Exploring a new continent

Travel time: March - June 2010  |  by Dominik Weber

23 March Cartagena: 24-26 March Isla Grande/Islas del Rosario

We all met at 8am in the morning because we had to catch the only boat that goes to the island. But before we were heading to the pier outside the tourist area, actually an area, where no tourist would go, we went to the supermarket to buy some food. We were going to his father and have to buy food? Well, it still sounded strange to me, but I decided to do it. At least for one day. And then Daniel asked me to pay for the first night right away since he needed the cash for the boat. Was this a good or a bad sign?
The boat was cramped with about 25 people, a lot of cargo, mainly food but also three backpacks and it didn't look very promising. Especially once the big captain sat down on the right side of the boat and the entire boat was leaning to the right... The trip was about one hour, along some islands, over a bit (and rough) part of open ocean before we arrived on Isla Grande, one of the 27 islands that form the National Park of Islas del Rosario. The begin of three wonderful days.
Isla Grande is the biggest Island with about 600 people. But instead of one harbor or pier, it seems that every house has its own little pier. No, Daniel's father didn't have a big villa, but a big Robinson Crusoe type of house with a palm leave roof and a little barn outside. Carlos who looks like Robinson Crusoe should be in his mid 50s lives on this island since 20 years and paints for living. Once he has saved some money, he takes his bicycle and travels. To make money, he paints on the street as street painter.
In the house, there is no electricity and no running water. But there are three tanks of water: one for seat water that is used for the toilet, one is rain water for cleaning and one tank for fresh water that is been brought by boat since there is no fresh water on the island at all.

We just arrived when Carlos, Nicolai (an Italian guest from Padoa) and a friend of Carlos went fishing, but a family from Bogota and Maddy, a crazy girl from Canada, welcomed us. Nicolai and Maddy wanted to leave the same day but on this island time doesn't matter at all - in the end they stayed two more days.
I was writing very much and in details about my first days, mainly because there were so many impressions I got. What I (and the others) did in three days can be easily told: almost nothing. We ate Carlo's fried fish, or some of the groceries we brought with us, enjoyed swimming in the crystal clear water and the enjoyed the sun (perhaps a little bit too much) or explored the island. We went snorkeling, were collecting coconuts (they called me the coconut man - only Maddy called my speedo man since she felt in love with my European swimming trunks.
The day usually began at 5.30 when the sun rose and ended with some self brewed chi-cha or caco around 10pm. Some of us slept in the house, others in the hammocks or - like me - on a mattress on the pier, looking at the stars and surrounded by the sound of ocean.
I spent three wonderful days there, felt a little bit like Tom Hanks in "Cast away" and would love to go back there. I can also highly recommend this place, it is a wonderful place away from everything and Carlos is a great host who likes to show "his island" to his guests. And all of that I experienced thanks to Daniel!

Carlos' world on Isla Grande.

Carlos' world on Isla Grande.

Our lunch. Harpooned by Carlos.

Our lunch. Harpooned by Carlos.

Sunset on Isla Grande.

Sunset on Isla Grande.

Silvia, me and Julia on the pier where we spent the nights.

Silvia, me and Julia on the pier where we spent the nights.

Papaya for breakfast while waiting for the boat. Silvia, Carlos, Julia and Fabien.

Papaya for breakfast while waiting for the boat. Silvia, Carlos, Julia and Fabien.

© Dominik Weber, 2010
You are here : Overview The Americas Colombia 24-26 March Isla Grande/Islas del Rosario
The trip
 
Description:
After working for too long without a real break, I decided to go on a long planned backpack trip. After changing the departure date and the destination several times, I decided to go to South America. Starting in Colombia, then Peru and finishing in Bolivia. At least, this was the plan but once on tour, you never know what to expect. This report is for all people asking how I am doing, but also for those who are thinking about doing something similar. I hope I can inspire them.
Details:
Start of journey: Mar 19, 2010
Duration: 13 weeks
End of journey: Jun 15, 2010
Travelled countries: Colombia
Peru
Bolivia
The Author
 
Dominik Weber is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 11 years.
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