Confronted by difficult truths from his past, Will seeks time alone for stargazing in Colombia’s Tatacoa Desert, where the weather takes a surprising turn. Deliberate solitude, mental hurdles and the difference between running and searching. Text COMMUNITY to (332) 877-9540 to join the Authentic Travelers Facebook group, or join the Baggage Claim email list here.
Weird trivia and stuff Will wants to say
- It’s actually not that weird that it rained in the Tatacoa Desert. It gets about 42 inches of rain a year. For the sake of comparison, New York City gets 47, so it’s not that dry. In fact, its rainfall officially categorizes it as "large tropical dry forest." That sounds a lot like “big high low skyscraper” to me, but what do I know. What it really means is “this place is crazy hot,” which it is. It gets up to 112 Fahrenheit (44 Celsius), and it hovers around 100 F (38 C) during the day.
- Apparently, Will Smith rolled through Villavieja about fifteen years ago while he was filming a desert scene for some movie, and they literally can’t stop talking about it. You’d think he had a summer home there. Maybe ten people told me this, unprompted, which is more than it sounds because I talked to like twelve people total in Villavieja.
- I lost my debit card the day of this story (I’m pretty sure it fell out of my pocket while I rode the mountain bike). It's about the safest place you can lose a debit card, unless ill-willed scorpions figure out ATMs. But it turns out that losing a Bank of America card in Colombia is a pain in the ass of a problem to solve. Big thanks to my brother for playing literal telephone with the BofA customer service people, who were (rightly) suspicious of the story of a man in a desert in Colombia trying to gain access to a U.S. account.
- This episode came with a whole lot of headaches I won't articulate here. Suffice it to say that rehashing a failed engagement is a nightmare.
- Sorry for the sad boy episode. If you want funny or light, listen to this, this or this.
I hear with my little ear
- The sounds of Skype. Ah, nature.
- A truck (actually in Colombia) driving down a dirt road.
- Rain with some rolling thunder action.
- Crunchy footsteps.
- Desert-y things.
NOTE: Transcript coming. My CMS is having a meltdown when I try to copy/paste and I need sleep.