Finally, we will contact you again to speak. A very active time and the sudden slack Make the hard disk of our netbooks prevented this until now. But we are well and happy to tell you about our experiences in Colombia ...!
Welcome to the land of coffee! Here grows and prospers not only the excellent coffee, but also plants which belong to probably the biggest problem facing the country. The reputation of Colombia hurried ahead ... negatively by those who have not visited the country itself and through positive band of fellow travelers, that Colombia connoisseurs. More curious why we were to spend the last three weeks in South America here.
The border crossing was done 'by (Ecuador), Ipiales' without the expected queues, Tulcán. Our senses are always sharpened as soon as we enter a new country: What struck us at for differences? How are the people? Are there any special? In Colombia, definitely we noticed many police checkpoints during the bus rides first. These are necessary because it today in the south of the country skirmishes with the FARC comes. However, we were not worried because they do not relate to the tourists to happiness, or if by chance then. Another striking while traveling by bus are the movies. They are all action-loaded to very violent and brutal. "Rambo" is only the first name. And the maximum sound volume in broad daylight, when children are on the bus ... maximum questionable for us. It only helps himself as far as possible wegzusetzen from the speakers and listen to your own music ...
Our first stop was in, Popayán '. The colonial city teemed with white buildings, mostly decorated with flowers on the windows ... we (never been there, we were indeed, provide it to us but at least so ago) was like having a particularly well-dressed Andalusian city. The accommodation left nothing to be desired, even free coffee was included. This example still followed many hostels, much to our delight.
After a short stop in, Cali 'it went any further in Salento', a village in the middle of several coffee plantations. We lived on a Eco-farm near the village. Actually, we should at 5:00 clock in the morning to milk the cows, but we left the "townspeople" and were looking for it on the fresh milk in coffee to Zmorge!
A visit to a coffee plantation belongs to the highlight of the stay. A member of the family business showed us around and explained the whole process of the growth of the plant to the enjoyment prepare coffee in the cup. Operation is small and relies completely on organic farming. Since no chemicals are used to help various plants between the coffee trees to repel the parasites: a sophisticated system! Since the production is low, the coffee is sold to a cooperative and exported directly. Only we lucky costs could spot the freshly ground coffee the same, very tastefully!
Another trip we took to the Valle de Cocora '. The hike 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 Trees of Colombia). Majestic they seemingly from nowhere in the height ... but see for yourself!
From, Perreira 'we planned a hike, finally, we can not get out of practice! The first time we were allowed to drive in a "Chiva". These are oversized, especially over wide, colored, old buses. We would expect such a maximum at an amusement park. If many seats are occupied, people can simply stand behind it and banging his fist against the bus as soon as they want to come off. It's that easy! The vehicle took us to the village "El Cedral" from where we started for lunch after a fresh trout. The first night we stayed in the campground "La Pastora", where we met with unexpected luxury. He has, for example, with a fireplace-house, which we as a substitute repurposed spontaneously to the tent. Perfect to dry our wet shoes and spend a toasty warm night. On day 2 we covered about 1,000 vertical meters, which then helped us to a good night's sleep. We got to go 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, cooked themselves, and even once bought sausages and cervelats by the Swiss butcher a ... exorbitant prices, but we lächzten so after that we would have paid much more! And they were really worth a great treat! 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! Another reason why the country was so interesting to the Conquerors. After the Gold overdose of it went to the police museum. A very young police officer in training led us through. Several rooms were Pablo Escobar dedicated to a drug cartel boss, who was shot dead by the police, Medellin '. We saw pictures of the corpse, the last clothes he was wearing all his dead colleague ... well actually a lot more than we liked. The 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 way, let alone read a map and discussions with them did not change the picture as well. But still: There are very many, and with the greater security by it seems to work.
Our attention was next, Zipaquirá ', a small town just north of Bogotá'. Here is one of the main attraction of Colombia: However, a cathedral in the middle of a Salzmine.Eines was a bit disappointing: The original cathedral from 1954 can not be visited, because of the danger of collapse of the gears. It was built in the salt mine in honor of "Nuestra Senora 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 construction for the tourists so, Shopping, including at the end of the tour! It has paid off but still, our guide explained to us in detail the production of salt, even with a few words in German, as like the 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 has a farm. He breeds trout and planting organic vegetables. He has a farm laborer which 22,000 COP (Colombian Pesos = 11 CHF) earned during a working clock 7.00 bis 17.00 clock, the hourly wage you can calculate yourself, just for comparison ...
In San Gil 'we had the best accommodation at all: On the Plaza (ie Near 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 for 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' immigrant. The rolling countryside and picturesque villages are unique. On the way back we covered us with the specialty, barichara ', the' Sabajon ". This is a sweet liquor, similar to Baileys ...
Another night bus brought us to the Caribbean Coast, Santa Marta '. At the bus terminal, we packed up and went to just the bare essentials further into the famous and much-visited National Park Tayrona. After the first visit we knew why: The beautiful scenery, crystal clear water, the large, 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 had to be there, of course, even if the expected slowdown in the warm water failed to ... On the last night unfortunately played out a sad story. Three Swiss were robbed at our campsite. Probably by the owner himself ... the police were not surprised and not very 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 hold us still are!
After a relaxing day in the park we visited the city, Cartagena '. The heat was almost unbearable, the daily motto "Do not just move" was omnipresent. We made a trip colleague after a long time and voted us together and rum with her at the Plaza on our next destination in! For this we had to also make some preparations. Among other things, change money. The best currency is Euro. We were not badly surprised that the price of the currency exchange was better than the official on the Internet. David's research confirmed our suspicion: It is not uncommon drug money are mixed with the crowd. For us, it's all right. Good thing money can not speak!
We left South America with a laughing and a crying eye. We enjoyed our 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 financial statements. We met the friendliest people ever and all fears were pointless: We felt safe at all times. We have just under nine months, a good overview and also know the places we would visit again! At the airport they wanted us then almost did not let her go, but this is more due to the close monitoring. Our gift of Easter Island (a Moai from wood) had to be unpacked. Then he was most exactly put under the microscope. It has been tested for openings and even several times by several people smelled it ... Finally, they could not find any contraband. But they had a reason that Karin still "scan" ... not that they had finally even bringing along an IM souvenir body of South America! The flight we still caught ... in another dream destination: CUBA !!!
Hebeds guet and ignores the fog! We leave soon hear from us again! Best regards two of us !!
Image Gallery Colombia: