We named our business Bahia Studios after the place that Carlos frequently visited in his childhood - Bahia Solano. After five years of hearing stories about this place, it was wonderful to finally go and visit. Little did I know of the adventure it would be.
A close friend of mine gifted me 3 journals to document our journey here. The first was aptly titled “Start a Journey”. I have committed myself to write in these journals every day and just before I go to bed, I take a few minutes; first to vent, and then to focus on future goals and objectives.
Exactly 60 days into our move I started the second book with the title “Never Stop Exploring” and it was quite serendipitous that on this day we boarded an 8-person charter flight over the mountainous terrain of Colombia and landed on the Pacific Coast in Bahia Solano. We then drove through some rough terrain to El Valle where we spent 5 nights in a cabin on the beach.
The beach was very different from anything I am used to. I grew up in Barbados, where the sand is white. There the sand is dark and the sand lapped by ebbed waves stretched for miles creating a mirror like effect. It was spectacular. I was washed over by emotions. I couldn’t believe I was finally seeing and experiencing what my husband has talked about with such affinity with my own eyes and toes.
We spent quite a lot of time on the beach. We also went on expeditions. One was on a canoe up-river and through the jungle to reach an Indigenous community. It was very surreal. Who would have imagined a year ago that we’d be taking our two little ones through this jungle, literally and metaphorically? There really are a lot of reasons not to go traipsing through muddy paths in the depths of a Colombian jungle with an 18 month old and a 3 year old. Canoe capsizing/mosquitoes/sanitary-born diseases – the list is quite extensive. All I could think was “What happens if?” but then I stepped back and realized the ‘if’ already bodes something bad and intensifies any fear. So I changed my way of thinking to “What happens when". That way I was mentally more prepared, sat back and enjoyed the ride.
And it was so worth it - we exposed our kids to other ways of living. We arrived at the village when the community was having a football match. After they washed up in the river we all shared some time in the communal shelter . While Coline (a fellow traveller), William and I were tattooed with a plant dye everyone enjoyed Bon Bon Booms as we watched our kids play.
The following day we went on a fishing expedition and visited the National Reserve, Utria. This place was something out of my dreams and I am really looking forward to painting some of the landscapes there with oils. The journey to Bahia Solano was a generational pass-down of sorts. William and Maddie played with the son of Carlos' childhood friend, Jorgito, and history was repeated when William was carried on the shoulders of Harold (a friend of the family for 32 years and our tour guide).
Our kids were great travellers; on the plane, on the canoe, on the small fishing boat, and I think how lucky we are to be able to experience these adventures together. I hope we as a family never stop exploring.