Category: Colombia, 2016

En Route to Mompos

February 9
Today is a travel day. We take a luxuriously private bus to carry us along our bumpy six-hour route to the port town of Magangué, stopping for lunch at a very colorful restaurant called El Gustico Costeño. The owners have never hosted a group of photographers before, and are amazed at our enthusiasm for photographing all aspects of the restaurant, including a red jeep that literally pulled into the restaurant to escape the heat. These will give you an idea of the way I was fascinated by the restaurant. 


At Magangué, we were to have transferred to a public ferry for a two-hour crossing of the Magdalena River, which was the essential waterway for colonial trade, to Mompos. However to our pleasant surprise, the government has completed a bridge, which allows us to drive all the way.
Mompos is located within the confines of the Mompos Depression – a large area of wetlands – and is the largest freshwater island in South America. Founded in 1540, it was an important trade center, connecting the interior of the country wig Cartagena. Mompos is what Cartagena looked like, before it became a tourist destination. In 1810, Mompos was the first place to declare independence from Spain. In the mid-19th century, its population was decimated by a cholera epidemic.  
Mompos is the place where the film of Garcia Marquez’s novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, was shot. More recently, the town is being reconstructed and will soon be discovered by tourists. Its isolation has kept this jewel of colonial architecture well preserved and the town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (in 1995). 
Arriving late afternoon will gives us just enough time to get settled in La Casa Amarilla, and stroll around town as evening settles in. It’s hot! The others start their walk at five, but I delay half an hour and stroll around by myself, greeting and even talking to the friendly folks I encounter. Mompos has decidedly not been discovered by tourists. At this junction from coastal climate to Andean uplift, our humid delta environs enforce a relaxed and tranquil lifestyle, a welcome change from the Carnaval festivities of Barranquilla. 


Had a very good dinner at a nearby restaurant called Fuerte San Anselmo, owned by an Austrian, Walter Marla Gürth, who sailed his own boat from Italy to Colombia about seven years ago. Delicious chocolate cake and orange-flavored dessert wine that he made

3 comments to En Route to Mompos

  • Wendy

    I like the first picture of each of the first two sets of photos and I like the very last photo. Nice that you had some leisurely time to walk around and use your Spanish.

  • Zoe-Bug

    I like the pictures, no surprise!


  • Love the pictures! I especially like the ones that Mommy pointed out as her favorites and also the picture of the little girl and her mother.

    Hope you have fun!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>