by Hans Sølo

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On Thursday morning we got up at 5 at Cabo de la Vela, and the driver showed up late.
A French couple and us in a 4WD and the driver didn't quite seem to know the way.
A tour to Punta Gallinas on the Guajira peninsula and the driver got lost twice.
The French girl got sick driving through the desert, and the driver turned the AC to cold as ice.

He sang along to Colombian folk music, and it went on for hours, and every song sounded the same.
The road through the desert was rough and sometimes muddy, and it looked as if it had rained.
The driver went back, we took a boat to the hostel, where some twenty other tourists stayed.
And someone said the next day we'd take a boat all the way back, 'cause the roads were in such a bad state.

Then we all went to El Faro and Las Dunas de Taroa on the back of what seemed like a cattle truck,
when it suddenly got cold and started raining, and the truck got stuck in the mud.
It hadn't rained for years in La Guajira, and yet it was pouring down without end.
We got dripping wet, and I wasn't quite sure if it's good luck to witness such a moment.

Then we got to the dune and ran into the sea,
and it was beautiful and loads of fun.
And in the evening I ate a carrot that I brought with me,
and a Colombian girl looked at me like I completely lost my mind.

And it's raining and raining and raining and raining in the desert...

Watching the sunset over the sea, Rina and I thought: “Wouldn't it be nice to stay another day?”
Then the hostel informed us there's a hurricane coming and there's no way to leave and it could last until Sunday.
The South-African girl said: “There's literally no way I can stay until Sunday, 'cause I've only brought this to wear!”
Then we watched the news, and in La Guajira a sixteen year old boy had starved to death.

And a class 1 hurricane will be coming tomorrow, and it's name is Matthew.
So when we went to sleep in our hammocks, that was literally all that we knew.
The next morning we walked to an indigenous village, and when they saw us they waved and smiled.
They were securing the roofs of their homes with ropes, and at the beach the waves were really high.

When we got back they asked: “Where have you been? We might get rescued by a helicopter!”
But no one would come with the storm approaching, so instead we had to find shelter.
There was only one house the other tourists deemed safe, and they nailed up the windows with planks.
And they brought in our hammocks and asked the hostel to bring water and food and snacks.

The hostel was run by a twenty year old girl called Karel, and she seemed amused.
And she didn't seem to mind that some tourists took over her house and put nails in the windows.
The Mexican woman said: “Stay calm, breathe easy, it's gonna be alright.”
But the only thing that scared me was staying in a room with 25 tourists and closed windows day and night.

We all went inside of the boarded up house, when the rain got really rough.
The South-African girl asked “Where's everyone else?”, thinking of the hostel staff.
But of course they preferred to be with their families over being locked in with us.
I would do the same if I had the choice, but the South-African girl looked like they completely lost their minds.

And it's raining and raining and raining and raining in the desert...

We waited for the storm and ate rice and sausages, and just plain rice for vegetarians.
And for dinner we had pasta, but there wasn't enough, so it was plain rice for me again.
I got angry, then remembered that I'm a tourist in an area where children died of hunger.
And we heard the wind, and an American guy said: “We all asked for an adventure.”

I always liked the sound of rain on the roof, so I slept pretty well that night.
I didn't notice when Matthew hit us, but some of the others had a hard time.
I only read the next day that Matthew was now class 4 now, and it had even been at 5.
And somewhere in La Guajira, an old man had been caught by a flood and died.

Saturday morning the rain stopped for a while, and we took another walk.
And some of the Wayú homes looked pretty bad, some walls and some roofs were gone.
All the wires were wet, so I got a shock when I tried to charge my phone.
We got lentils and rice for lunch and for dinner, and we still couldn't go home.

The Colombian boys tried to teach us a song, but they really couldn't sing at all.
Then Rina and I sang an Austrian folk song, and another German girl looked like we completely lost our minds.

And it's raining and raining and raining and raining in the desert...

On Sunday morning the mood was really bad, and sea was still wild, so we still had to stay.
So some cleaned up the place and counted the water, and it would last for two more days.
I didn't want to talk to anyone and thought: “This is still my holiday.”
And I just wanted to lie in my hammock and read my book all day.

My phone had signal, so I lent it to others. Then I got replies from strangers saying “Miss you!” and “Love you!”.
And calls were made to all kinds of embassies and to the Colombian news.
They would do a report on us at noon, and said we should send them some videos.
So we stood around in puddles and put on said faces and said: “We need to get rescued!”

So the governor told us on the news: “You don't go to such a place if there's a hurricane warning!”
But anyway, the sea calmed down, and we were told that we could leave the next morning.
The Colombians looked really depressed, even though we'd soon be able to go,
'cause in the referendum about the peace treaty the majority had voted “¡No!”

And we dreamed and we joked about what we would eat when we'd get to Santa Marta or Palomino.
Ensalada de frutas, un jugo de lulo o waffles con arequipe y banano.

On Monday morning we got up at 5, ready to finally leave the desert behind.
But again we were told: “As you can hear the sea is too loud, the waves are to high.”
And some hours later, it must've been better, or maybe they decided we'd just go anyway.
We had one last arepa and coffee, and two boats were waiting down in the bay.

The boats seemed small, the waves seemed high. It was funny and scary at the same time.
The boat went up and it went down. Then one of the motors just went out.

We were right there, where the sea met the bay,
and it took to long and the ship turned sideways.

A giant wave came down on us, and in an instant we were soaked.
I had to think of the poor souls that cross the Mediterranean on tiny boats.
I held on tight to my new Charango, that I bought in Medellín and brought along.
And I thought that if it survives this trip, I will turn the whole thing into a song.

We made it through the surf, and it got better after just a bit.
But we still would need to be two hours on the open sea.

Along the coast of La Guajira,
to Puerto Bolívar and the road to Uribia.

When we got to the shore, the sun came out,
and it got really hot, and Matthew was gone.


released April 14, 2017
Written and produced by Hans Sølo. Recorded March 2017 in Berlin.
Mixed by Lars Bohn.

Almut Wolfart: Violin.
Julia Gotthard: Cello, Guest Vocals.
Katharina Gnendinger: Guest Vocals.
Hans: Charango, guitar, bass, drum programming, percussion, vocals.



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Hans Sølo Berlin, Germany

Hans Sølo is a songwriter/composer based in Berlin. He tells stories through music. Live he is often accompanied by string quartet "Streichmetall".


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