The airport of Guapi was too near to the city, and if it wasn’t for the mountain of equipment that we get with us and the heavy heat around, we could have been able to arrive at the hotel just walking a couple of minutes. 

In Guapi the transport is made with a vehicle that is famous in India, and I have a memory of someone telling me that it was imported from there, But is better if you do a search. I could be lying, or not?   The fact is that this vehicle is a motorized trike called Tuk-tuk

All the transport in the streets of Guapi is made with Tuk-tuks and motorcycles or that is like a look in my memory. all these words come from there and i would have lost some in my short visit, but till i experienced, even the public company cards was one of these  little vehicles.  We use for us traject to the hotel 3 tuk-tuks and was more the time that we spend decided who was going with who and with what than been driving to us  destination.All the transport in the streets of Guapi is made with Tuk-tuks and motorcycles, or that is like is in my memory. all these words come from there, I could have lost some facts in my short visit, but in my experience it was like that, even the public companies’ cars were these types of little vehicles. In our case, We use for the traject to the hotel 3 tuk-tuks, and it was more the time that we spend decided who was going with who and with what, than driving to our destination.

Imagen tomada de Wikipedia  de  un Tuk-tuk parecido a los que recorren Guapi.

In no time we were in front of the narrow door of the hotel, we finally made a deal using Facebook just a couple of days before our D-day with the Delfines hotel.  We spend a lot of us pre-production time trying to work with a  local contact, whom I will call Mr.X, to find good deals that made us able to make the production, but every day that we talked with Him, we got most high prices that made impossible work with our budget, and the progress was null. 

Is a shame but with all the needs that the pacific has, is common that they have a wrong idea that means getting the support of a departmental competition and the spending that is involved in it, so some people thinking that we had more money than we really had, and in search to get better compensation, asked us for more that eventually cost the services, I understand is the same way that world of tourism is moved, but in our case, pay this could have spent our budget for a week in just one day.  So we have to decide to let go Mr.X,  and try to negotiate with the people of the community for ourselves, and we saw that we get the correct answer.

The lodging that we found was cheaper in comparison with the one that Mr.X told us was the same as the transport. The meals were another story, the prices are really more expensive than we would think sitting in our homes, but it is something that I will return later.

Once be done the room partner’s arrangements, and my backpack was safe in the hotel room (the low-cost travel needs some commitments, like forgetting about having my room ) May and I get out to search for a restaurant that was would supply us with meals, even if was only, the breakfast and Lunch for all the 4 days. With the good experience that we get when we find a cheaper price that told us Mr. “x”, with May, our expectations for finding a good place for our meal were bigger than before. Even if was find nothing in our previous social searching for this aspect, we were ready with google maps and all the recommendations of restaurants in the area, we were ready to take the challenge to find a place that can fill our expectations even if we had to take a lot of time, but the angels were hearing and helping to make the local production with us because we were priced with a nice surprise.

The goddess of fortune was kind to us, and to our joy, we found a restaurant just on the other side of the street from our hotel. We went into the place and May started to negotiate as soon as she put her foot in the restaurant. In the negotiation we discovered new data, different to other places in Colombia where the food is produced in the same place or near it and is accessible for highways, food must be brought in by ship or plane and this made it more expensive.

In Guapi a basic lunch can be expensive as a special dish in some towns near the capital city and even more than three times the amount that you can pay in little cities like Putumayo. That is the reason that I said before that I feel that even to be poor you need money on the Pacific coast.

With everything on the table, we need to create a special diet plan that can fit with our light budget and don’t starve. Even though I have always been a believer in the importance of eating my vegetables and fruits, the proportion of these on our plate was poor due to our need to save. These are some of the most expensive products to find in the town. Minutes later the deal was done and we had a new mark of done on our to-do list, an essential one.

Mauricio Aristizabal junto a su asistente prepara las camaras en tanto yo reviso los mensajes de producción.

Pequeños Guapireños Jugando en la puerta del cementerio del pueblo.  Una de las imágenes que Gustavo soñaba captar.

We started filming the same day in the afternoon, the sound of the town, the shops, the streets of the market, all these places that can show us how people live in Guapi. Before coming I talked to Gustavo and May about the place. It was interesting to see that as they say, this is a city of sounds,  not only the folk musicians who are stars of peaceful culture, everything in the city, the shops, the bars, everything is music and sound almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Understanding that leads me to stay there to really understand what they mean.

All around us looked like it was asking to be filmed, the dream shots that Gustavo had had in mind all the time after his first time in the town were everywhere: the kids playing in the streets, the street food, the places where his mom was a long time ago, all came to us in a filmmaker madness. The crew wanted to get it all, no time to waste was all in our minds, and like there was no tomorrow, this came a frenzy, that wasn’t a good thing though.

As expected, the rain came a couple of hours later, and at half-time, at the same time that Gustavo and Mauricio were waiting to get out to continue filming, May and I were thinking about what we can do to nail down the duties of pre-production: people that we had must visit, transports and other things, and that was the moment that the light comes to May mind and she thinks that can be a good idea to call to a good friend of her,  and spoiler, really was a good idea, she was a  guide for us in the Guapi lands. This friend wasn’t other than “Nany”, a Cultural leader that coordinates a cultural collective called “Tejiendo Saberes” which is a group of promising young of Pacific folklore,  she was the one that helped us to discern that from what Mr. “X” was true and what was… magical realism. She had a long time working with Genaro Torres, so she was a reliable source. Her words let us know that we will be able to meet him with no problem. She confirmed to us that he was still the same kind and humble man that is always happy to receive visits in his home from him and share his wisdom.

Noche lluviosa, Calle del centro de Guapi  

Bonito Tuk-tuk parqueado cerca a casa de Nany.

The boat trip that Mr. “X”  said could take us an hour in the river to go to Genaro’s home and he told that it was expensive and waste a lot of gas, in the reality, was a 15-minute trip that was cheap and made continuously for the people who live on the other riverside. We want to believe that he was thinking that we wanted a tourist tour and that was a communication problem that made him get a wrong idea about our plans, even though other things weren’t really true too, people that he said that was asking for a lot of money just for an interview, aren’t they asking for money at all, and I have to be clear on this we always keep in mind that we need to pay something for their time, the living conditions in the pacific of many people is hard, they live on daily wages so they can’t afford to stop for a day or two without receiving anything in return.  but X was asking us for enough money to rebuild a home and we didn’t had this amount. So it was clear to us that even when we wanted to count and pay to Mr. “X” for work with us, that wasn’t profitable for us,  we had to do the work by ourselves.

Gustavo y Mauricio grabando en el parque principal de Guapi. Evidencia de un material que no llego a ver la luz.

The essential and good thing about the day was that it became our day to do production because we still needed to get the transport that would take us to SANSON and go out at night to portray the reality of the town.

Much of the material from this day could not see the light, in our excitement we lost the papers and forgot to strictly follow what we knew should be done. Perhaps that is why everything seemed to have been done very quickly and the number of things that were not seen as we wanted and knew how to do it. Was a sad fact and required us to do it all over again the next morning. That night few were able to sleep well, we had no room for more mistakes, it was necessary to fulfill what we promised Cali and the community.

To know the details of our visit to Guapi, the emotion experienced by everyone and the stories we found during this trip from the voice of the protagonists, do not forget to visit this special chapter of the podcast La Mochila Desgualanga´

Going back to the roots!

Special Chapter: Guapi

Written by: May Mc’Causland
Narrated by: May Mc’Causland and Gustavo Angarita Jr.
Recorded and Postproduced by: Simón Jaramillo of Vinilo Estudio.

Hello humans! As promised, I have compiled some photos, videos, interactive routes and links from the visit to Guapi, Cauca. What was the reason for the return of May’s Barranquillera and Gustavo’s “cachaco” to where it all began this adventure. And why it was so exciting to return to the Normal School, to the Vereda Sansón and to cross the Guapi River. There began this infatuation with the territories, exploring the culture, art and  lifetime of the people, which motivated us to embark on this beautiful journey through the Colombian Pacific.

Thank you all for listening and reading us, we are happy to hear from you and we will be attentive to your messages. See you to continue exploring La Mochila Desgualanga’.

Why Guapi?
Know the reason for returning to Guapi (Cauca) after more than 6 years touring the Colombian Pacific territories.
The Torres Brothers
The trajectory of the Torres dynasty and the search of the new generations to maintain the legacy of the Marimba de chonta in the territories.
Guapi Expedition
Again 4 days to the Pacific, for the second time in Guapi, in search of the roots of the most ambitious project of our lives.
Sound Journey
Listen in the fascinating voice of Gustavo how it was for him to return to where his love for the Pacific territories began.
Fun Fact
Listen to May’s voice, what is the wonderful tourist recommendation that you can enjoy near Guapi, Cauca. A dream of a place!

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