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HEART OF DULLNESS

COLOMBIA | Tuesday, 10 January 2006 | Views [1005]

The Rio Magadalena is a large, swift running and altogether impressive body of water let's make no mistake. If it hadn't been for the fact that I knew from the start, that my visit to it would be more of a token than a pilgrimage, then I'm sure I would have had a grand old time of it.  The fact is though that both time and money are running out and my preferred journey to Letitia on the Amazon, the place where Colombia elbows its way down between Peru and Brazil for a view of that mighty river, is not going to happen. The aforementioned constraints having put the kibosh on that little jaunt. I feel sadly cheated, as if Fitzcarraldo had missed the alarm and spent the rest of the epic wedged between an Ocelot and Claudia Cardinale's backside. Leaving the burden of dreams in a kitbag under the bed. I'll try not to get too maudlin.
The dry facts are, (besides being wet in this case), as follows: The Rio Magdalena is one of the major rivers of Colombia, linking the interior highlands with the coast. It rises at the point where the Andes split like a forked stick into the Central and Oriental "Cordilleras' (that's 'sub-ranges' to most of you wags) Passing through: Girardot (Cundinamarca), Honda (Tolima),La Dorada (Caldas)
Puerto Boyacá (Boyacá),Puerto Triunfo (Antioquia) until it reaches the sea just beyond Barranquilla (Atlántico).  On it's 950 odd mile journey to the sea it receives San Jorge, César, and Cauca rivers which all add significant sediment to the shit-load it is already carrying. The sedimentary plume you can see on the 'helpful' satellite picture flows well out into the Carribean Sea. The delta has to be dredged regularly to accommodate commercial shipping.
We visited the river at the inappropriately nicknamed "Puerto Amor", within sight and smelling distance of the Cement Works, Shipyard and chemical factories of  Puerto Barranquilla. Vying as they do in romantic evocation as might a dead rat and an inner tube. In all fairness we had a nice fish dinner and despite getting gypped on the river crossing, getting mocked by a boat full of people dressed up as clowns and thinking Kinski wouldn't have put up with this lot, a grand time was had by all.
Harrumph! End of geography lesson!

Tags: Sightseeing

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