I guess i´ll have to reach wayyyyyyy back in the memory and see if i can do justice to the last couple months. Made my way from Panama to Colombia via airplane. my plan to find a boat to work on, did not happen. good thing probably with pirates, crazy captains and my sub par swimming skills it could have gotten ugly. instead the flight was short easy and cheaper than by boat. i was a little nervous about going to colombia...but all the travellers i had talked to that had been there assured me it was amazing and safe.
flew in to cartegena with my travel buddy sabine (we travelled together for over a month i think). Cartegena is on the caribbean coat and had a island vibe. beautiful plazas, the old city is enclosed in a wall and very quaint. the ceviche off the street was delicios and i discoverd arapeas, maize like round biscuts filled with CHEESE and grilled. love at first bite for me. i think cartegena had the best areapas in colombia, and i had at least one a day (usually two).
it was semana santa week and the town was hoping. meet lots of locals that were living it up. there was a great little cuban salsa bar that overloooked the main plaza. lots of great public art and just a vibrant fun city.
from cartegena headed to taganga and park tyronna. park tyronna is a national park that has absoluetey beautiful beaches. a group of about 6 travellers, bought food and water and took the bus north and hiked out to the park, couple hours to the nicest becah. was chilled, mellow and fabulous. we (actaully Phillipe from venice) did most of the cooking on the open fire pit. we spent many nights looking at the amazing stars and just hanging out. Loved listening to Javier´s crazy stories. javier is from spain and taught me an important spanish word joder (hope that´s spelled right).we stayed there for 5 days i think.
We headed to medellin next. Sabine and i went paragliding there. beautiful, peaceful and not too expensive. Medellin has a great metro and we were able to explore the city, check out local art for a few days.
From Medellin we went to Salento. It´s a magical city set in the mountains in the heart of the coffee region. The night we got in to town it was dark and POURING rain. we got completely soaked trying to find the platation house (hostal). they were full, but managed to find beds for us after a bit of scrambling. the next morning i woke up to the beauty of salento. lush green hills. mountains in every direction, parrots, hummingbirds in a word paradise. i was instantly taken under its spell. we went for a couple walks and had the great pleasure of meeting perdo and his family. Perdo has a cute cafe in town that we stopped in one day for a cup of excellent coffee. we talked with pedro for 5 hours. he explained the coffee making process and let us sample many tasty coffee products. he offered to take us out to his cafe finca the next day. it was amazing. we walked around while perdo described the plants, trees and an¡mals on his farm. we picked coffee right from the tree. (yes coffee does indeed grow on trees. it does not start with coffee beans a grinder and french press first thing in the morning) . he showed us the entire coffe making process without chemicals and completly natural.
i was so enamored with salento that when pedro offered to let me stay with his family in exchange for teaching them some english, i jumped at the chance and spent an amazing week and a half practicing my spanish, teaching simple phrases to pedro´s family and maria and jaimie. maria and jaime ran the restaurant attached to the cafe. i slept there in a room and was fed great food and had my fill of coffee. everyone was so friendly and kind i still can´t believe my luck. it was an amazing stay. i was sad to leave, but had planned to meet up with friends in bogota.
Bogota. Planned on staying 3 or 4 days, stayed 10. Actually my whole trip to colombia was a pleasant surprise and i ended up staying most places much longer than i had anticipated. I thought that i´d visit colombia, head south to ecuador passing through colombia for a week or two. i ended up staying for a little over six weeks and skipping ecuador all together. it´s good to be flexible.
OK. i´ll try to sum up bogota. Great cosmopolitan city with lots of college students, busniess folks, art, music. bars, museums, dance clubs. Loved it. The gold museum was beautiful and interesting. i loved the third floor. there´s this cool circular room with a door that closes and you find yourself in a dark room. slowly objects are illuminated and set to music, it´s so fricken cool. I visited that room 4 times. yep. loved it.
I meet up with my friend emma in bogota and decided to get a slow boat though the rainforest bordering colombia, brazil and peru. we had to fly to a small town called leticia. no roads led to leticia. everyone gets around by motorcycles and scooters. pretty cool. did you know that whole families can fit on scooters? mom, dad couple of kids no problem. from there we ended up trying to figure out when the boat left, how to get there, what we´d need...took some time but we finally got the right stamps and got on a taxi boat set for peru! but the boat didn´t leave until the next day so we stayed in brazil for one night. BRAZIL! really cool. no stamp in passport but still. i was in fricken brazil! From there the trip took a whole different pace. ciao colombia. hola peru.