To enter the port of Turbo, we paddled through the maze of mangrove forests, a twisted conglomeration of roots and branches rising out of the water. Shanty houses edged up against the water and began to turn on their lanterns as night poured in.
Merchant ships that run products up the coast to-from the Panama Canal squeezed into the narrow channel that was lined with houses on one side and the streets of Turbo on the other. Smells of diesel fuel, sewage, and fish saturated the heavy tropical air as we paddled through the filthy water looking for a ship known as the Â¨Nuevo JerusalemÂ¨. Arrangements had been made to carry our kayaks back to Capurgana, a beach town and tourist resort further up the coast.
In Capurgana, Juan David let us â€œkombucharâ€� in front of his vacation home. Drinking a bit of rum â€œen cajaâ€� (from a box) later that night, we told him about our plan to paddle until we could sell the kayaks, and that we imagined the most likely place would be Cartagena. Many calls were made, and eventually he agreed to buy them, putting us back on our bikes in Turbo.