Playa Blanca II

We got stuck in Playa Blanca.

I know it´s a fact hard to draw any sympathy from, especially when back home it´s below freezing and you´ll wake up to the sound of the snowpatrol on duty, spreading hard bits of crude sand to make icy streets walkable; and we´re stuck with the caribbean ocean just a breath away.

But I´ve got some work to do, deadlines to keep, and Playa Blanca is in many ways a makeshift shantytown with paradisic settings. After dark you´ll hear the shaky thunder from generators feeding flickering power to the beach-hut bars and restaurants; a few bulbs wired to wooden-poles, gas-stoves sizzling with hamburgers and fresh fish. Candlelights rooted in sand in plastic containerns turned chandeliers. The rest is just darkness and wild guesses.

There´s no internet here.

We got screwed on our return-ticket. Come monday, we discover all the speedboats are filled with daycruisers, and nobody is interested in validating the piece of useless proof we´re waving in the faces of stern captains; I´m up to my waist in water, backpack on, trying to persuade the powers that be, in my retarded spanish, to take us on board.

It doesn´t work. We´re here for one more night.

But Isla Baru isn´t just traveltorned backpackers and local ladies selling massage and/or fresh fruit: Isla Baru has a fancy side. We can see it glittering at the southside curb of the island. It´s all neon and modernity. So me and M decided to take a morning walk in the waters edge towards this outpost of civilization, in the hope of me borrowing a few hours of worldwide connection.

We´re being naive. Isla Baru is as much a divided territory as Cartagena with the old wall. There´s a man-made graveyard-deep canal separating Us from Them, with a military checkpoint on the other side, making the southside into a fortress of luxury. A man transporting some locals in a small boat laughs at our efforts at crossing. You need a special pass.

You need an Armani-suit and a swiss bankaccount. I´ve got a few wrinkly pesos in my backpocket.

We get on one of the slow boats the next day, big enough to room all the inhabitants on Barú a couple of times over.

I miss my deadline.


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