Colombia
Departamento del Meta

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  • Day23

    (Colombian) Christian Church

    June 5, 2015 in Colombia

    Since the bus last night was fairly delayed and consequently none of us slept before 2.30, it took pretty long in the morning for everyone to get up. Therefore, after our really late breakfast we just did a little trip to the central point of Colombia, which is just 10 minutes by motorbike from Damaris' house, and saw where some of the boats stop on the rivers. Since right now it's wet season, you can't even see where the river is supposed to be - it overflowed its banks everywhere in the surroundings. Even the cattle had to stand inside the water.
    Damaris' parents both are pastors at an Christian church, so in the evening everyone went to "culto" (=worship). I didn't want to be rude, so I went with them. Besides, I was curious about the differences between Christian (a type of protestant) and Catholic church.
    At first it seemed pretty much like a mixture of poetry slam and a concert, only with religious texts. Apparently it was important to be the loudest and most passionate of all, using a facial expression of suffering, while the other people where in a kind of global hypnosis. Up to this moment I only thought “well, it's still not my thing, but they seem to like it“. But after around one hour came the turning point, when the guy at the front started to shout even more an half of the people had a mental breakdown, crying, lying on the floor, not able to do anything else but screaming. It was one of the worst things ever, and I still wander why anyone should go to such a service.
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  • Day25

    Villavicencio

    June 7, 2015 in Colombia

    Yesterday after breakfast, Damaris and I went together to Villavicencio, the town where she studies. Besides, here a living two friends of mine: Daniela, my flatmate from the first semester in Mexico, and Vanessa, the one from the second one. Damaris had to meet up with some classmates (and later went back to Puerto López), while I went with Daniela for lunch.
    Afterwards, I left my stuff in Daniela's house and we waited for some friends to pick us up, because we wanted to go to a swimming pool at a hotel. But obviously nothing here works according to “german time“: they guys had problems with their car, so it took them eternal to arrive, plus they drove a wrong way, for which it took another hour from the house to the hotel. When we finally arrived, it was already getting dark (remember: sunset in Colombia is at 6pm all year) and we just relaxed there a bit, drinking aguardiente (the typical colombian licuor). Besides two other girls, all of them were on a weekend trip from Bogotá, most of them guys (which ment we paid only our taxi home and the entrance for the club).
    Later, we went to the famous nightclub Capachos, which has different floors for electro&vallenato, salsa and one for Mexican music. Even better is, that starting from 2 am they had loads of gratis food outside. Around 4 we went back to the hotel of the guys for the after party. It wasn't as easy as it sounds: we had to climb a barbed wire and many of the girls who wore high heels couldn't walk anymore (I was really lucky I just took my flats), so the guys carried them. Two had to go all the way back, because Daniela lost her keys - but, gentleman like they are, obviously only the guys went in search for them.
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  • Day26

    The party continues

    June 8, 2015 in Colombia

    After a shower the day “started“ directly with lunch at the finca (=farm) of Daniela's family, which is on a little mountain. Since it rained heavily, we didn't stay there for long, but went back to the house to catch up on some sleep.
    In the afternoon, we went again to the hotel. In the big group of almost 25 people we had a bonfire and later went all to the pool, where we also started the next morning.
    This day - equal as many days in Colombia -was all about food: first we had a colombian breakfast (caldo, arepa, torta de plátano, pan) at the hotel and in the afternoon Vanessa, a flatmate from my second semester in Monterrey, invited us for lunch. First we had Ajíaco (a soup of potatoes and corn, served with chicken, rice, avocado and banana - I know, those Colombians are crazy) at her place, then we went to get grandma's, because she had prepared rice arepas.
    We ended the day on top of the same mountain as the day before. From up there you have a nice view and can drink aguapanela con queso (if you order it without cheese, you can shock every Colombian). Besides, there is a famous monument called piedra de amor (= stone of love).
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  • Day27

    Puerto López again

    June 9, 2015 in Colombia

    Since I had only spent one day in Puerto López before, I came back for another two days. Today didn't do a lot, we just went to one of the rivers and had a little boat trip with two fishermen. Unfortunately, the fish didn't want to swim into the net. In the afternoon, we built a swimming pool in the backyard. After church this evening (this time I didn't go), some people wanted to evangelize me, i.e. talk about Jesus and how awesome he is - fortunately they had to leave earlier.
    The next day, we went to a close-by dancing school for kids, so I could see Joropo, the typical dance of the region.
    Again I realized that this house is a little different from the others. Not only is it directly next to the church of Damaris' parents, but also it is open all day, so the people in town come around to talk, greet or just sit in the living room for a while.
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  • Day51

    Villavo

    October 27, 2016 in Colombia

    De vuelta a Colombia, pasé a visitar a Natalia en Villavicencio. Después de un viaje de 25 horas, mucho tiempo esperando en aeropuertos y el viaje en bus me bajé a un clima completamente diferente al de las ultimas semanas: tropical, calor y humedad.
    Fue rico pasar unos dias asi, descansé un poco, conocí la universidad donde tabaja Natalia y fui al parque zoológico los Ocarros. Ahi me volvi a encontrar con unos animales qur ya había visto en el viaje como el puma pero también muchos más. El último dia fui a un evento donde los estudiantes de la universidad presentaron sus proyectos, bastante interesante!
    Los últimos días antes de regresar a Austria voy a estar en Bogotá.

    Die eigentliche Reise ist jetzt leider vorbei, jetzt bin ich noch ein paar Tage in Kolumbien und habe die letzten 3 davon Natalia, eine Freundin von der Uni, in Villavicencio besucht. Nach insgesamt 25 Stunden, 2 Flügen, 10 Stunden Wartezeit in den Flughäfen, 3 Taxifahrten, 2 Busfahrten und einer Stunde Schlange bei der Passkontrolle war ich dann endlich dort und habe mir noch einmal ein bisschen Kontrastprogramm zu den letzten Wochen gegeben: Villavicencio ist zwar nur 85km von Bogotá entfernt, aber nur auf 470m und ist daher heiß, feucht und tropisch.
    Die 3 Tage waren dem Wetter angepasst eher ruhig und entspannend. Natalia arbeitet dort an einer Uni, wo ich ein paar Mal vorbei geschaut habe, sehr nett auf einem kleinen Hügel mit toller Aussicht. Ich war auch in einem Zoo diversen lokalen und nicht ganz so lokalen Tieren (Fotos davon dann wenn ich zurück bin). Am letzten Tag war noch eine Veranstaltung, wo die Studenten ihre Uniprojekte präsentiert haben, das war ziemlich interessant.
    Die restliche Zeit bin ich noch in Bogota und werde mich hauptsächlich mit Leuten treffen, also vermutlich nicht so wahnsinnig interessant für euch. Halte euch trotzdem am Laufenden.
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  • Day50

    Villavicencio

    January 9 in Colombia

    Villavicencio ist eine Stadt westlich in Los Llanos, am Fusse der Berge von Bogota kommend. In dieser riesigen Ebene ist der Tourismus noch sehr klein, denn in vielen Orten in Los Llanos waren bis vor kurzem die Guerillas präsent. Die Gegend ist nun sicherer und es gibt viele Naturjuwelen zu bestaunen: Flüsse, Berge, Wasserfälle, Regenwald. Heute waren wir beim Canyoning.

  • Day28

    Colombianadas

    June 10, 2015 in Colombia

    Weird things made in Colombia:

    - Aguapanela con queso - water with cane sugar and cheese
    - Using the motorbike for everything, even 4 persons, a dog and mattresses
    - Even in the hottest cities, lunch always includes soup
    - There is an unbelievable variance of fruits, but they never seem to eat any
    - Also, in a supermarket you have to search a while to find bottled water of more than 500ml, since people almost only drink juices (fresh and delicious :P)
    - Street signs warn of monkeys instead of dears
    - Classes (even of most secondary schools) start at 6am
    - There are no seasons: the climate only changes between rainy and dry (temperature stays almost the same all year), sun goes up at 6am and down at 6pm every single day
    - Colombia is famous for its coffee (called tinto), and even the kids drink it
    - No meal is complete without rice, doesn't matter if breakfast, lunch or dinner
    - Everything is fried and older people that visit Germany are convinced that there is absolutely no food, because the unfried one doesn't count
    - Besides, 90% is carbs: it is normal here to get a plate with rice, pasta and arepas combined, not even always complemented by meat
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