The boat skipped over the waves, one after another, the continent another 30 minutes away, and almost everyone sat quiet, probably because it was only 7 in the morning.
I thought about the movie “The Beach” as we made our way to the port that would take us to Lorica, where we would take a bus back to Medellin. Only we weren’t leaving the island because of a tragedy, the tragedy was that we were leaving so soon.
It was my favorite Colombian vacation of 2013, a trip to…
1. Isla Fuerte
This was never planned.
Our intention was to go to Capurganá, right near the Panamanian border and even cross into the neighboring country that was once part of Colombia.
The plan was derailed by a strike that prevented any more people from taking the boat to the little town that temporarily was without electricity. Politics, we learned.
We overcame the setback by heading up the Caribbean Coast to Monteria, then Lorica, where we would hire a driver to take us to the port where the skiffs carried people and products to Isla Fuerte.
It was a laid-back island, like you would expect an island to be, more so for an island smaller than some Medellin comunas.
We met friendly locals, ate great seafood, enjoyed aqua-blue waters and learned about the island’s history. My favorite part was seeing a small cave where Captain Morgan once stashed part of his treasure.
Sometimes I dream about going back, only this time I would stop at the other islands up the coast toward Cartagena, so I could enjoy another experience very similar to this one.
Ok, so I had already gone to Bogota five times, three times in 2012, so it’s not a new city to me. But parts of it are.
It is so big, it’s impossible to see everything on one trip. Or six. It’s like New York that way, big enough that you always can find something to do.
3. San Pedro
The calf moos to greet you as you enter the complex, a place with fincas, farm animals and a cow that you can climb inside.
We stayed for only one night but it was long enough to take a horseback ride on the first day that traversed the hills, stopped in the town center, and ended where we started.
Our last day included the elevator into the giant cow that serves as a museum for how the Zona Lactea processes the majority of Antioquia’s milk.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I would return to the region a few months later, this time to…
4. Santa Rosa de Osos
I loved seeing all the churches here, not just the big pretty one at the main plaza.
It is one of the reasons I named it one of my favorite pueblos in Antioquia.
As I left the pueblo I wondered why they packaged the milk in those 1-liter bags instead of 1-gallon plastic jugs. I could have asked but I decided not to, I chose not to be an arrogant American who tells another country how to do its business.
It was a simple wanting for something I’m missing, but nothing that fills my dreams.
That space in my subconscious is saved for images of islands.