Viewed from the Río Magdalena, the elegantly weathered Baroque churches, palaces and domes of MOMPOX poke out above the palms and whitewashed colonial houses like an eighteenth-century mirage. Troupes of howler monkeys patrol the red-clay-tiled roofs, iguanas doze in trees and clouds of dragonflies hover over fragrant bougainvillea-draped balconies. For many years few places were as redolent of colonial South America, genuinely romantic or simply as magical as Mompox – and still today the spirit of Gabriel García Márquez, whose wife went to high school in the town, seems stronger here than anywhere else in the country. The 1987 movie of Chronicle of a Death Foretold was partly shot here (though the novella was inspired by several places), and Mompox has an important role in The General in His Labyrinth: José Palacios tells Simón Bolívar, “Mompox does not exist. Sometimes we dream about her, but she does not exist.” Bolívar actually raised his army here in 1812, and visited the town six times thereafter (the final stay in 1830 is depicted in the novel). The sense of time warp has faded dramatically in recent years, however, with a series of road bridges connecting Mompox to the rest of the country and a new airport expected to be at full capacity by 2019. As a result tourism is booming and the town is rapidly being renovated and restored to its former glory. One thing that hasn’t changed is the stultifying heat – don’t wander around during the day expecting to find much going on. The secret to appreciating Mompox is doing as the locals do, giving in to the siesta spirit between about 11am and 5pm, and going out when it’s bearable – basically very early morning, when locals start walking their dogs at 5am, or late at night, when you’ll discover something happening on every corner; deserted streets suddenly become colonized by tables, rocking chairs and bars, while kids ride tiny go-karts in the plazas. Many visitors don’t go to bed before 6am.

Denne mappen er tom.