Sun 24/02-2013 Day 404

This is how the Colombian Navy was treating me - as a V.I.P. 1 - my sleeping room in Bahia Solano! Thanks!


Pos: here
Loc: Bahia Solano
Acc: Navy room

Tomorrow’s estimated landing: 50 km north

I woke as usual at 5.30 am, but went back to undisturbed peaceful sleep which I urgently needed after my shaky nights on the boat, with my eye mask on and earplugs in to feel fully able to keep on sleeping. Still I got a knock at my door at 9 am, a guy from the Navy radio station wanting an interview. Although he cut me right out of my deepest sweet dreams, you may expect a person is awake at 9 am, and I can’t blame him for that. Still I hung now a sign at my door “Please don’t disturb until 12 am”, as I was hoping to get back to my dreams…

It didn’t really work, and usually I don’t sleep that long. This time I may have needed it! I did my usual office work all day, called family and friends to feel not that lonely in my nice room all day. But I should have asked Cristian, the officer who is the head of the Coast Guard here, just a bit earlier to go for a bit of food shopping and to see in this way a bit more of Bahia Solano. So we eventually went at 7 pm when it was already dark, well guarded by two other guys with big guns. One sitting on the back of the pickup truck, one inside. I really feel like here in Colombia Pacific either being a VIP visitor or rather a VIP prisoner…you have the choice.

The luxurious freedom to go where I want to unguarded and still be safe is something which I would appreciate now most. But rather being a VIP visitor/ prisoner than dead..thanks for the good and obviously necessary protection! I am hoping the situation on the Atlantic side of Colombia will be better, as they all say.

And Panama? They don’t even have a Navy there, and barely a real coast guard…so I hope I can enjoy the similar beautiful nature there on my own being safe and free. As much as it is appreciated – it feels horrible to be watched all day long…I never want to become *that* famous like a high politician, world – known actor or singer needing to have body guards all days and everywhere…

The bigger supermarket was closed already at Sunday night, so we went to a smaller corner shop to stock up my snack food. Also a small fruit stand provided me this time with yummy maracujas and more mangoes.

I spotted a really beautiful large well lit church, which could have been out of any European city with colorful glass windows. We also stopped quickly at a quite fancy hotel where we found the harbor master was just listening to a presentation there. He found a few minutes to talk to me outside, and wished me a good trip. Thanks!
Bahia Solano does it’s best to have some offers for visitors and locals! Also I learned it is way bigger than I wrote yesterday – about 4000 inhabitants, and 3000 Navy people. I hope I got those numbers right now?

I will continue my trip tomorrow with the old boat and crew from Buenaventura. Three more days in Colombia Pacific side! Sorry I couldn’t upload my pictures here, internet was too slow. Needs to wait until Panama City…

6 comments on “Sun 24/02-2013 Day 404

Randall Lackey

Surely you’re in or near Panama by now and hopefully in some safer waters. Glad that the navy was so concerned for your safety through their countries boundry waters.Hope you’ve enjoyed your treck across columbian waters. It has been quite enlightning for us reading your blog.Thanks again for the effort.

Frances Price

Like others who are following your progress, I shall be relieved when you are in the greater safety of Panama. Kudos to the Colombian Navy for their diligence in keeping you safe (instead of perhaps telling you that you are a security risk for which they will take no responsibility, or perhaps denying you permission to kayak off their coast!

Having to wait for photos is a good way to teach us patience, and gives us something to look forward to! I really appreciate the enjoyment of checking your blog each day, Freya. Happy (and SAFE!) paddling!

Jörg Hofferbert

If your body need the sleep, that´s a good sign. Don´t overtax yourself. I´m happy, that Columbia is a good host.

Mark Harrison

Hi Freya. So glad you are getting some good rest after that small navy boat Urggggh!
I appreciate there is a couple of days delay between me reading your blog, and the present, so you are probably in Panama already?
When I went thru in my boat in 2000 it was a VERY civilised and well run place. The US has billions of $ worth of commercial traffic through the canal so keeps it so , was my impression.
The Atlantic side? I sailed from Trinidad with the Trade winds all the way to Panama. The yachtie grapevine was saying Colunbia is dodgy , so we stayed 200 miles out. Some French friends had autopilot problems and had to go in. They said they were uncomfortable, but because they had 2 small adorable kids they were able to move on after a rest.
After Columbia it will be more Venezuala of course, but the Dutch A.B.C. Islands ( Aruba,Curacao, Bonaire) might be worth a look. The the crossings against the trade Winds might make it a no no.
But I totally recommend Trinidad. Loads of boatyards for fixing things etc etc . But more on that once you are thru the canal.

Good luck. And bloody good effort!!!! Capn Mark/ ex Alchemy

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