Windsurfing in Colombia!

Trip Start Sep 02, 2005
Trip End Sep 02, 2006

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Velos y Viento

Flag of Colombia  ,
Friday, October 22, 2010

The search began.  As we turned to the index of Lonely Planet one subject we looked up was windsurfing. For those who  know us at all--not a surprise. The book described two locations, one on Lake Calima and another in Cartegena.  Since we were driving up to Cali we decided to take a detour and check out the lake. We attempted to call the three windsurfing locations listed in the book but without success; time to just show up and try our luck.  After a 6 hour bus ride (buses in Colombia are great), we proceeded to arrive in the small town of Darien. 

This town sits just up from the lake and had the bare minimum of amenities. In combing the streets for restaurants, we quickly found that beans and rice was going to be considered gourmet for this town. We settled into our hotel after dinner for what we thought would be a quiet evening. Unfortunately, the town center of Darien comes alive at around 10 at night...most noticeable was the booming sounds from the disco just under our window. Needless to say, this was not our most peaceful sleep. 

One night in Darien proved to be plenty, so we headed up the lake to where the windsurfing spots were located.  Accommodations options were limited but we managed to land a spot at a private club named vilos y vientos. Lonely Planet suggested this club was set up for visitors and had sailing gear to rent. That was a bit of a stretch.  Access to the locked compound required yelling "Milton" at peak volume. This resulted in someone unlocking the gate but not without complaining that it was not their job.  The lock on our cabin consisted of a piece of string around the door knob.  Not your most secure option.  When we went to bed, Laura put a chair against the door so that if anyone tried to break in, she would hear the rattle.  

We proceeded to check out the gear and this was on par to the string on the door.  Boards were decades old and sails were patched with duct tape.   our other option was to go down the road to check out another sailing school, Pascaos.  We were pleasantly surprised to see top of the line gear, a great location and perfect wind.  We jumped on the gear and had a fantastic couple of hours on the water.  On the second day we decided to give kite boarding a try since the location was perfect to learn but the winds never picked up so we had to cancel our lesson. 

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