Blogs from Colombia, South America - page 8

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South America » Colombia » Bogota September 21st 2013

We arrived in Bogota just before 9am following an early flight (and even earlier taxi!) from Armenia. Fortunately our room was ready so we were able to check in as soon as we arrived at the hostel. The lady said our room wasn’t in the main building so walked us to an apartment block nearby and showed us to our very own studio apartment complete with kitchen which would be our home for the next two nights. Our apartment was in the La Candalaria district of Bogota, which is close to most of the major sites and museums. The suburb is really strange, there are gorgeous old building (sometimes covered in terrible graffiti) right next to grimey ‘newer’ building which look like they were transplanted from communist Russia. Its shame they didn’t think about architecture of ... read more
Our apartment
Plaza de Bolivar
Iglesia de San Ignacio

South America » Colombia » Leticia September 19th 2013

I was lucky enough to spend 2 days living with the indigenous community of San Pedro de Tipisca, 3 hours boat ride from Puerto Narino. The community of San Pedro de Tipisca has about 30 houses, 1 school, 3 teachers for 90 students of all ages, 1 church, and zero clinic. The native language is Ticuna and is the last Colombian community before reaching the neighboring Peru along the Amazon River. I stayed with the family of Nixon Macedo (Nixon, his wife, and 3 daughters ages 2, 6, and 12). They asked why did I choose to come to their small village. I told them I wanted to observe and learn about their culture and ways of livings. In the morning, I went to bathe by the river bank with the kids. While the kids are ... read more
San Pedro de Tispisca
San Pedro de Tispisca
San Pedro de Tispisca

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento September 19th 2013

We arrived in Salento late at night following two flights (Cartagena – Bogota, Bogota – Armenia) and a very very fast taxi ride without seatbelts. Salento is a small town of about 4000 people in the coffee growing area of Colombia. Most of the buildings in the town, including our hotel (Ciudad de Segorbe), are built in the traditional paisa style giving it a really quaint look. The town is surrounded by rolling hills and gorgeous scenery which makes it a lovely place to spend a few days. On the first morning we headed down for breakfast before chatting with one of the lovely guys from our hotel about what we were planning to do while in Salento and getting his recommendations…all in Spanish. The only part of the conversation I didn’t understand, even with his ... read more
Looking towards the main plaza in Salento
Church in the main plaza
Cute puppy in the Plaza

South America » Colombia » Cartagena September 16th 2013

After a tuk-tuk from our hotel in Iquitos to the port at 5am, a 10.5hour ‘mas rapido’ boat from Iquitos to Santa Rosa, a tuk-tuk to the police office, then the immigration office, then back to the police office, a boat to Leticia, a tuk-tuk to nearby the airport, a 5min walk, a plane from Leticia to Bogota, a plane from Bogota to Cartagena (zero wait time in between flights) and finally a taxi we arrived at our lovely hotel in Getsemani, Cartagena at 11:30pm…phew. Cartagena was to be our holiday from our holiday – 5 days in one city with plenty of time for relaxing. We started our first morning very slowly with a sleep in and leisurely breakfast and then stroll around the area near our hotel, Getsemani. Getsemani is within the old city ... read more
Getsemani street
Getsemani street
Iglesia de San Pedro Claver

South America » Colombia » Risaralda » Pereira August 27th 2013

For our last week in Colombia, we were staying with Alex and Claudia, friends from back home who had kindly offered to have us stay with them at their house in Pereira. We took a bus from Medellin, that traversed over steep mountain ranges with magnificent views over the valleys beneath. In places there was only the road, a few houses, and then sheer drops of many hundreds of metres on either side. We had opted for the front two seats, which made for some interesting viewing, not only of the vistas, but also of the overtaking manoeuvres employed by our driver. As the majority of the road was single lane, the bus driver had to overtake numerous slow trucks, many times on blind corners as there was not a straight stretch of road for more ... read more
Nights out in Pereira
Watching football in Salento
Cocora Valley

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South America » Colombia » San Andres August 22nd 2013

Since leaving Cali, Erika and I had been looking forward hugely to meeting up again and we were able to engineer the best part of 3 weeks travelling together through some of the northern parts of Colombia that Erika had never been to. However, our first stop was a bit further afield with a trip to San Andres, a Colombian owned island in the Caribbean close to the coast of Nicaragua. Erika had arranged our accommodation, and wow what a place it was. On the top floor of a 5 story building, with us having one of the two rooms in the guesthouse with ocean views!! Incredible! Our ocean views were of the atoll of Johnny Cay, and we visited this and another tiny island named Acuario on what must have been the world’s slowest launch! ... read more
Acuario - beautiful sandy Caye just off San Andres
Erika and I snorkelling together in San Andres
“long, thin, ugly, angry fish”

South America » Colombia » Medellin » Guatape August 20th 2013

Today is a bit of a sad day, not only is it our last day in Medellin, a city that we have grown a great affection for, but it is also our last day of travelling with our big Swiss mate, Luca... After five weeks, including plotting how to get out of Iquitos, sweating buckets on the Caribbean coast, and enjoying the lifestyle in the hills of Colombia, we are saying goodbye. We have travelled with a number of great people on our trip so far, but none for such a period of time and ease. The three of us met at a time in our travels when we were burnt out by months on the road, and tired of being gringo's and the associated baggage that comes with it. Along Mojo's and my travels, we ... read more
Luca, Mojo and I
Peñón de Guatapé
cosy

South America » Colombia » Medellin August 19th 2013

We said our goodbyes to the Carribean Sea, taking our final swim at Tolu - during which Stu produced chocolate cake from the dry bag and we ate it whilst tredding water (a rare treat), later we boarded the night bus to Medellin: Once once of the most dangerous cities in the world. Despite its more than shady history, the place where motorcycle helmets were once banned due to too many shootings taking place by well disguised drivers, Medellin is a slick and modern city; by far the most modern weve visited in South America. One of the main factors in this is its efficient and uber clean metro, making it eary to get around the city. We wandered around the centre of town, avoiding the hard selling market stall owners, eating some local delight that ... read more
Medellin - city sculptures
Guatape

South America » Colombia » Medellin August 19th 2013

For the same price, we could have spent 16 hours on a bus, or a one hour flight from Cartagena to Medellin, naturally we opted for the flight. What we didn't factor in was the cost of a taxi from the airport, $35! Popping out of the cloud cover as we descended into Medellin, we were greeted with a beautiful view of the mountains and valleys that surround the area, with clouds forming and disappearing constantly and every now and then revealing the jagged peaks of the high mountains. The landscape is not rolling hills, but like scrumpled up newspaper covered in trees and grass. There was no flat area anywhere, and we soon understood why there airport was so far out of the city. The taxi ride took us through some of this beautiful scenery, ... read more
Cable Car up to Santa  Domingo
View over Santa Domingo
Medellin Botanical Gardens




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