May - June 2015
  • Day44

    Cartagena de indias

    June 26, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    My last stop in Colombia was the colonial town Cartagena. I arrived there yesterday afternoon by bus and spent the rest of the day wandering through the cute little streets and eating coconut (here they first open it for you, so you can drink the coconut water, then they Resource the rest of the coverings so you can eat the rest, all that for only 4,000 COP = 1.40€).
    Today at breakfast I met a nice American couple and joint their boat trip. We first stopped at Isla del Rosario to snorkel at its coral reefs, then we continued to Isla de Barú to enjoy the beautiful Playa Blanca. On our way, we were seriously begged money by a little guy paddling on a surf board. How would he have even transported the money?!?
    In the evening, I went to see the football game (Colombia vs. Argentina, Copa America) with some people of the hostel. Afterwards, I met up with the Medellín guys to go out - a perfect last day.
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  • Day42

    Deutsche Bahn Colombia

    June 24, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ 🌬 40 °C

    Reading all the Spiegel-Online stories about the strikes of Deutsche Bahn (sure, this isn't new), I was really happy to be at the other end of the world - until strikes reached me here as well, here by the bus drivers of Santa Marta. It wasn't the first one I had seen in the small caribbean town, but the first that affected me, because today I wanted to go to the fishers' village Taganga, around 30 minutes away.
    Actually there were still a few buses running, but besides the fact that I didn't want to rely on the hope to find one back to the hostel in the evening, I didn't think they were safe either: police had to escort each of those few buses, since the striking drivers tried to stop them. Therefore, I preferred to stay at the hostel pool.
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  • Day41

    Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

    June 23, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 39 °C

    The park offers a lot of hikes, which guide you through tropical forest to the countless beaches. The walks are not difficult, but because of the hot and humid climate, you sweat a lot.
    It was really worth going, already because I finally saw the typical little monkeys, Micos Titi, that I was looking for all the time. I couldn't have left Colombia if I hadn't :D. Besides, the beaches are divine - it's just impossible to describe their beauty. However, you can't swim on many of them have dangerous streams and high waves.
    The only a little bit annoying thing was buying the ticket: you first had to watch a video and then wait in a line of only 20 persons for more than half an hour.
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  • Day40

    Welcome to paradise

    June 22, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ 🌧 37 °C

    Yesterday I finally arrived to the caribbean cost, in Santa Marta. I already felt the flair inside the plane, since the margin of the airport is the sea. I took a bus to town (45 minutes for only 1500$ = 0.50€ !!) and luckily met a local guy who showed me how to get to the hostel. I would never had expected it to be in such a dead neighborhood, but when I went through the door it was like entering into a different world: a pool, a restaurant, billiard, a chill out area, a bunch of people and great atmosphere - this hostel is amazing!! In the same moment I decided to stay as many nights here as possible.
    Today, I met the guys from the hostel in Medellín and we went to Concha bay, a beautiful beach in Parque Tayrona, the famous National Park here. At 4pm sharp, everyone left and we had it all for ourselves, because we had told our driver to pick us up at 5.

    P.S.: if you should wonder about the last picture - I haven't mentioned yet that in Colombia there are not only a lot of street dogs, there are also street horses.
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  • Day39

    Guatapé & Piedra de Peñol

    June 21, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    In the middle of antioquian mountains, two hours from Medellín, there is a huge stone “lying“ around: Piedra de Peñol. To reach the top, you have to climb 740 stairs - but the view on the numerous lagunes is worth it! Afterwards, we (a Danish girl, a Brazilian and a guy from Venezuela) relaxed and had some really good lunch in the nearby village Guatapé.
    In the evening, we went to rumba (= dancing) in El Poblado, the barrio we are staying at in Medellín.
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  • Day37

    Discovering Medellín's Beauty

    June 19, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Finally almost done with the sickness, this day was a whole new experience of Medellín. Not only did I get the construction workers to (almost) stop from staring at me when I was walking by, asking them if they didn't have work, but also I could enjoy everything more.
    In the morning I went with João to Parque Explora, a really cool interactive museum on many different topics. I could have stayed there all day, if there wouldn't have been large groups of children. For this reason, I also went to places that are more in the center, like Parque de Pies Descalzos (= barefoot park), Museo del agua and Parque de la Libertad, which are some of the nicest places in the city. After that, I also finally wasn't too tired to hang out with the other people of the hostel.Read more

  • Day36

    Medellin City

    June 18, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Today I explored a little bit more of the “town of endless spring“: I went to Plaza Botero (the famous artist who designs everything more voluminous) and to the Museo de Antioquia. Since I'm still but really feeling well, I had to go back to the hostel for a while, before I could had out again.
    In the afternoon I met João, a Brazilian I got to know on the exchange. At the moment he is doing a social service in Medellín. We first went to Palacio de la Cultura, then we met some of his friends and went to San Antonio, to Plaza de las Luces.
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  • Day35

    “Finally“ sick

    June 17, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    On the hike we obviously couldn't bring water for three days, so we had to refill our bottles at the fincas. At one of them, it didn't seem really clean, but since we didn't have a choice we drank it. Since then I have had strong stomach problems, ruining a bit the last days.
    Yesterday, it made our trip to the parque del café, already difficult due to my sore muscles, even harder. Still we had a lot of fun on the coffee trail and the different rollercoasters (it was Felipes first time riding one and his dad also tried all of them).
    The worst was the bus ride to Medellín: 5 hours on an extremely curvy road with a driver that seemed to be on a race. But in the end it was worth it, because that way I was able to see two Mexican friends before they left the town :)
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  • Day33

    Disconnect: Laguna del Otún

    June 15, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    3 days, no shower nor mirror, 18km of distance, 2000m difference in altitude, 6 started the hike, 2 arrived at the top

    Getting to this lake, which is located on an altitude of 3950m, takes you to your limits. Not only because of the distance and the inclination on that altitude, but also because the rocky path is really difficult to walk.
    We wanted to start on Saturday early in the morning to be back in Pereira by Sunday night. The problem, though, was that Felipe's girlfriend Camila didn't have time before 10. Since the chivas, a very typical colombian vehicle for all types of ground, don't leave that often, we had to wait till 12 and started walking around 2pm.
    I was sceptic about the idea to leave that late, because we would have had to walk in the darkness from the first campground La Pastora (6km, 3h) to the second one called El Jordan. The guys were optimistic and didn't see any problem, but were disabused by the owner of La Pastora, who affirmed my worries, telling them that it was impossible to continue at night. Consequently, we had to camp there, making it impossible to hike up and back down the next day.
    Since not everyone could stay another day, we had to split the group: Felipe, Camila and Julian went down on Sunday and only visited the waterfalls that are close to La Pastora, while Pablo, Lucho and I continued the hike. Lucho had huge problems with the altitude, so in the end we had to leave him at Jordan, where he already prepared the tents to stay there at night. But still we lost a lot of time waiting for him on our way there. Despite the shortcut we took on the last part to the lagune, it took us another 4 hours, fighting against the exhaustion and our hurting muscles. Nevertheless, the landscapes, changing from rainforest to “normal“ forest and later to páramo, as well the view on the lake, was worth all that. It was incredibly cold, but equally beautiful.
    We couldn't stay long, since it was almost 5 and there were only 1 1/2 hours of at least a little bit of light left. Even though we almost ran the way back, the last hour was of complete darkness. Our camping spot was awesome: in the middle of nowhere, there wasn't even light on the finca, but the view was amazing. We got up, while next to our tent a horse was looking for food,a few meters away a calf observed us and on the next mountain we could see a waterfallwaterfall.
    Monday was even worse than the 11h marathon of the day before: we tried to take the 12 o'clock chiva to town, but going down that fast after 2 days of hiking and without breaks was like hell. We made it in 4h, but missed the chiva by 20 minutes. Finally on our way down, it was so full that many of the people had to ride on the roof of the chiva.
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  • Day30

    Salento: the coffee capital

    June 12, 2015 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    It is a cute little village around one hour from Pereira, in the coffee state Quindío. One of the main attractions is the Cocora valley with its famous wax palm trees, the highest in the world. Since I'm going on a huge hike for the next two days, I skipped this part to save my energy. Instead, I wandered around the town and went to a little coffee farm.Read more