San Cipriano and the Motobrujas


Wow, San Cipriano was one of the most interesting and amazing places I have ever visited. It is a town of about 250 people that rests deep in the Colombian jungle about an hour inland from Buenaventura. One must take a bus from Buenaventura to the town of Cordoba and from there take what are referred to as motobrujas. The motobrujas are some of the most ingenious and exciting pieces of machinery that I have seen. They are basically pieces of wood nailed together with axles that are rigged for traintracks and a motorcycle that pushes them forward. The rear wheel of the motorcycle rests ever so delicately on one side of the track and the people sit in front on a makeshift wooden bench. There are no safety precautions other than the cell phone calls between the locals to advise one another when an oncoming train is nearby.When we were in transit to San Cipriano we had to hop off the cart and pull it off the tracks so that a train could go by. The motobrujas pick up a lot of speed, especially on the dowhill sections where the momentum of the cart mixed with the greased bearings of thise rickity contraptions combine for an awesome display of speed and adaptation. We must have been going about 30 or 35 mhp at some point. I remember looking around scared shitless that we were going to fly off the track, but the nonchalant disposition of all the locals on the Motobruja made me feel like I was overreacting and unnecessarily terrified, which I probably was. Our young driver had muscles chisled from steel and I imagine it is from constantly having to take the motobruja off the tracks so other motobrujas can pass. It is funny because when two of the motobrujas come head to head the drivers sit and argue about who has priority and who has to remove their cart from the tracks. Whoever loses the argument has to remove their cart but on my journey the other driver still helped our driver pull it off the tracks. The motobrujas were one of my favorite activities that i have ever done, all for a $1.50.

When I arrived to San Cipriano my friend and I went to her aunt`s house where we chatted about Colombia, watched her dog lucas fight with the cat and then ate some yummy food before making our way down to the crystal clear waters of the nearby river for a much needed dip in the refreshing water. We spent the entire day there and headed back to Buenaventura later that evening. Her aunt invited me back to visit anytime if i wanted. It was an offer that I just might have to take her up on some day…


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