach!
The trip was over 3 hours to get there because of driving up and down mountains and delays by slow container trucks everywhere.  And driving right through Buenaventura was no fun with construction detours.
The ladies chose the island of Painguita because of price and pressure from the pushy salesmen.  That was one thing everywhere today, being constantly pestered to buy something.  That wore pretty thin quickly.
We had a really delicious fish dinner before the ladies dipped their toes in the ocean.  It was quite warm but there was a refreshing breeze which kept us reasonably comfortable.  For $5 we rented a beach "booth" for the day, even though we only used it 90 minutes.  The ladies kept buying different coconut products from the many vendors.
I kept insisting to the girls that I wanted to leave the beach by 2:30 and Buenaventura by 3, because there was no way that I wanted to drive the mountains in the dark.  Naturally they dilly-dallied as I got angrier by the second and we didn't get out until 4pm.
Then the return trip is almost all uphill, and those container trucks just crawl up, with huge, impatient line-ups behind them.  We watched semis passing semis on blind corners and it is just a miracle that nobody was killed.
Then we just got the end of the tunnel section as darkness was beginning and the traffic just stopped....  We inched along 4 kilometers as we got to the ridiculous toll booth with only 2 lines.  Again several impatient jerks drive down the opposing lanes and dive in front of you like their time is more important than anybody else.  I really understand road rage.
Driving on unfamiliar mountain roads is not my idea of fun so I kept my cool and didn't do any dangerous passing.  We were also running on fumes because of the long toll booth delay and we luckily hit a gas station just before Buga.
That is one trip that I promise never to do again.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.  That was the day’s excitement.
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Lovely Lago Calima

We might return here some day

Going to the Malecon (Boardwalk)

Harbour with shanty-type buildings

Beautiful herons

We are here

Yup, not a pretty harbour

Icarus, the heron

Some entertainment happening

Container port

Another island on the way out by boat

Arriving at Painguita

Not a bad beach

Kids were having fun

Jessica with coconut water

Cecilia enjoying it too

Cristina giving advice

Posing for the telephone...

Parents and kids enjoying the day

Ready for the water

Lots of photo ops

long beach view

One of the salesmen

The girls wetting their toes

Sand fun for this little guy

A whack of pelicans on our run back

This is the best I could do from the bouncing boat