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Published: April 16th 2010
Colombia - 38 Days (3rd May - 10th June 2005)
I flew with an Israeli friend up to Colombia to spend 5 weeks travelling around. Bogota was like most cities, with its nice buildings and restaurants etc but the coolest thing was the gold museum with its huge collection of pre-Hispanic gold artefacts.
From the capital I flew to the north coast and Santa Marta and we went on a 6 day jungle trek to la ciudad perdida, an archaeological site of an ancient city. The city is hidden deep in the jungle and it is believed to have been founded about 800 A.D., some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. To enter the city you must first find and then climb up the 1,200 stone steps hidden by dense jungle.
As a part of the trip we got to visit a “famous substance” factory and an indigenous village, one that had very little to do with the outside world, we took them sugar, salt and sweets as gifts.
On the way to the ruins we also visited a “famous substance” factory and were given a talk about the industry at its farming level.
The main plaza
The farmer told us how it is easier to grow this “famous substance” than coffee or other crops because you need to acquire land and the licenses to grow and sell whereas if you grow “famous substance” these are both provided by the cartels.
He showed us how they turn the leaves into the final product, a step by step process which first involves dissolving the “famous substance” in petroleum and then the application of a series of acids and alkalis.
After the jungle trek I spent a couple of days at the Tayrona National park to relax and would have spent more time had there not been so many dam flies
Cartagena was a pretty city with colonial style buildings and from here I hired a mototaxi to ride the 50km to the El Totumo Volcano. Here there is a tiny 20 metre high volcano consisting of a tube of mud a kilometre deep which you could bathe and float in to expose your skin to the beneficial minerals.
From Cartagena I took a night bus to Cali, a city in the south.
Cali was nothing special, but I spent a
The Gold museum
week there, going out and I got talked into being a model at a local designer’s fashion shoot. I walked down the cat walk and fired a water pistol at the photographers, of which there were many and also a couple of TV stations.
Popayan was another cute town with its many distinct white buildings and I soon made friends and stayed here a couple of days.
After Popayan I had a few days in Bogota before flying back to Buenos Aires.
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