Cabo de la Vela (Spanish for "cape of sails") is a headl;and in the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia, close to the border of Venezuela. There is a small fishing village that has now become a tourist destination, especially for kitesurfers.
The cape is surrounded by the La Guajira Desert. The landscape is barren with some scrubby bushes and a few remote huts where local people live.
There has not been rain the area for about 3 years All fresh water has to be brought in for drinking. Salt water is used for all non-drinking purposes.
As you can imagine the people there are very poor. They rely on fishing, tourism and selling their craftwork.
We headed to the area to explore it, but to also meet up with our friends Val and Mario who had gone there to kite surf. Susanne came with us.
On the way we stopped at Porto Nuevo to restock our fruit and vegetable supplies. Since Cabo de La Vela is so remote, we needed to make sure we had enough fuel for the trip.
We stopped at the last big town Riohacha to top up our tank, however there was only one gas station in town that still had gasoline. We think the shortage may be attributable to the border closing to Venezuela, as we believe the towns fuel supplies came from Venezuela.
The local people had shown initiative having stocks of fuel in canisters to sell. Not trusting the quality of this fuel we stayed in line for an hour to finally get served with gasoline.
Cabo de La Vela is really a village with only one street that follows the coast. It has a few restaurants and basic hostels and the houses of the local people. Most of the dwellings are thatched.
Kite surfing is one of the main tourist attractions. It was fun to watch the kiteboarders, when the winds picked up in the afternoons.
We stayed at the Kite Addict surf school with our friends. We camped in our roof tent whilst our freinds slept in hammocks. Mike cooked meals on the camp stove for everyone,
Facitilies were basic, and everyone was allowed one bucket of fresh water for washing per day.
Wanting to help the local people we brought some of their craft work. We were often approached by the woman or children asking for things that we had.
Again it is that difficult ground as to how to help the most. We felt that the local people had a disdain for foreigners. I guess who can blame them, as we appear rich compared to them. We were a little disappointed when one of Keira's favorite toys went missing when some local women and children were by our car.
We left feeling incredibly lucky that we were born into the lives we were.
Early in the morning was the best time to swim, as the waters were calm and with no wind there were no kite surfers. We could safely swim. It was extremely hot, and the winds were relentless in the afternoons and evenings.
I got sick whilst there with headaches, lethargy, aching joints, and a rash. Dehydration or dengue? After 2 nights we decided to head back towards civilisation just in case.
We said goodbye to Val, Mario, and Susanne with the hope and promise to meet up again sometime and somewhere.
We checked out several other beaches on the way back but decided we had already been in paradise at Los Angeles, so returned there again to a big welcome from the staff.
Luckily after several days I felt ok again. Illness of unknown origin. That is travelling!
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.