Finally we will get to speak again. A very active time and the sudden slack Make the hard disk of our netbooks prevented this until now. But we are doing well and happy to tell you about our experiences in Colombia ...!
Welcome to the land of coffee! Here grows and prospers not only the coffee excellent, but also plants that have been the most likely problem in the country. The reputation of Colombia rushed ahead ... negative of all those who have not visited the country itself and through the positive band of fellow travelers, so Colombia connoisseurs. More curious why we were to spend the last three weeks in South America here.
The border crossing was 'to (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 features? In Colombia, definitely we noticed many police checkpoints on during the bus rides first. These are necessary because today in the south of the country to skirmishes with the FARC comes. However, we were not worried because they do not affect the tourists for luck, or if by chance then. Another striking when traveling on the 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, even when children are on the bus ... High questionable for us. It only helps to wegzusetzen as far from the speakers and listen to your own music ...
Our first stop was in, Popayán '. The colonial city rife with white buildings, mostly decorated with flowers in the windows ... we (we had never been there though, but at least we make it 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 was followed by several more hostels, much to our delight.
After a short stop in, Cali 'it went any further in Salento', a village in the middle of a number of coffee plantations. We lived on an eco-farm near the village. Actually, we should at 5.00 clock in the morning to milk the cows, but we left the "city dwellers" and were looking for the fresh milk in the coffee to Zmorge!
Visiting a coffee plantation is the highlight of the stay. A member of the family farm showed us around and explained the whole process of the growth of the plant to the enjoyment prepare coffee in the cup. The operation is small and relies completely on organic farming. Since no chemicals are used to help various plants between the coffee bushes to repel the parasites: a sophisticated system! Since the production is low, a cooperative of coffee is sold and exported directly. Just lucky we could taste the freshly ground coffee on site immediately, very tastefully!
Another trip we took to, Valle de Cocora '. The hike took us into the valley where we could observe hummingbirds and after a short climb, had a wonderful view of the real attraction: the wax palms (Colombia's national tree). They rise majestically out of nowhere into the air ... but see for yourself!
Of, Perreira ', we planned a hike, finally, we must not get out of practice! The first time we were allowed to ride in a "Chiva". These are oversized, especially with wide, colorful, ancient buses. We would expect those most in an amusement park. When many seats are occupied, people can easily 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 of "El Frio" from where we started after a fresh trout for lunch. The first night we stayed at the campsite "La Pastora", where we encountered unexpected luxury. It is equipped with a fireplace, for example-house, which we spontaneously repurposed as a replacement to the tent. Perfect to dry our wet shoes and spend a cozy, warm night. On 2 Day we covered about 1,000 vertical meters, which then helped us to a good sleep. We got to go to know established 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, Bogota '. Here we recovered first from the relatively narrow program itself and even cooked sausages and cervelats once bought from a Swiss butcher ... exorbitant prices, but we lächzten so after that we would have paid a lot more! And they were really worth a great pleasure! Every Sunday is Museum Day, ie free entry to all museums. First we 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! Also one reason why the country was so interesting to the conquistadors. After Gold overdose 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 by the police, Medellin '. We saw pictures of the corpse, the last clothes he was wearing all of his dead colleague ... so 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 emphasized our not too good opinion of the police here. They are almost all very young, no one could describe for us a path, let alone read a map, and discussions with them did not change the picture also. But still: There are very many, and with the greater security thus 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: A cathedral surrounded by Salzmine.Eines however was a bit disappointing: The original cathedral from 1954 can not be visited because of the danger of collapse of 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, including shopping 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. Next to the hostel where we were staying, he has a farm. It breeds trout and planted organic vegetables. He has a farm worker, which 22,000 COP (Colombian Pesos = 11 CHF) earned during a working 7.00 bis 17.00 clock clock, the hourly wage you can figure out yourself, just for comparison ...
In San Gil 'we had the best accommodation ever: Situated on 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 nearby to visit. First we went by bus to, Baric Harra ', from where we walk on the historic way, Guana' immigrant. The rolling countryside and picturesque villages are unique. On the way back we covered ourselves with one of the specialty, Barichara ', the' Sabajon ". This is a sweet liquor, like Baileys ...
Another overnight bus took us to the Caribbean coast, after, Santa Marta '. At the bus terminal we packed up and went to just the bare essentials on in the famous and much visited the Tayrona National Park. After the first visit we knew why: The beautiful scenery, the crystal clear water, the large, spherical stones on the beach, the big palm trees ... gorgeous! We camped close to the beach, always cooked itself and spent the days with walks along the beaches ... the jump into the water could not be missed, even if the expected cooling in the hot water failed to ... On the last night, unfortunately a sad story played out. Three Swiss were robbed on our site. 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 at the campsite ... our antipathy was confirmed. Moreover, corruption is another problem of the country seems to be a ... Just as well that 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 day's slogan "Just do not move" was omnipresent. We met a fellow trip after a long time and we agreed together and with rum with her at the Plaza to our next destination a! For this we had to also make some preparations. Change, among other money. The best currency is EUR. We were amazed not bad, as the rate of currency exchange was better than the official on the internet. David's research confirmed our suspicion: Often drug money are mixed with the crowd. We have to be right. Good thing that money can not speak!
We left South America with a laughing and a crying eye. We enjoyed our time to the fullest and enjoyed very much, on the other hand, we were looking forward to a change of scene. Colombia was perfect as graduation. 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 what 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 souvenir from Easter Island (a moai made of wood) had to be unpacked. Then he was exactly least scrutinized. It was tested on 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 still takes along a souvenir THE body of South America! The flight was still caught in another dream ... Destination: CUBA!
Hebeds easely and ignores the fog! We can soon hear from us again! Best regards two of us!
Picture Gallery Colombia: