Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Order Amid Chaos"

..was how Betty finally described the dismal speedboat service between Capurganá and Turbo. There are no overland routes between the two destinations so one must either fly (pricey) or speedboat (dicey) to paradise. We had flown from Medellín to Apartadó, then taken a 50km taxi through banana plantations to arrive at the transport hub of Turbo. Turbo gets a bad rap for being dingy and dangerous, though we found the former, not the latter to be the greatest inconvenience as shop owners swept mounds of dust and dirt out into the streets and up in the air.

I went to the ticket office at 6am to secure our passage to Capurganá. Literally everyone will tell you that you must sit towards the back of the boat to avoid getting tossed around during the trip. I paid the fare and checked that we were the 8th and 9th people to book passage on our particular boat. When the call to load the boat was announced, there was a mad shuffle towards the boat. Seeing fifteen people shoot past us and jump in the boat, I called out that we were getting screwed out of our rightfully purchases spots. They let us by and we got so-so seats in the middle next to a guy who had bought his ticket at 8am.
As we headed North, we encountered some pretty large waves and had to hold on to keep from getting thrown around. At one pointe, we crashed into a big wave and water soaked everybody from the front to the middle of the boat, causing some of the passengers to cry out and complain. The captain slowed the boat, as if to say "you want to swim?" and we sat there for 15 minutes as I contemplated the "customer review" sheets we had been given before leaving port. Two and a half hours later, we arrived in Capurganá, stiff, a little bruised and ready to relax. 

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