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Jurado, Colombia

I landed in Bahia Solano to stay no more than a week and a point at where I could head further north, into Jurado.  The first impressions of the Chocò department of Colombia were immediate the most obvious was the humidity of the region and the local community all but a few in town were of afro descendants.  Predominately black people lived in the region as in history a large number escaped from there slave status to live a free life and build there own community.  I for one were glad of it the Chocoano's is what they are known as have there own unique culture from the food, to the things they say.   They have their own carnival known as fiesta de San Pacho showing their people and its magnificent past they are proud people and rightly so.  
As I got into Jurado after Bahia Solano it was easier than I had imagined with the place of departure is the town of Bahia Solano a small cowboy looking town with old buildings and wide dirt roads the only thing missing was a saloon bar I travelled to the port where it was expected and thought by my previous hosts that it left at 730am so having woke up early and a tuk-tuk journey from el Valle to Bahia.  Easy enough to arrange with the locals, so arriving in the town I headed straight to the port for me to ask what time will there be a boat for Jurado they said 1 pm I was confused did my Spanish fail me or was I understanding correct because I was assured by a whole family it was early muy Temporada.  So I asked and then began pointing at my phone and got him to put it into my phone calculator I was right he said 1 pm.  I was relieved and asked if it was every day as waiting a whole day at the port in 30-degree heat was not what I wanted to do.  So I walked into town and paid for a hotel more expensive than I had expected but I had a plan now rest and tomorrow expect a long journey on a bumpy boat.  

As time went on I had walked around town had breakfast and brought a machete for my expected journey in the jungles of Colombia and met several people who wanted to help me,  so by this time it had now come to 1130 I said to myself I could have waited.  I would have been bored for a bit but I would still be on my way.  So I made another decision I headed back to the hotel got rid of a pair of trainers and some jeans I no longer needed and they just added extra weight in my already huge backpack.  So I went to the port asked how much the tickets were I am remembering it was around 100000 pesos so $25 or close to. 
At the port, there is a bar and a small restaurant it is quite an active port with small boats operating quite a lot there which travel up and down the pacific coast of Colombia with all kinds of goods and of course, people as-well-as freight of the illegal sort.  So ticket paid for with a few strange looks by the local children asking me several question to quick for my basic Spanish mainly in regards to my flags stitched into my bag, where I was asked often am I military from Panama as I feel out of all the flags the people recognised there closest neighbour more readily and a lot aspired to travel there as it was hugely Americanised especially in Panama city an America in the tropics.  I tried to converse with them as best I could but hunger and taking pictures of the bay took over mainly.

Finally, it came to get on board and I had eaten, stocked up on snacks for the 3-hour bumpy boat ride and a lot more people just arrived it was up until now looking like a comfortable non-squashed boat ride.  So our bags were stacked up one by one with a huge sigh as they got mine there were 2 children and a man who was stacking the boat full of goods and peoples suitcases, bags and ornaments they had got from town as it was a bit more accessible than were going to next if that could be possible I would soon find out.  

The journey in itself was ok very bumpy as expected I was hoping to get some footage of whales or dolphins that are present in the area all year round.  No luck on that front but I got talking to the 2 guys sat in my row every break in the ocean surface I got my camera out and say 'no una Roca'
I laughed it off and it happened several times they got bored of telling me after 5 times.  So the journey lasted around 3 hours with the land on the right side of us and huge open ocean on the left, the ocean was menacing and I felt fearful if there was an issue with how far we were away everyone would have drowned.  There were no other boats in sight there was no villages or town in sight on either side, as I was without a doubt the least religious person on board.  Due to the strict Catholic upbringing in a majority of Latin America, every other passenger preyed and done the typical cross symbol on their own body.  If I didnt feel protected now nothing would help, the journey was of course interrupted by rain going as fast as the boh was going and then to be hit with torrential rain it felt like hailstones everyone had positioned life jackets in there lap but not on which made no sense to me...  Until the rain came I realised.  Smart or experienced?  It worked and next time or for whoever is reading this.
When the rain subsided we were more than halfway to Jurado, with no whales or dolphins in sight but some good video footage and a new experience.  The arrival into Jurado was into a basic port with what looked to be all the townspeople awaiting our arrival and to see the family, possibly not seen each other for several months or more.   

What stood out was the mix of people there was a lot of indigenous people that formed at least half of the population and the other half afro-Colombian which all seem to socialise which was nice to see.  As soon as my bag was taken off the boat I was expecting hustling or jousting for my business the only westerner on the boat and the only westerner in town, but I was left completely alone again was nice and a surprise.  But next aim was to find accommodation and to change my soaked through now dried salty clothing from the constant bombardment of the waves.  I walked down the street once and back up it with no hotel or what looked to be a hotel I saw military buildings which had sandbags as if there were expecting a war.  Which led to a few strange looks as I had a huge military bergen on and military type boots, which I was eager to change.  No luck for a place to stay I began asking people I was led there by an elderly man it was a featureless building directly opposite the port through an alleyway. 
Hotel next to the pink building
I asked for vacancies I was happily given a room to my surprise it was being used I don't know for what but I presumed it was specifically Venezuelans although I never did speak to any of the other customers.  I had booked my room for 4 nights to begin my search for local knowledge of further up north and a hunt for some new clothing (clean preferably).  Which was a local shop easily found opposite the hotel now I have arrived safely hotel booked new clothes gathered my next is 4 days in Jurado and then onto Panama.
                                                                                                        Jurado walk

Until you step into the unknown you don't know what you are made of
Roy T. Bennett