Remembering dad

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  , Quindío,
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My new travel with pace mantra is working wonders.  I'm out of the door by 9am and on a bus to Salento with the kind of speed where you know you've not dressed yourself properly.  It's a glorious day and freeing myself from the shackles of drink has me bouncing along like a fourteen year old boy who just saw his first boob nipple.  Life is good.

As is my want however there is always a dampener and it comes in the form of the anniversary of my dad passing.  Three years ago today he lost his heroic battle with cancer.  Not a moment goes by when I don't think of him, but naturally it has a greater impact on this date, as well as his August birthday.  The beauty about it is though, is they never really die.  Both he and my mum have been with me every step of the way on this journey so far, giving me advice, praising me, and giving me a right bollocking.  I can still hear them, I still talk to them, and I can close my eyes and still see the look that would be on their faces for any given moment.  Yet I still miss them every single waking second of every single day.  What I wouldn't give for one last conversation, embrace or words of advice.  What I wouldn't give to say sorry.  What I wouldn't give to make them proud of me.  What I wouldn't give for them to see me the happiest I've been in a long time.  I guess somehow I'm sure they still do.

So it is a somewhat bittersweet journey towards Salento in the early morning sun.  A first bus direct to Armenia in 3 hours, followed by a 50 minute local bus to my destination.  I've also run into one of the girls who attended the coffee tour yesterday, so the trip isn't spent feeling sorry for myself that I'm not sharing these wonderful sights with anyone. 

My mind is mainly preoccupied with the itinerary and time frame for the rest of my trip.  As I may have mentioned, I've bought myself two tickets to the best festival line up I've ever seen in Portugal this July.  The Stone Roses, The Cure and Radiohead headline.   I therefore need to be back in the UK early July to pick up tickets and sort my life out.  This has left me with...oh dear god...three months to cram in the rest of South America.  Can it be done?

I basically need to stop being so hard on myself.  I'll see what I can see, and if I don't, I'll save it for a rainy day.  I've decided I'm coming back to Brazil for the world cup in 2014 anyway, so I'm in no rush to head there now.  If there ever was a time to see the world cup it would be in Brazil.  If I can I'll see carnival that year as well.  That will make it a nice day out.

Anyway back to the matter in hand.  I find myself in a delightful hostel in the mountain town of Salento.  As luck would have it, that eye following Jesus is on the wall.  I tell you he's everywhere.  Watching.  Waiting.  Poised to strike.  Look busy.  This time I take the opportunity to snap a portrait.  I wish the photo did the eyes justice.  You'll have to take my word for it.  Just don't make him angry.

It's positively charming town and just slightly unlike anything I've seen before, but I can't put my finger on it.  The buildings are colourful and quaint, with many a shop selling beautiful, handcrafted wares.  You could spend a fortune on gifts and trinkets here.  It's the sort of place everyone's mum would love, a Hansel and Gretal's paradise.  Before I know it I've parted company with money and procured chocolate covered coffee beans.  I then precede to make myself sick on them for the rest of the evening.  At least it keeps me off going for a beer, and this is exactly the sort of place where a cold cervesa would go down like a dream, especially as I should be raising a glass to dad.  I hope he doesn't mind that I'm off the booze...

Right sod this I'm going for a drink.  Here's to you dad.  I miss and love you more each day.  Here's to everything you gave me and everything you taught me.  If I'm ever half the man you are, I'd wouldn't be doing too badly at all.  Mr Peter B Jameson.  Our rock.  Always in our thoughts and in our hearts.  Xxx

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