Anke BB

EASY-LUCKY-FREE Aus Stuttgart/Vorfreude auf Südamerika/Cat-Lover/dankbar für Freude & Familie!
Living in: Stuttgart, Deutschland
  • Day62

    Food & Drinks Part II

    December 8 in Colombia

    Here a few culinary-photographs:
    1.) drinking a super yummy lemonade, made out of coconut water and lemongrass in Cusco, Peru (will definitely try to recreate it at home)
    2.) eating churros - what can I say? You can tell by my happy face!
    3.) eating trucha („Forelle“) with lots of garlic - I was kinda smelly for 2 days and had some stomach problems after, but it was worth it, haha!
    4.) trying „obleas“ in Guatape for the first time, a kind of waffle with Marmelade, Karamell, honey and.... cheese - we bought it from the cutest old lady ever, we liked her, but not the oblea.
    5.) did you recognize it? SPÄTZLE! KÄSSPÄTZLE! We missed it so much, we had to cook it.
    6.) Chontadura - a fruit, which tastes like a mix between pumpkin and potato, usually eaten with salt or in an empanada, super yummy!
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  • Day60

    Tayrona

    December 6 in Colombia

    PARADISE!
    From Cartagena we took a 6h bus drive in the direction of „Tayrona Park“ and ended up in paradise. Viajero Hostel was a Former 4star Hotel now transformed into a hostel and so luxurious for a backpacker. Located direct on the beach, you could play volleyball, badminton, ping pong, do yoga and have a surf. On top of that, nice food was served in the restaurant.
    We didn’t leave our little dream-spot much, just visiting a few waterfalls, also known as natural swimming pools.
    We truly loved every second there!
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  • Day58

    Cartagena

    December 4 in Colombia

    Cartagena - you were so .... hot!
    After having rain and not so high temperatures in the coffee triangle, Cartagena was almost to warm to function properly.
    The city had some beautiful colonial architecture and a wall surrounding the old part from which you can spot the sunset.
    On the other hand, Cartagena was really busy and the town-beach is not worth a visit. So we enjoyed it for 2 days, but it was okay to move on after.Read more

  • Day56

    Guatape

    December 2 in Colombia

    Just a 2h ride from Medellín, the beautiful village of Guatape is located, also know as the „most colorful town“ in Colombia.
    Guatape is truly easy on the eyes. Every house is painted in a bright color and has some ornaments, called „zolocs“, that represent the agricultural past or important things (eg. fruits, but also tuk tuks) for the people there.


    First, we stopped at „el Penol“, a viewpoint. It is a huge stone with stairs (659 to be exact), which you can climb to have a fantastic view over the surrounding. It is characterized by many lakes and truly beautiful.

    Later we had a stroll through the city and some seriously tasty vegan falafel.
    But our highlight was kayaking on one of the lakes and watching the sunset cruising around.
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  • Day55

    Medellín

    December 1 in Colombia

    Medellín - a city with a famous but dark past. Formerly known as the home and main city for a well known drug criminal, in these days Medellín has managed to be in the news for more positive things, winning a prize for „most innovative city“ just a few years ago.
    And we think: well deserved.
    Medellín is such an interesting -and safe (expect for pickpocketing like in every other big city)- city, that still tries to deal with the dark times from the 80s and 90s. As you see the numbers, you might realize.... it’s Not that Long ago! And that’s truly important to know. The people affected by the times, are still alive and processing bombs, loss of dear ones and living in constant fear. Therefore it is so important to not being disrespectful by reducing Medellín to Pablo Escobar or even buying and wearing a shirt of him or romanticizing this cruel man.
    Interesting fact, because of his social engagements like building houses for the poor, there are also some (but not many) Colombians, which still think high of him.

    We started by visiting the „Casa de La Memoria“ to see an exhibition about those dark times. It wasn’t facts and dry information, but more interactive and modern pieces to make you understand the feelings of the people to that time. It was shocking. So much Kidnapping, Death fear, and political chaos (remember FARC, yes they were there as well). But still hope, because Colombians really are a bunch of optimistics.

    In the afternoon, we did an free walking tour with „Real City Tours“ and if you’re ever going to Medellín - do it! Edgar, our guide, grew up in Medellín in the 80s and 90s and was not only a witness, but was sooooo good! Speaking excellent English, he explained all about culture, history, architecture, politics and transformation.

    A really important part of the transformation are, for example, the cable cars, which we took the next day. A mayor of Medellín wanted to transform the city with two pillars: social architecture and education. So simple, so effective. Building cable cars was crucial for the poor regions to have a connection to the city -to schools, to hospitals, to work. The cable cars included them back into society. On top of that, he build libraries in the poorest region on the hill, so that young people have an alternative to joining a gang in order to make some money.

    Another example of transformation is „Comuna 13“, one of the most dangerous barrios during that times, changed itself completely with the help of electric escalators and lots of street art.

    Of course, there is so much else to see, from statues, to churches, to nice plazas.
    And a great nightlife on top of it!
    We can only recommend to give Medellín a visit!
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  • Day51

    Our next to stops after Cali were Salento and Jardín, both towns in the wonderful „coffee triangle“ of Colombia.

    First thing to say about this region: it’s beautifully green and lush! Wow! We didn’t really expect that hilly, fertile and -again- green landscape. It is easy to see why they have harvest every time of the year.

    Salento is a beautiful town with a nice cowboy vibe and offers the possibility to visit a coffee farm within walk distance.
    And that’s exactly what we did.
    We visited the coffee farm of Ocasa and had a really nice and informative tour with an enthusiastic guide and learned tons about the coffee production. At the end, we additionally enjoyed a really tasty cup of the coffee from the finca.

    Unfortunately, after our coffee tour, it immediately started raining heavily and it did not stop until we left the city.
    We therefore couldn’t hike the famous „Valle de Cocora“ and we couldn’t take pictures of that picturesque place.

    Next stop was Jardín, a really small village 4h away from Medellín. We reached it after a 12 hours Odyssee, switching bus 3 times.
    Again, a beautiful green nature with waterfalls surrounded the city. We stayed in a nice hostel on the edge of the city and enjoyed the veranda, from which you could spot some hummingbirds.
    We hung out in one of the Saloons at the plaza and tried „Aguardiente“, a typical and cheap liquor.
    We left both places a little sad: we would have loved to spend more days in the green!
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  • Day47

    Cali

    November 23 in Colombia

    Oh Colombia, what can we say? We are in love with you already.
    Arriving in Cali, we didn’t have great expectations and thought there’s nothing more to do than salsa and a great nightlife. On top of that, we heard stories about a high number of crime there and lots of pickpocketing.
    We were completely proved wrong!
    Cali has some really beautiful barrios (districts), some interesting street art, that deals with corruption, domestic violence against women and -of course- Colombia’s bitter past with drugs.
    And it’s true, you see a lot of poverty in Cali, but if you use your common sense, than you‘ll be fine.
    We had an awesome street food tour, tasting crazy fruits and drinks (footprint in the making!) and learned a little about the everyday life in Cali.
    We also did a salsa lesson, which was.... difficult! Haha. Salsa is actually pretty fast and we felt super stiff. But we were proud, doing something completely out of our comfort zone.
    We strolled around in a park full of cats (an artist from Cali created the first one and other artist created more cats as a tribute after his death), we ate delicious empanadas, saw nice churches with beautiful views, had crazy artisanal beer (with pumkin) and ice cream (there was an avocado-nacho-bacon one!) and learned most of all one thing: Colombians are really the sweetest people.
    It starts with a police officer shaking your hand to welcome you, there a people paying for a local sweet at the market so you try something typical and a guy on stage greeting us at a local celebration (through the microphone, we were a little overwhelmed, haha). One night, we also ended up in a garden of an alternative artist group with an acoustic guitar concert. We were accepted immediately. A pianist from Cali gave us some empanadas, which he was eating with his family. An older women sharing her joint with us... it goes on and on.
    Of course, you‘ll find dodgy people and first thing in Cali was getting ripped off by a taxi driver, but in general, we are overwhelmed.
    More stories will follow for sure!
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  • Day44

    Cotopaxi

    November 20 in Ecuador

    At our second day in Quito, we decided to become active again. We made a tour with „CARPEdm“ and climb the second highest volcano in Ecuador: Cotopaxi.
    Starting early in the morning, we went to the National Park by car.
    Then the 1,5h hike to the lower glacier started. Luckily we had a guides making sure, that everyone could handle the altitude and which motivated us to walk in a steady pace. At a base camp at 4,800m, we could drink some coca tea.
    After that, we continued to hike and reached the glacier at an altitude of 5,100m. You could really tell that the air was thin, but cristal clear. In some lucky moments, the clouds moved a little and we had a nice view of Cotopaxi and its summit. (We unfortunately didn’t make it to the top, since it requires more time, better acclimatization and some experience with ice pickles.)
    Afterwards we made our way back to the parking lot and had the possibility to drive downhill with a mountain bike. Although being a little painful because of the bumpy dirt road, it was great fun!
    Our way home by car was than a little longer than expected: farmers blocked the highway back to Quito to protest for a better price for milk. And although it took us five hours more to get back, we are happy, that they seemed successful with their blockage.
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  • Day43

    Quito

    November 19 in Ecuador

    Surviving our 26151818 overnight bus ride (a little exaggeration, I know, but it feels like that!) we arrived in Quito in the early morning at 5 am.
    After a short sleep in our super clean hostel, we woke up to enjoy a city with an over 500-years old historic center, that an UNESCO world heritage site.
    We were taking a Free Walking Tour and learned a little about the cultures that influenced the city. Did you know Ecuador has 81 vulcanos? Us neither.
    There are plenty of plazas, churches (with lots of gold) and nice narrow streets with sweet restaurants.
    We were visiting the local „Mercado central“ and searched for the one vegetarian dish (a soup) they were offering.
    And what’s the best? Ecuador has such nice chocolate. We went into a shop and could try crazy combinations (e.g. with Yucca, a Kind of potato) and it all tasted awesome!
    The last day, we climbed up the Basilica (one of the three biggest gothic churches in the world) and enjoyed a fabulous view.
    In the end we can say, that although we met many Travellers that were a victim of pickpocketing on their way to Quito and the weather was crazy (icy rain and thunder every afternoon) we enjoyed it a lot and wished we could stay 1 or 2 days longer.
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