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Published: October 19th 2011
Punta Gallinas, Colombia
The day began with Alvaro (our driver) trying to find the remote Wayuu port of Puerto Media Luna (Half Moon Port). It is hardly a port, just one out building and a few boats. From here you can see thee giant port of Puerto Bolivar which is the terminus of the railway which bisects La Guajira province. We boarded into a small boat to get ready for our 3 hour ride to Punta Gallinas, the most remote and northern point of the South American continent.
The boat ride began smoothly, but as we reached open waters it became quite uncomfortable, The waves were massive - 5-10 feet! We had to sit on life jackets to keep our arses from getting to sore. I survived the ride, but Rich got sick and barfed on the boat and then somehow fell asleep for the remainder of the rough ride! Closer to the end, we passed Baia Honda and Baia Honditia and things got progressively better.
As I mentioned, the boat was small, perhaps 20 feet long, and I asked why. I was told that private citizens in this area are restricted to boat size. Reason being, is
that the government is trying to control drug smuggling, and smaller boats limits this. Punta Gallinas is very close to Venezuela so I can understand the concern. I also found out that paramilitary activity between Puerto Bolivar and Punta Gallinas is restricting any type of overland travel between the two places, but I should keep this quiet as to not disrupt the tourist trade... hmmm, guess I didn't do that!
Arrival in Punta Gallias (which translates as Point Cock!) was surreal, and pictures cannot give it justice. The landscape was arid desert, orange sand, covered only by low brush and cacti was completely windswept. Goats roamed wild, and only a few settlement blocks could be seen. Each block was about 5 or 6 buildings home to a Wayuu extended family. (Only a mere 60 people live in the area according to Lonely Planet.) We stayed at one such place, on top of a cliff overlooking a bay on one side and the Caribbean on the other. Sleeping was in hammocks. Food was limited to lobster, plantain and coconut rice... so yes, I ate lobster!
We took a ride in the back f an old restored pick-up truck to
see a lighthouse and post which mark the northern post point of the continent, and continued on to one of the most amazing sights I ever seen. Taroa Beach! Here massive 60m high orange sand dunes slide right into the turquoise see. Check out the pictures, but they can not do it justice.
I have been to a lot of amazing places in my lifetime, but Punta Gallinas is near the top... a surreal landscape that I challenge any one to visit!
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