I’ve now officially passed part one of my pirate diploma. The boat to Buenaventura was leaving at 8am. This being Colombia, and specifically Nuqui, I presumed this meant the boat would be leaving around 8am. How wrong I was. Arriving at the embarcation point – essentially the house of Yiyo (who owned the boat) – just before 8 I saw a gaggle of people on the side of the river waving. Turning the corner to see what they were waving at confirmed my fears. The boat had left and was now beginning to power up the river. I burst through the crowd, shouting “Buenaventura”; it was half question, half letting people know that I wanted to be on that boat. The crowd started shouting “rápido, rápido” but it was unclear what I could do faster to get on a boat that was now mid-river. Then I had an idea. There was a boat a bit further down the river, harboured, it looked like it might just be jutting out into the river enough for me to use it as a gangway onto the boat. I ran down the bank, slipping in the mud, hauled myself onto the boat and ran to the end. Yiyo stood at the front of Nuquimar, the boat I wanted to be on. I looked at him for ideas. With little else he could do he called for the boat to slow down. However, there was no way it was ever going to come close enough to my boat for me to pass across.
Then I heard someone shouting at me from behind; these Colombians sure are resourceful. He gestured for me to follow him and then shouted at another Colombia, who ran over to his motor boat. I saw exactly what was happening and so suddenly, I was on the river. Within seconds we were parallel to the Nuquimar. I chucked my bags over the side, jumped up to grab the hand rail and pulled myself in. I had been told the boat to Buenaventura leaves every 15 days. This wasn’t a trip I was going to miss.
Key Stage 2 Level 3 of the pirate diploma involves taking hostages, so I’m thinking of transferring my skills – disaster management perhaps?
And Mum, before you send me an email, I am aware this probably isn’t covered by my insurance.