Saturday, as planned Marcela, Maria Elena and I went off to Guatapé, about an hour and a half away, and until now, one of our favourite places.
As we approached Guatapé we noticed that a lot of the land on either side of the road had been stripped back to the bare earth, to make way for building plots, which spoiled the scenery. Then on arriving in Guatapé we were upset to see that the level of the Reservoir had dropped by 25-30m.
|The water level used to be up to the grass, bottom right!|
On speaking to the Locals, it appears that they are just as upset as we were, the water has had to be used to top up other reservoirs across the country, and also being a Hydro-Electric Dam, it has been over used to supply electric not just for Colombia, but also Venezuela and Ecuador. Unfortunately those nearby have been left to suffer. Guatapé relies on Tourism for it\’s major employment, Hotels with their own boat transport, have been left high and dry
|Where there was water, now just a trickle|
Property Owners on the waterline had boathouses, that are now useless and as can be seen from the following photo, the land is sliding into the water as it dries out.
|Water was up to the treeline|
Signs around the area now redundant
We still had a nice day, and even went on a boat trip to see how the rest of the area was effected
|Marcela and Maria Elena|
But now you have to walk across boards on the mud flats, and watch out for electric and speaker cables, whilst getting out to the boats.
This lunchtime, Marcela took a call from her sister, she had been the victim of an armed robbery, she had gone to the cash-point during her lunch break, to get some money from an ATM, a couple (man and woman) approached quite innocently, then the man drew a pistol on her and demanded she withdraw the max, which she did. She then saw a passing Security Guard, and shouted for help, at which the woman grabbed her purse and ran, followed by Security, the man went in the opposite direction. Fortunately she was not injured, but she has lost money she can ill afford to lose, as well as other personal items in her purse…not a nice experience.