Published: March 4th 2007March 4th 2007
Waiting at sunrise
all of us waiting for the luxurious fast boat from Iquitos to Colombia...a real splurge
We arrived in Leticia, Colombia after a 10 hr. speed boat through the Amazon. This area is the tri-border of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. Looking from the outside-in its a kind of sketchy place to be in the world, but we felt safe and had fun. We ventured into Brazil to do some shopping and clubbing and met some interesting people walking back and forth country to country. The following day we did what we have yet to do and vow not to do again until we reach home - we left our feet and flew in the air. This was a 2 hr. plane over Southern Colombia, guerrilla territory and an area not recomended to traverse.
So we landed in Bogota, a big capital with its own perks an panks. We went out at night in what is probably the most happening night spot in South America, Zona Rosa, and during the days we shopped, watched movies, got haircuts, and saw a traditional bullfight in a really cool arena while sipping apple wine. A couple of days later we left for Medellin, in what was probably the coolest bus ride yet in South America. The scenery (exactly what you would
A floating house in Leticia, Colombia
imagine as Colombian Tropical jungle hills with coffee plantations and banana trees and mountains blanketed in green) was nearly as cool as the camouflaged army men carrying huge guns escorting travellers safely through the Colombian highways. Ten hours, two mountain ranges, and 600 military friends later we arrived in Medellin, the second biggest city in the country and primarily known for its modernity, wealth, and Pablo Escobar. Imagine Buckhead set in the Hollywood Hills, but with more plastic surgery and army men. There we were graced by the Alvarez family, Grahams ex-girlfriend Lina's mom and brother David, who provided us with incredible room and board (meaning a spectacular apartment with a view, sauna, and pool, and every fruit that exists and some that still don't). We explored Medellin which was awesome: walked around, hung out with local friends, visited a Botero museum, and went to a little villiages nearby, all in the luxury of a car. We then had the luxury of going to the Alvarez's farm house, two hours away from Medellin, where a chef attended to our finger-snaps by the poolside.
After two days of Colombian farm life we decided to head north. David the Saint accompanied us
Bullfight in Bogota
El Julio, from Spain, dominates
on this journey, so the five of us headed off in a Camery (which was searched on occasion by the army men) to Tolu on the Carribean coast. A family friend lent us their beach house for a few days, where we celebrated with a cocktail our traversing of the continent. We had reached the furthest northern point. In Tolu we did normal beach stuff and we explored an island via canoe where the locals and the farm animals share a special kind of relationship. Further down the coast we stopped on the side of the road where you can actually swim in a volcano that spurts sulfuric mud from 1.3 miles below the earths surface. We felt weightless.
Next... We went to Cartagena, possibly the most delightful city in South America with perfectly preserved colonial buildings built inside a fortress wall alongside the beach. There we did city-stuff like fine dining, shopping, and chores.
Next... We drove to Santa Marta and jumped off there to Parque National de Tayrona - a simply amazing park. Here we hiked barefooted and shirtless (not Emma and Elise) through the jungle for two hours with 25 lbs. of gear, where we arrived at
Just passing through...
en route from bogota to medellin...trying to behave
a gorgeous beach. We spent three days in a hammock in this paradise: we hiked a lot, visited an indigenous villiage where children played in the creek wearing potato sacks and muddy faces, and snorkled in secluded beaches (secluded minus naked guy with hat on). Graham and Gordo made a mistake by challenging the locals to a soccer match. They beat us literally to the point of bleeding, but Gordo scored a radical goal so we'll call it even. We hiked out of the jungle and drove back to Cartagena which was highlighted by an International Film Festival, but we didnt really care. We now have our luggage on board "White Pigeon," a sail boat skippered by an Argentine that will sail us through the Carribean for four days to Panama. Later...
There are more photos below