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| 7/12/2010 12:00:00 AM

A town the world forgot

July 12--A love of adventure and Garcia Marquez lead Michael Jacobs to Mompos, where he finds a mysterious vision of the past.

A town the world forgot A town the world forgot
COLOMBIA is a country of miraculously preserved colonial towns. I was staying in the most internationally famous of these, the vibrant and colourful Caribbean port of Cartagena de Indias, when I became obsessed by the idea of visiting the old riverside town of Mompos, some 201 kilometres to the south. It sounded like a place straight from a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, half-forgotten on an island without (until recently) a bridge, surrounded by marshes, in the middle of the former great waterway of the Magdalena.

Mompos had flourished during the days when the Magdalena was the main thoroughfare linking Colombia's coast with the Andes. A port for the up-river transport of goods, Mompos was also the site of a royal mint and a place where vast quantities of gold, silver and emeralds were stored, far from the reach of the Caribbean's pirates.
 
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