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Shawn Dispatch

Life on a Cargo Boat
 

Map of Panama and Colombia
Sorry that we worried everyone for the past week. Trust us, we didn't WANT to be stuck on boats for 11 days without any phones, but that's what happened!

Getting to Colombia was just about the hardest thing that we have done on The Odyssey yet. We took a boat, which you may know already from reading our story from two weeks ago: 20 Dollars to Leave.

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Land at last! Hey wait, this isn't La Palma!
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The first part of the boat ride was supposed to take eighteen hours, but it took us almost two days! As the sun made its way across the sky the first day it got hotter and hotter, until it seemed like it couldn't possibly get any worse, and then it got a little hotter. Just as we were entering La Palma Bay we met our first dolphin, which none of us had ever seen in the wild before. The dolphin swam back and forth in front of the boat as if guiding us into port, and then it disappeared. We wished we could go for a swim, too.

Hey Shawn, unhappy to be stuck on the boat? It's only a week more!
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Life on the Voz Confio was not very comfortable. We slept on cardboard on the floor with the muck, and I was rudely awakened in the morning by someone dumping water on me while cooking.

We finally arrived at the first town but there was no dock! So large canoes came out to get the passengers and paddle them to shore. They charged each person a dollar, even though it was only 100 yards away - about the size of a football field. This seemed like too much to me, so I just swam to shore.

We left that town and kept going on our boat ride. After several days of only eating only white rice, I did something that I have not done in eight years -- eat fish. You may know that I'm a vegetarian. It really was not as bad as I expected, although it sort of kept staring up at me from my plate.

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Buenaventura - Show us the way to the ATMs and snacks
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I actually felt a little sad when we got to the end of our boat trip. Part of me is going to miss the relaxed lifestyle and I will miss the wild jungle. However, as the skyline of Buenaventura grew on the horizon, my excitement grew as well -- a whole new adventure, and a whole new continent was before us. South America, at last we have arrived!

Shawn

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