Today was supposed to be the longest day of driving in Colombia, scheduled at a gruelling ten hours on the road. This required a 5.45am alarm for the 6.30am departure. The hotel breakfast was an upgrade on the usual bog-standard fare of scrambled eggs and bread. We were served a freshly made chicken sandwich, although rustling up twenty of these delayed the departure until about seven o’ clock. We need not have worried about time though. A couple of days ago when we passed another Dragoman tour, travelling in the opposite direction, they informed us of a shortcut between Aguachica and Santa Cruz de Mompox. It involved driving down a track for about two hours, dodging between cows on the road, pot holes, horse and carts and the occasional vehicle. To say the road was a bit uneven is a considerable understatement. I experienced motion sickness for the first time in about twenty years. When we eventually rejoined the main road, a sign soon appeared. “Mompox 24.” Surely that wasn’t correct. It was, and we were at the hotel before noon. The journey had taken less than half of the predicted ten hours.

The day got even better when I found out that the solo traveller who would get their own room due to uneven numbers was me. This was especially great as we were here for two nights and it was a nice hotel. We had plenty of time to wander the pleasant streets of this colonial town. That said, the stifling heat and humidity limited too much walking in one go. This was more like what I expected the Colombian weather to be.

We’d all booked onto a boat trip this afternoon and I almost missed it due to falling asleep in my single room. This morning’s early start and the sweltering weather made sleeping not very difficult. Masumi kindly noticed that I wasn’t there and came to wake me up before we legged it down to the river. To be honest it wasn’t the most enthralling boat trip. Aside from the start and end of the ride where we got nice river views of Mompox, the scenery was mostly monotonous fields. At least the boat had a bar and the breeze provided a bit of respite from the heat. Despite it being Saturday night there didn’t seem to be much of an appetite for nightlife among my fellow travellers so after and urbane meal it was time for bed at around 10.30pm.

A great shortcut but not the best road
Santa Barbara Church, Mompox
One of those river overflow measures
Mompox Centro Historico
Mompox from the river