Finally we will get back to Word. A very active time and the sudden wilt of the hard disk of our netbooks prevented this so far. But we are doing well and happy to tell you about our experiences in ... Colombia!
Welcome to the land of coffee! Here grows and flourishes not only the excellent coffee, but also plants, which belong to probably the largest problem facing the country. The reputation of Colombia rushed ahead ... negative of all those who have not visited the country itself and positively through band of fellow travelers, so Colombia connoisseurs. The more tense we were therefore to spend the last three weeks in South America here.
The border crossing was carried out 'according to (Ecuador), Ipiales' without the expected queue of, Tulcán. Our senses are always sharpened as soon as we enter a new country: What struck us on for differences? How are the people? Are there any special? In Colombia, definitely we noticed the many police checkpoints on during the bus rides first. These are necessary because there today in the south to skirmishes with the FARC comes. However, we were not worried because they do not concern the tourists luckily, or if by chance then. Another striking while traveling on the bus are the movies. They are all action-loaded to very violent and brutal. "Rambo" is only the first name. Including the highest volume in broad daylight, when children are on the bus ... highly questionable for us. It only helps to as far wegzusetzen from the speakers and to hear his own music ...
Our first stop was in, Popayán '. The colonial town was rife with white buildings, most decorated with flowers outside the windows ... we (never been there, we were indeed, make us but at least so ago) was like having a particularly spruced Andalusian city. The hotel left nothing to be desired, even free coffee was included. This example was followed by several more hostels, much to our delight.
After a short stop in cali 'went there to continue, Salento', a village in the middle of some coffee plantations. We lived on a eco-farm near the village. Actually we had at 5.00 clock in the morning to milk the cows, but we left the "city dwellers" and looked forward to it on the fresh milk in the coffee to Zmorge!
Visiting a coffee plantation is part of the highlight of the stay. A member of the family business showed us around and told us the whole process of the breeding of the plant to enjoying preparing coffee in the cup. Operation is small and relies completely on organic farming. Since no chemical is used to help various plants between the coffee bushes to ward off parasites: A sophisticated system! Since the production is low, the coffee is sold to a cooperative and exported directly. Only we were lucky Costs on the spot the freshly ground coffee the same, very tastefully!
Another trip we took to the Valle de Cocora '. The walk took us into the valley where we could watch hummingbirds and after a short climb had a wonderful view of the real attraction: The wax palms (National Tree of Colombia). Majestic they protrude out of nowhere in the air ... but see for yourself!
From, Perreira 'we were planning a hike, finally, we must not get out of practice! The first time we were allowed to drive in a "Chiva". These are large, especially over wide, colored, ancient buses. We would expect those most at an amusement park. If many seats are occupied, the people can easily hintendrauf standing and banging his fist against the bus as soon as you want to jump. It's that easy! The vehicle took us to the village "El Cedral" from where we started to have lunch after a fresh trout. The first night we stayed in the campground "La Pastora", where we met unexpected luxury. He has, for example, with a fireplace cottage, which we as a substitute repurposed spontaneously to the tent. Perfect to dry our wet shoes and spend a cozy, warm night. On the 2nd day we covered more than 1,000 meters of altitude, which then helped us to a good night's sleep. We learned on the road know erected Colombians who gifted us with a specialty: Bocadillas mhmmmm,! The third day took us through the beautiful forest back to the starting point.
Despite not allzugutem hygienic condition we boarded the night bus directly to the capital, Bogotá '. Here we recovered first from the relatively narrow range, even cooked and even bought one and sausages Cervelats from Swiss butcher a ... exorbitant prices, but we lächzten so after that we would have paid much more! And they were really worth a full enjoyment! Every Sunday is Museum Day, ie free entry to all museums of the city. We first visited the famous Gold Museum. The audio guide led us through the very modern exhibition. Gold, gold and gold again, as far as the eye can see! A reason why the country was so interesting for the conquerors. After Gold overdose it went into the Police Museum. A very young officer in training led us through. Several rooms were Pablo Escobar dedicated to a drug cartel boss, who was shot dead by the police in, Medellin '. We saw pictures of the corpse, the last clothes that he wore all his dead colleagues ... so actually a lot more than we liked. Pride was not to be overlooked, not even in the room with all the different weapons that the police have or had. Perhaps the visit was also so amusing, because he still underlined our not too good opinion of the police here. They are almost all very young, no one could describe us a path, let alone read a map and the discussions with them did not change the picture as well. But still: There are very many, and with the greater security by seems to work it.
Our attention was next, Zipaquirá ', a small town just north of Bogotá'. Here is one of the main attraction of Colombia: However Cathedral amidst Salzmine.Eines was a bit disappointing: The original cathedral from 1954 can not be visited, because of the danger of collapse of the course. It was built in the salt mine in honor of "Nuestra Señora del Rosario" (the saint of miners). In 1995, then became the new, Modern Salt Cathedral opened. Various artists have worked with and created an impressive work. Once a week a fair is held, but our guide even told us that it was not a holy place. A building for the tourists so, including shopping at the end of the tour! Worth it but nevertheless, our guide told us the salt extraction in detail, even with a few words in German, as it like tourists (including us).
In the peaceful village, Villa de Leiva 'we met an Austrian, who lives in Colombia since 1986. In addition to the hostel, where we lived, he owns a farm. He breeds trout and planted to organic vegetables. He has a farm worker who 22'000 COP (Colombian Pesos = 11 CHF) earned during a working clock 7.00 bis 17.00 clock, the hourly wage you can figure out yourself, just for comparison ...
In, San Gil 'we had the best accommodation at all: right on the Plaza (So Close to the cheap beer and with appropriate view), very nice staff, modern kitchen, WIFI and the best: free BBQ on Friday night! In addition, the city is also well located to the most beautiful colonial village near to visit. First we went by bus to, Baric Harra ', from where we walk to the historic way, Guana' migrated. The rolling countryside and picturesque villages are unique. On the way back we covered ourselves with a specialty, Barichara ', the "Sabajon". This is a sweet liquor, similar to Baileys ...
Another night bus brought us to the Caribbean coast, after, Santa Marta '. At the bus terminal, we packed and went to only the bare necessities continue in the best known and also most visited National Park Tayrona. After the first visit we knew why: The beautiful landscape, the crystal clear water, the huge spherical stones on the beach, the large palm trees ... gorgeous! We camped close to the beach, always cooked himself and spent the days with walks along the beaches ... the jump into the water could not be missed, even if the expected slowdown in the warm water stayed away ... On the last night, unfortunately, took place a sad story. Three Swiss were robbed on our camping. Probably by the owner himself ... the police were not surprised and not particularly helpful. Just funny that just passed this every night for a drink on the camp ... our antipathy was confirmed. In addition, corruption seems to be a further problem of the country to a ... Good thing our guardian angels we are still hold!
After a relaxing day in the park, we visited the city, Cartagena '. The heat was almost unbearable, the daily motto "do not move simply" remained omnipresent. We met a journey colleague after a long time and we agreed together and with rum with her at the Plaza on our next destination a! For this we had to also make some preparations. Among other things, change money. The best currency is Euro. We were not badly surprised when the price in the currency exchange was better than the official on the internet. David research confirmed our suspicion: Quite often drug money are mixed with the crowd. For us, it's all right. Just as well that the money can not talk!
We left South America with a laughing and a crying eye. We enjoyed the time in the fullest and enjoyed very much, on the other hand we were looking forward to a change of scene. Colombia was perfect as a conclusion. We met the friendliest people ever and all fears were pointless: We felt safe at all times. We have just under nine months with an overview and know what places we would visit again! At the airport they wanted us then almost not let you go, but this is more due to close monitoring. Our Souvenir of Easter Island (a wooden moai) had to be unwrapped. He was most exactly put under the microscope. It has been tested for openings and even several times smelled of several people in mind ... Finally, she could not find any contraband. But they had a reason that Karin even "scan" had to ... not that they ultimately still entrains a souvenir in the body of South America! The flight we still caught ... in another dream destination: CUBA !!!
Hebeds Guet and ignored the fog! We can soon hear from us again! Best regards from us two !!
Image Gallery Colombia: