Tuesday, 24 April 2018

'Right you are, Colombia'

There is very often a significant difference between what one might like to see happen and what actually does transpire.

In this regard, in relation to our previous post, lest there be any confusion, we don't expect Humberto de la Calle to be Colombia's next president. As much as we may like what he's about, the majority of the Colombian electorate, those who actually matter in this, don't. Or at least they don't want him as their next president.
Iván Duque: Colombia's president-in-waiting ...
Iván Duque: The 'right' fit for Colombia (photo from Facebook).
In fact, de la Calle himself more than likely realises he won't be taking up residence at Palacio de Nariño.

The man who will be doing that, barring what would amount to a significant sea change in the state of play, is Iván Duque.

It's pretty clear why.

Firstly, in 'normal' circumstances, those who bother to vote in Colombia look to the centre/centre-right when electing their president.

Taking that as a given, there are really only two other 'serious' challengers to Duque: Sergio Fajardo and Germán Vargas Lleras.

Yet, if we are to trust the majority of opinion polls, the country's left, or more socially-democratic minded we could say, are behind Gustavo Petro in significant numbers. For many in this bracket, it's Petro or nothing (or certainly not Álvaro Uribe's protégé Duque). So this large minority, if they get out and vote, should do enough to get their 'messiah' into the decisive second round vote.
The thing is, faced with a split centre-right vote, the Petro ticket does well.

However, in a straight shoot-out against just one, let's say more 'acceptable' candidate for this country, Petro's a losing bet. This is especially so when it's seen as a black-and-white contest, left versus right, as it will be with Duque.

It seems safe to assume that the majority of Vargas Lleras votes would transfer to Duque. Some Fajardo voters might swing to Petro, but certainly not all of them.

Thus, for the many 'Anybody but Duque/Uribe' Petro voters, their best chance of keeping the Centro Democrático out might be to opt for Fajardo in the first round. That is, try and make it a Duque-Fajardo head-to-head. In that scenario, some more centrist-type voters who wouldn't contemplate siding with Petro, might be more inclined to go with Fajardo rather than Duque.

Of course this sort of tactical, second-guessing voting largely based on opinion polls is risky. It could all backfire.

Nonetheless, regardless of how the others line up, this looks to be Duque's contest to lose.

This brings us on to the broader issue of why Colombia tends to shun anybody with a hint of 'left' to him/her when it comes to its president.

The fact that the state has been battling leftist insurgents since the 1950s is a significant factor. For this particular election, the murderous activities of Farc dissidents on the Ecuadorian border, the controversial arrest of a high-up ex Farc guerrilla on drug trafficking charges and the stop-start peace talks with a still active ELN reinforce the commonly-held view that 'left is bad'. The political and social turmoil in neighbouring 'socialist' Venezuela is also playing its part.

Yet other Latin American countries have had to deal with a violent left without this resulting in such political thinking being pretty much dismissed outright.

One of the differences for Colombia is due to the fact that the state, with significant help from right-wing paramilitaries, systematically destroyed the political left, rendering it no more than an irritant. The discourse has been dominated by the victors, the rightist state and its media friends.

Those on the left are subversives, a threat to the Colombian republic. So the narrative goes anyway.
(It is important to note here that the United Nations estimates that the Farc and ELN accounted for 12 per cent of civilian deaths in the conflict up to 2016, with 80 per cent attributed to right-wing paramilitaries. The government was responsible for the remaining eight per cent.)

Thus, with the recent violent events mentioned above, Colombia's rightist guardians look as appealing as ever to urban dwellers across the stratum divide.

Now is not the time to rock the boat. Better the devil you know guys.
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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Colombia, de la Calle

OK, we may need to change our preference. While we still have plenty of respect for V.E. Blanco, the sad reality is, for, um, existential reasons 'he' won't actually physically make it to Palacio de Nariño, Colombia's presidential palace.

That being so, you still have to admire his performance ahead of the presidential first-round vote on May 27. He's doing better than four of the seven actual candidates in the race. Only Iván Duque, Gustavo Petro and Sergio Fajardo (just about) are more popular according to the opinion polls.

Colombian presidential candidate Humberto de la Calle: A good compromise choice?
De la Calle: As his name suggests, he's right at home on the streets ... (Picture from Facebook.)
Yet, taking Dr Blanco out of things, who do we endorse for Colombia's top job? For many locals it's either the rightist Duque, the candidate of former president, the divisive Álvaro Uribe, or former Bogotá mayor and once leftist guerrilla with the defunct M-19, Petro. The never-again-to-be-trusted opinion polls have Duque ahead, a man who has promised to make significant adjustments to the peace agreement outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos signed with the Farc.

In many ways it would be interesting to see how Colombia would operate under a leftist president, something it has never really had. Now how left Petro actually is depends on who you listen to. He talks a somewhat leftist game in any case, yet he certainly doesn't dress like a man at one with the impoverished masses.

For sure, all candidates realise the need to address the vast inequality Colombia has, and have various ideas in this regard. Yet proposals on paper are one thing, putting them into practice quite another. Needless to say there's no simple solution.

Notwithstanding that, considering Duque-Petro is seen as a battle of the extremes — "a hawkish Duque presidency will result in deepening political and social division, a Petro administration will see the country slide towards socialism and potentially cripple the economy" — more moderate Colombians are looking for the centre ground. On this front, former Medellín mayor and Antioquia department governor Fajardo appears to be the preferred candidate.

He's promising to be a "president of reconciliation", playing in a way to that concern that a win for either of the current leading candidates will dangerously divide the country.

Of course, he's not the only 'centrist' candidate. However, the polls have him comfortably ahead of both Germán Vargas Lleras, who had a stint as vice president under Santos, and the Liberal party's Humberto de la Calle, whose last political role was government chief negotiator in the Farc peace talks.

That the two men had important posts in the Santos administration is no doubt working against them. The electorate is looking for change and both Vargas Lleras and de la Calle have been too close to the outgoing crowd.

Yet, the country could do worse than taking stock of things after a few rocky years. For one, there's been that aforementioned controversial peace agreement which ended up being rejected in a referendum yet its implementation went ahead anyway. We've also seemingly never-ending corruption scandals and the delicate issue of streams of Venezuelans continuing to enter the country as they escape the mess they have at home.

In such an environment, an experienced, largely respected pair of hands in the shape of Humberto de la Calle could be seen as a good compromise, interim choice.

At almost 72 years of age and his moderate background, he’s not exactly in the same mould as a Putin or Uribe. A ‘president for life’ by whatever means possible he will not be.

He's unlikely to dramatically change things, for better or for worse. However, at a time where the tendency across the globe seems to be to run to the extremes, de la Calle offers Colombia a little breather from the madness, and maybe even a bit more.

Humberto de la Calle: Steady as she goes for four short years?
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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Serene Suesca

In terms of little escapes from Bogotá, generally speaking we prefer to hit for one of the many lower-lying, warmer locations dotted all around the metropolis.

This is even more so the case when the capital city is going through one of its somewhat depressingly grey, wetter-weather phases, as it has been of late.
Suesca, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
A view of Suesca with Las Rocas in the left background.
The thing is, when it's public holiday time in Bogotá, most people have the same idea. Thus, you have a run on the likes of Girardot, Melgar, Tobia and Villeta to name just a few. And with that the prices for hotels and other tourist-related things shoot up.

In fact, if you're your own boss and can take holidays more or less whenever you want, staying in a much more relaxed Bogotá during these peak holiday times is an appealing option.

Nonetheless, not every town in a 200 kilometre radius or so of the capital sees an influx of tourists when work's out for a few days.

A 90-minute bus drive from the north of Bogotá, the quaint, tranquil town of Suesca is one of them. At about 2,600 metres above sea level, it certainly does not fall into the 'warm-weather escape' category.

One of the main — if not the main  — pull-factors is the alluring cliff rocks, 'Las Rocas', on the town's outskirts. These imposing cliffs stretch for about four kilometres and are popular with rock climbers. Many visitors avail of the camping facilities alongside them as an accommodation option; there was a steady stream of crusty campers about when we were there in any case.

Yet around Suesca's picturesque main plaza it still has very much a local, 'unspoilt' feel to it. This we very much like.

Now in similar style to our San José del Guaviare trip, we just rocked up here with little or no prior planning.

So the fact that the tourism office was closed didn't help things in terms of finding out what's to do and see outside of Las Rocas.

Armed with contradictory information, we did set off on an ill-fated wander to Laguna (Lake) Suesca. Had we been unequivocally told at the start that it was at least a three-hour trek and that the lake was pretty much dry — it had been dry season despite the bit of rain and overcast conditions we had for most of our stay — we probably wouldn't have attempted it on foot at all. (My fellow Irish companion wasn't up for a long, potentially fruitless hike; tut, tut Finbarr.)

So after an hour-and-a-half's walk that culminated in stumbling across a 'hidden gem' of a tienda bar, where the owners told us we were still some way off the lake, we paused for a liquid refreshment before returning to Suesca. We did get some nice views along the way, as well as discovering the aforementioned tienda, so it certainly wasn't fruitless.
Suesca, Cundinamarca, Colombia.
Wandering the hills around Suesca ... Reminds us of home, kind of!
Speaking of watering holes, Suesca could be seen as the home of the tiendas. It appears that every second establishment is one where you can sit in and have a beer. However, while we're not averse to a Poker or two, Suesca's rather chilly weather and exposed tiendas aren't conducive to knocking back a few cold ones. Not wanting to be rude, we did give it a go all the same.

Sipping on a tasty and very-reasonable-priced coffee whilst watching the day go by in the panadería (bakery-cum-café) 'Las Rocas de Suesca' on the main square is a decent alternative to the tiendas.

Whatever tipple you choose, as refreshing, short breaks from Bogotá go, weather aside (it's not that bad either, especially from an Irish perspective), Suesca is as good as they come.

*The rather expensive Hotel Casona Quesada aside, there aren't too many obvious budget accommodation options in Suesca. However, with a bit of persistence we found a well-kept house-cum-hotel for 30.000 COP per night for a three-bed room. It's located on Calle 4, just off Carrera 5 next to a little park with a basketball court.
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Friday, 23 March 2018

The Disposable Republic of Colombia

It tends to be the case that going green is one of the last things countries concern themselves with on the route to 'development'.

Environmental issues are usually an afterthought as states strive to boost their economies. This can be particularly damaging for countries rich in natural resources such as Colombia. In this regard, it's generally not the locals doing harm (largely down to the fact that indigenous industries don't have the capacity to exploit these resources to their maximum potential). It's usually powerful multinationals, with the connivance of officials and politicians on the ground albeit.

Litter in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
Um, beautiful Buenaventura: Spot the disposables. 
However, in terms of day-to-day waste management and a desire to 'reduce, reuse, recycle', the practices of many Colombians leave a lot to be desired. This can't really be blamed on 'evil', foreign companies. No, the problem lies with the locals on this one.

You see, across the board there is a big love affair with using not-very-environmentally-friendly disposable plastic products for a whole range of things.

Take our beloved panaderías. While most of these establishments, even the most basic ones, have porcelain cups available for public use, the preference for a large number of sit-in customers seems to be a throwaway plastic one, accompanied with a little plastic straw for stirring.

One reason for this, so it goes anyway, is related to hygiene. The thought of using a cup that some stranger drank out of beforehand is repugnant to many. It doesn't matter if it's been washed. (When you consider the fear-of-the-hot-seat syndrome, this kind of thinking isn't all that surprising.)

In similar fashion, you'll be hard-pressed to get an actual glass 'glass' with your beer in a standard tienda. A plastic one is what you'll be given if you don't want to drink directly out of the bottle. In mitigation on this one, most people do seem to drink directly from the bottle, thankfully.

Of course the big problem with most of these disposables, especially the favoured plastic ones here, is that recycling is not an option. Yet, having them neatly collected and stored at waste facilities would at least, in theory anyway, prevent them clogging up drains and being a general eyesore.

However, a not-always-reliable waste collection service coupled with a penchant for individuals to recklessly litter plays against this.

Things aren't much better when it comes to plastic bag use, nay the ridiculous overuse of them. It's still the case in many stores to put almost every item you purchase into its own plastic bag.

Now it must be said that with the coming of new, discount supermarkets such as Ara, D1 and Justo & Bueno and their policy to charge for using plastic bags, this is slowly changing in some quarters. Many others could do with following suit.

This plastic-bag charge in the stores mentioned and the subsequent behaviour change from shoppers to bring their own reusable bags shows, as it does in almost every other sphere, that money talks.

So how about panaderías and the like charging people more for wanting their drinks or whatever in disposables (in a similar fashion to our idea to charge people more if they want sugar with their drink)? It's likely there'd be a quick change to people either using the in-shop china or bringing their own reusable cups (if they're that pernickety about hygiene).

A bit of a carrot-and-stick approach to get people to clean up their act.
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Monday, 5 March 2018

A rewarding Vélez view

Regular readers of this blog (stop it, there are a couple) will know I'm generally happiest when on the move.

That tends to mean travelling, but it can also refer to feeling busy, having lots to do from a 'fulfilling' work point of view.
A view of Vélez, Santander, Colombia.
Vélez from a high.
On that latter front, however, and not really by design, it has been quieter than usual. It's been a bit like the old Irish back-to-work scheme, Fás; one week on, one week off (although with less money coming in to the coffers in this case).

Nonetheless, after over six years of this come day, go day employment whilst looking for something more 'serious' — it's Latin America, things move slowly here do remember — one learns to budget for the lean times, ensuring there's money available for the things that matter most.

In this regard, when there's no pressing need to be in Bogotá, that means getting out of the place. Plus, a little getaway from the capital doesn't have to cost an awful lot, doing it the 'Wrong Way' way in any case. (Electing for locations that aren't on the main tourist trail usually means you'll find plenty of value, in terms of accommodation if nothing else.)

So following on from the recent trip to Guaviare, this time the town of Vélez — the unofficial bocadillo (guava jelly) capital of Colombia — in the Santander department was on the radar. The only reason I knew of it was because a rather crazy (aren't all Santandereanas that way?) ex fling is from there.

That might be reason enough for some to stay away from the place, but that particular bridge has seen plenty of water pass under it. What's more, buses to Vélez go via Bogotá's northern terminal, a very convenient 15-minute walk from my current abode.

Being a four-hour drive or so away, it doesn't really fall into the backpacker favourite 'leave at night, arrive in the morning' category. Those journeys are great in terms of 'saving' on a night's accommodation for a traveller, but when you're already living in the country and paying monthly rent, the benefits of them are significantly reduced.

In any case, at 28,000 COP (about eight euros) one-way, the daytime trip doubles up as a sightseeing tour, without the regular stops. Some of the views along the way in this mountainous terrain, especially after the city of Tunja, are pretty impressive.

Vélez itself, or more precisely its setting, is impressive as well. The thing is, we're spoilt for choice in these parts as regards quaint, colonial-style towns in hilly surrounds, replete with stand out cathedrals/churches. On top of this, other similar places might be more 'tourist ready' so to put it.

Notwithstanding that, I for one don't get tired of checking out a different location on a regular basis — a change and a break from Bogotá life all in one.

Indeed, Vélez isn't really a tourist hub for the very reason that it doesn't seem to be set up that way. For some, this can be a frustration. "Tell us what's there to do and see here, please."
Vélez, Santander, Colombia.
More impressive views.
From a personal point of view, if there are a few adjacent hills to wander up in peace and quiet, I'm happy out. Get the obligatory panoramic view of the place in question. On this score, Vélez came good.

Now it wasn't clear if the trail I went on is meant for public use. It looked more trodden by cattle than trekkers and there are gates and fences to cross, but of the few people I encountered at the start no one told me I shouldn't be doing it.

In fact, in general the good folk of Vélez, Veleños as they're called, tend to leave you to your own devices. From what I experienced, they'll only engage if you do firstly; suits me down to the ground that.

Public trail or not, those hills to the south-west of Vélez offer some nice views over the town and surrounding countryside — if and when the clouds go away that is. Plus, there is a statue of the Virgin Mary in the vicinity of where I walked, so I'm guessing it is an attraction of sorts.

The route I took, though, didn't appear to be the correct one to get to that; I approached the Virgin from, um, behind. In defence, when I got there, I couldn't find a clearer alternative approach, honestly.

Thankfully the clouds largely cleared around midday and I found myself a nice little isolated spot to take in the sun and simply enjoy the scenery and tranquillity. Simple pleasures.

That probably best sums up Vélez: 'Simple pleasures'. Ignorance might have resulted in me missing out on a host of attractions around the place. Yet the whole idea of this mini-break from Bogotá was to do my own thing, annoyed by nobody. Vélez satisfied that want. Pity I can't say that about the ex from there.

*Hotel Agatá has comfortable en suite rooms with a TV & WiFi from 15,000 COP per night.
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Friday, 16 February 2018

Colombia, vote V.E. Blanco for real change

Oh what exciting times we have in Colombia. Election fever is in the air. In early March we've the curtain-raiser, the congress 'deciders'. Then in May the big one gets under way, the first round of the presidential contest. For the record, a second round won't be needed if one candidate takes more than 50 per cent of the vote, but that's unlikely.

As ever, wily Wrong Way has been keeping a close eye on proceedings. (Not to blow our own Trump-et here, but we did foresee Trump's victory, as well as signalling the strength of the 'no' vote in both the Colombian peace agreement plebiscite and Brexit.)

Could Voto En Blanco win Colombia's 2018 presidential election?!
Voto En Blanco: Your only man!
A bit has changed since we took a look at the early candidates in the running. Nonetheless, despite all the other movers and shakers, 'Poker Petro' and 'Pilsen Fajardo' are the ones to beat going by those never-again-to-be-trusted opinion polls.

Well, they lead the way if you discard a certain V.E. Blanco, Voto En Blanco. He — and rest assured it is a 'he', Colombia's not ready for a lady president just yet (sorry Marta Lucía) — is polling quite strongly, even topping some.

While many may be quick to dismiss him, thinking he's a bit of an enigma or worse still a fraud, there are solid reasons to get behind him (more so than the others we could say).
Here's why:

A president for all
Blanco ticks all the boxes you want him to. For those few Colombians in the loony left brigade he is unashamedly 'Castrochavista'. There's no need for public denials as to the existence of this brand of socialism. Let's be honest, Venezuela is giving the left a bad name. Blanco's Colombia will make socialism sexy again. (It was sexy once, wasn't it?)

Conversely, Blanco can be as right wing as they come, something that will please many Colombians. He can proudly wax lyrical about the great work the right-wing paramilitaries, paracos, have done and are doing, by any means possible, to ensure those aforementioned bearded lefties are kept down.

What's more, he won't have anyone snooping around asking awkward questions. 'Firm hand, big heart', or something along those lines.

A man you can trust
OK, trust and politics don't make easy bedfellows whatsoever, but Blanco breaks the mould here. We can rest assured that when we put our 'X' after his name (we're going to try and sneak a vote or two in), he won't break his 'campaign' pledges.

How so? Well, it's simple really. He doesn't make any promises. There's no, let's say 'miércoles', or horse manure if you will, with Blanco. The rest of the candidates would do well to follow suit. 

Cheaper than changua 
The Colombian president's salary currently stands at US$250,000. That's a whopping $711,560,441 Colombian pesos. A bog-standard worker here would do well to get more than $10,000,000 a year, seventy times less than the top dog. In comparison, the salary for the president of neighbouring Ecuador is a more modest US$75,000, while in Venezuela, officially anyway, it's at just under US$25,000.

Putting Blanco in Casa de Nariño, the presidential palace, would cost nothing. Blanco can live off Bogotá's, um, fresh air. In fact, we could open up the palace to the Colombia's myriad of homeless. Even let them have a little go at running the country. They couldn't do much worse than what's gone before, could they? 

It's decided so. Voto En Blanco for president!
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Monday, 12 February 2018

The independent traveller's guide (of sorts) to Guaviare

Broadly speaking, there are two types of travellers: Those who do some sort of planning, research if you will, before getting to their destination; and those who just rock up to a place, a kind of 'see what happens' approach.

These days, I tend to find myself more in the latter camp. It's part of the adventure really. If we've to plan for a break, something that's meant to be relaxing, it can almost take the fun out of it.

On top of this, I usually prefer travelling alone. I find it quite a release to hop on a bus companion-less, heading to some destination I know very little about and where I don't know anybody on arrival. A chance to get away from it all and lose myself in my own thoughts.

Ciudad Piedra, Guaviare department, Colombia.
The view from the top of one of the many large rocks at Ciudad Piedra.
Thus was the style of the recent visit to San José del Guaviare, the dusty small town and state capital of Colombia's Guaviare department.

Up until recently, the place was generally regarded as being off limits to not just tourism but pretty much any unnecessary visits. It was a 'zona caliente', that is to say a hotbed of violence in Colombia's internal conflict.

In Bogotá, across the stratum divide, this view still seems to hold for many. "Be careful going down there" was the refrain from most, as it is when one goes to many regional outposts. Now by area it is a big department, about the size of Croatia actually, and I only explored a small section of it around San José, so I can't speak for it all.

Yet, what I did experience was nothing but friendly folk in an environment that felt anything but threatening. Indeed, in terms of having personal belongings robbed, the chances of this happening in San José seem pretty remote. Alas, we can't say the same for the country's capital.

The biggest problem with the place — which in some ways is paradoxically a plus — from that independent, off-the-cuff traveller perspective, is that the tourism infrastructure isn't quite in place (yet). If you haven't signed up with a tour company, getting around to see the many wonderful sights can prove to be a bit of a headache.

Of the fledgling tour companies in operation, Geotours del Guaviare is one that I had the pleasure to chat with and get some useful information on my second day there, by accident as it was albeit. However, doing tours on your own with these can be pretty expensive (though if you're coming with dollars or euros in your back pocket, it won't seem too much at all).

Los Pozos Naturales, Guaviare department, Colombia.
On our way to the refreshing natural wells with the help of Saúl ...
Nonetheless, where there's a will, there's a way and all that. So while I was given a chance to go on a group tour with one agency, sticking to my independent guns, from San José's main square I contracted a motorcycle taxi guy (cum guide, of sorts) to bring me to some of the sights of interest.

Considering the agency prices, Arnulfo's negotiable 80,000 COP for an 'all-day' (09:00 to 18:30 as it turned out on day one) trip seemed reasonable. (That's just over 22 euro. And yes, I did get it at a lower price; we are in straitened times.)* In fact, the motorbike ride in the hot sun was an attraction in itself, if a little bit testing on the posterior.

Although he wasn't the most informative, Arnulfo turned out to be good company all the same, if a little difficult to understand at times. We got over the small setback of him struggling to find the 'pozos naturales', natural wells, at the end of our first day. That I opted for a second day with him is proof of that.
Ancient rock paintings, Cerro Azul, Guaviare department, Colombia.
The ancient rock paintings at Cerro Azul ...
Alongside the natural wells that we eventually found (with thanks to a third party, Saúl!), on that first day we took in the rather mysterious, ancient indigenous rock paintings of Nuevo Tolima, followed by the impressive Ciudad de Piedra (Rock City) and then the rock tunnels. It's what the tour agencies call the 'rocoso', 'rocky' trip, with all the attractions being within relatively easy reach of each other (with transport that is).

On day two with Arnulfo we went to Cerro Azul, or 'Blue Hill' if you like, where there are more indigenous paintings to try to 'decode', a 'cool', in every sense of the word, bat-filled rock tunnel to traverse, as well as stunning views over the vast plains-cum-jungle.

A refreshing tienda pit stop came after that  — Arnulfo's call, honestly. In fairness to him, it's a sweaty trek up and down Cerro Azul in the energy-sapping sun, while the motorbike journey alone to get there from San José is a good 90 minutes, most of it on unpaved roads. He deserved a beer or five.

Once 'watered', we briefly took in Laguna Negra, the Black Lake. By that time, with the sun setting, the blood-sucking flying insects were out in force and I was left badly exposed. They were the biggest threat faced over the four-day visit.

Going to Guaviare in dry season means missing out on the chance to see majestically-coloured rivers, akin to the more renowned Caño Cristales (an advantage for the Guaviare versions is that they're far easier, and cheaper, to reach). The best time to see the rivers 'in bloom' is between July and November.
An anteater in San José del Guaviare, Colombia.
This anteater caused a bit of excitement among the concerned locals in San José ...
Also, on the fauna side of things, Guaviare has much to offer. In this regard, I didn't see a lot on this occasion — an unexpected visit of a young anteater to the centre of San José that caused a bit of excitement was as exotic as it got.

In any case, it's just another reason to go back. We can call this a reconnaissance mission of sorts for the independent traveller. The contacts and groundwork have been laid for that return visit.

*Both Arnulfo (+573115678891) and his brother Antonio (+573115559047) offer moto-taxi services.
There are a host of hotels in San José del Guaviare, from basic to slightly more upmarket. The likes of Residencia Casanare a block away from the main square has rooms available from as little as 10.000 COP.
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