Sep 25, 2020
Wade Davis on the Magdalena, Colombia’s “river of dreams”
“Colombia is a place where magic seems to happen every moment and I would argue that only a people like the Colombians, with their enduring spirit of place, their indescribable capacity for joy, could have endured the agonies of the last 50 years.”
Wade Davis says his latest book Magdalena: River of Dreams is a love letter of sorts. Colombia, he says, is “a nation that allowed me to dream, that gave me my wings to fly.” His love affair with Colombia began as a 14-year-old in the late 60s, when he went on an exchange from suburban Montreal. He has been returning ever since, as a writer, botanist, traveller, and scholar of Indigenous religions, captivated by the unbelievable range of history, cultures, environments, climates, and people that exist in this diverse South American nation.
In this interview, Davis discusses the five years of travels he undertook along the Magdalena River, “a corridor of commerce and a fountain of culture, the wellspring of Colombian music, litera…