March 11-March 14
Getting to Mompos requires a few modes of transportation, and by a few we mean a taxi to the bus station (Medellin 30 mins), bus from hell (Medellin – Sincelejo 12 hours), shared taxi (Sincelejo – Maganque 2 hours), boat ride into the river (20 mins), collectivo (to Mompos 1 hour). It was a marathon by all accounts, especially the bus from hell which may or may not have had a coked out driver and caused Jessica to throw up 3 times, and have 2 panic attacks. Brett also, for once in his life, wasn’t able to sleep due to the shear G-force.
In any case, we made it and promptly had a giant nap. Tranquillo por favor.
Santa Cruz to Mompox is located on an island in the Magdalena River and has held on to its colonial character since its founding in 1537. It was an old stomping (and recruiting ground) for Simon Bolivar a Colombian hero. Nearly all gold was held in Mompos prior to being shipped to Cartagena and off the continent during the rape and pillage of the land in the 15th and 16th centuries. It also was some location inspiration for One Hundred Years of Solitude. The history is thick here and the lighting is always great.
You can walk Mompos in a day. Which is sort of why we went here. The streets are bustling but the town is peaceful. There are many key squares to visit, many cathedrals and churches to admire, and not much else to do. Time is slow.
May we recommend a wander through the cemetery? It had a bucket load of kittens and an eerie mash up of old and new graves.
Another highlight for us was the nightly fiesta and food cart bonanza in one of the central squares. Literally some of the best food we have had in Colombia, including juices, pizza and pork BBQ. This was the place to be most nights, especially on Sunday when entire families would rally in the square and spend some quality time together.
This was all that was left of our pizza before we decided to start documenting the food glory.
We also enjoyed some tiny rums and cokes. Strong ones.
Just like in One Hundred Years of Solitude the magic is real here. The people are genuine, and the setting to die for. We could have easily kicked up some more entertainment if we had stuck around longer (especially if we had stayed for Easter as this town apparently goes off the hook) but we had beaches to lay on and sand to get in our ears!