A Couple Days in Mompós

During my 2013 trip to Colombia, I took a few days to travel to Mompós.  Mompós is supposed to be this quiet, sleepy backwater where people spend their days rocking away in rocking chairs while time passes them by.  It seemed like the sort of place I would like — lots of colonial architecture, quiet, away from the hustle and bustle that I had been experiencing in Cartagena.  Well, it wasn’t quite like that..

Motorcycles everywhere
Motorcycles everywhere

In my past post, I detailed the rather arduous day that got me to Mompós.  Once I arrived, I checked into my hotel and dropped my bags.  It was incredibly hot — perhaps around 100 degres, but I really wanted to look around the town.

First impressions can be lasting, and my first impression of Mompós was not “quiet and sleepy”, but more like…a nonstop parade of motorcyles, motorscooters, and moto-taxis.  Apparently everyone had traded in their rocking chairs for something a little more mobile!  Quiet?  No.  Sleepy?  Not at all — everyone seemed to be heading someplace.  The streets were packed, and you really had to watch your step lest you step in front of a speeding, beeping motorcyle.  Getting a picture without one in it?  Forget it!

House, Mompos
House, Mompos

I saw the motorcyle/scooter used in ways I never have before — four people on a tiny Honda scooter, arranged by size — biggest in the back, smallest (a child) in front.  I saw a man carrying a woman on his motorcycle while she balanced a wedding cake, a man carrying a couple 12-foot lengths of pvc pipe on his shoulder while he steered with one arm, a man carrying a bicycle in one hand while riding his motorcycle, and many others. The only thing I didn’t see was a motorcyle riding a motorcyle.  And I may have, had I waited long enough.

So, we’ve dispelled the “quiet and sleepy” rumor.  What else is there to see?  Well, plenty!  There’s a lot of nice churches around, though two of them were unapproachable due to construction.  There’s a beautiful cemetery, which I’ll cover in its own post.  There are interesting plazas, landmarks, etc.  There’s a tradition of silversmithing in the area, so there’s good jewelry.  There are river tours, if you like that sort of thing.  And, if you do want to see it when it’s quiet, do what I do and head out at sunrise.  At 6:00 a.m., things certainly weren’t as busy.

Here’s a collection of photos from Mompós.  Please click an image to see a larger size, or to start the slideshow.

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