and other random acts of `What the @!%?`
03.25.2013 - 03.30.2013
So I feel this post should be dedicated to Oscar Antonio Peraffan Bohorquez, an eccentric man who truly made our morning. We arrived into Toca, a town that does not see the usual bike touring crowd, or gringos in general. We were wandering around, looking for the dirt road to take us over the 12,000 foot mountain into another small non-touristic town, when Oscar approached us with zeal. An actor looking for his debut, he immediately entertained us for over an hour. First, he dressed us up as Columbians, then he educated us on the wonders of Don Quixote, Cervantes, Michaelangelo, and Forrest Gump. Then he insisted upon painting my portrait, put a bag over my head, made me wear a skirt, and proceeded to paint my face with mud. Luckily the bag kept me clean. After he was done, he then performed a musical in english, spanish and french. He also paid me 500 pesos for being his model, but almost took it back because I moved too much. The whole time, he was complaining of needing water, and as we gave him a liter, he proceeded to baptize us with it. After a crowd had formed, it was difficult to leave the town, but we were presented with the mural and a long-winded `please come back as you are the king and queen of the town` dialogue by Oscar. It was a good way to start the day.
Yet their are other moments that make me say `Is this for real?`How about biking over a 12000 foot peak, only to find one of the biggest lakes in all of Colombia, with a white sandy beach and people frolicking in the 50 degree water like they were in Hawaii. What the ???
But what really interested me up was the processions of Semana Santo. It is currently Easter week, and the entire country stops to celebrate. I particularly liked watching the town of Mongui carry icons of Jesus and various saints throughout the plaza to the music of Paul Simon surrounded by soccer balls. The town is famous for soccer balls, they stitch them by hand, and no matter what you want to buy, sausage, coffee, clothes, you can also buy a soccer ball at the same time.
Lastly, there was the agricultural observatory. We weren´t sure what the interpretive sign said, but seeing as how Jared and I may have kids when we return, I figured the sign said `Rub for fertility.`So I insisted Jared do just that, and I grasped for good luck.
Every day, there are challenges and high peaks, but some random act of `what the ...` that makes it all worth it.