Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Monday, February 11, 2019


This morning we set off for Camerones, the spanish name for an Indigenous Pueblo  (small village)  where we might be able to see a large population of flamingoes.

Our guide was Martin from the Czech Republic who speaks fluent spanish and has started his own small tour company working with local indigenous communities at times.

He is a solid

We drove though mountains and valleys to reach the dried salt flats of the lagoons the wayuu people fish.

We then picked up our local wayhuu guide Jon that Martin worked with. A long bumby ride thru exclusive wayhuu territory  we got to the lagoon.

We didn't have to row a boat as the birds were close to shore. Un fortunately a small group of moto guys had beat us to it.  We saw them in the distance.

They went far too close to the flamingos and the flock  lifted as one pink hue sky above and away.

Our only choice was a boat belonging to the wayuu.  Our guide jon as i said was wayhuu.  He convened for a half hour with the boat owners.  They had to consult .

A bus of turistas were in the village and all 30 had priority for the dinky boat which might hold 7 to 10 at most.

25 minutes there and back you do the math.   Profit is premium.

Some time later standing in shallow lagoon mud, the sun beating like a hammer and the wind off the ocean whipping salt and sand at our eyes, we saw the distant turistas pack into the bus and drive off.

The ferry man returned.  Apparently the turistas would rather drive around the mud salt flats to try and see the relocated flock of a thousand rather than spring cash and wait to be ferried to see them by water.

We watched the bus drive along the salt flats as we went to the flamingos.

Suddenly the two wayhuu chuckled. The bus had got stuck in mud.

Just like two the last two days.

And as we wended, our way across the wave ripped lagoon, the flamingos growing larger in our sights, the tiny ant turistas at the far side again departed the bus. 

They had to wait for a tow out of the sand.

When we were ferried back to the flats I picked up small pink feathers: the birds of naturally white or grey but turn rosa from eating shrimp.

We passed by the bus: it was so trapped you could only see the very tops of the bus tires.

The turistas, who I marked as Colombians or other Latin Americans left the bus to walk to the sea.

The wayuu refer to anyone colombian, gringo or other as anuhaya.

At last report as we bounced and banged up the salt flat guided by John,  an anuhaya woman from the tour group insisted on walking to other side around the lagoon to see the flamingos.

That would be quite dangerous I thought given how hard it was to walk 10 minutes across sucking mud and sand to get the small boat to launch.

I had also thought of what dangers in terms of sharp things might lay in the mud of the drying lagoon.

On the way back we were waylayed by the smallest highway men one could imagine.

A little girl maybe aged 6 accompanied by her 2 year old brother had put a rope across the road . To pass  we had to pay.

Apparently this is a child indigenous practice through colombia and you must come prepared with candy and bottles of water to cough up the fee for passing thru.

John and Martin returned to their discussion of the errant tourist walking around the flats.

Jon then said to our guide: she is in great dangers - she could get sucked into the sand or stuck and not get out, plus the many broken shells are everywhere on that side and they are very sharp...

I asked martin... Umm did they warn her about that?

Yeah I think  so... they must have.




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