First published in 1967, ‘One hundred years of solitude’ has sold more than 20 million copies. Now it is possible to visit the places immortalised in this classic of Latin-American literature, following the so-called Macondo Trail to the Colombian author’s birthplace, Aracataca. Here’s the travel report from Hello magazine.
The complex novel, which is universally recognised as having had a major impact on world literature, is set in Macondo, in the remote regions of the Colombian rainforest. Garcia Marquez based the fictional town on Aracataca, in the Department of Magdalena, and wove the history and myth of the town of his birth into a world that is now known and loved in nearly 40 different languages.
The overland tour can be taken from Barranquilla or Santa Marta, around an hour from Aracataca, in the Caribbean Region of Colombia, where the author was born in 1927. The route follows a road that is flanked on one side by the Caribbean Sea and on the other by the great mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Traditional vehicles known as chivas are used for the tour. These are a type of bus decorated in bright colours and adapted so that travellers can stand, or even dance, and the trip into the Colombia’s colonial past will be enlivened by performances by dance, theatre and and folk groups. The tour will visit places where ‘Gabo’ – as the Nobel prize winner is affectionately called – spent his childhood and adolescence, and which influenced and inspired his great literary work. Visits will includethe banana plantations, the Grand Station, the ‘Remedios the beautiful’ library, and the telegraphist’s house.
The tour also includes a visit to the Gabriel Garcia Marquez museum in Aracataca, which opened in March 2010. The museum is a reconstruction of the Garcia Marquez family house, knocked down forty years ago. For the museum building design, the Colombian Ministry of Culture referred to Gabo’s autobiography Living to Tell the Tale, investigations of the site, and testimony of family and friends. There are 14 rooms characteristic of Caribbean homes of the early twentieth century, each bearing a name agreed by the author.
The saga of the Buendia family in the town of Macondo told in One hundred years of solitude is considered the author’s masterpiece; it earned Garcia Marquez international fame and played a major part in popularising the genre of magical realism. The author of The Autumn of the Patriarch and Love in the Time of Cholera is admired for this weaving of reality and fantasy and his colourful prose which owes a lot to the Caribbean oral tradition.
For the original report go to http://www.hellomagazine.com/travel/201101274852/garcia-marquez/macondo-trail/aracataca-colombia/1/