Cartagena, 945,000 inhabitants
On 6 January has given us the Stahlratte safely at the port of Cartagena ausgeladen.Eine extremely colorful and magnificent city has taken us in receiving the colonial buildings from the 16th And 17 Century with floral ornate balconies in the old town and in the neighborhood of Gethsemane is probably the best we have ever seen. This city has pulled us from the first second in its spell. Numerous nice cafes, great restaurants, boutiques, galleries, parks, street vendors and much more. Along with nice acquaintances of the Stainless Steel Rat, we have come to know from all sides of the city. Your great vantage points, the museums, the expensive neighborhood Boca Grande with the skyscrapers and the beach, markets and shopping areas of the locals as well as countless other interesting streets and corners.
Massaaasch senor? oh no no no gracia, muy amable, pero no gracias:
ohhh ok ok .... ohhhh this is soooo good:
Santa Marta, 426'000 inhabitants
From Cartagena, we are about 4 hours northeast drove to Santa Marta, also on the Caribbean coast. The city is smaller and not quite as impressive as Cartagena, but definitely has its charm too.
Business idea for Muzzis?
From here we are 1 hour east down with a much too tight and uncomfortable bus to the entrance of Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona. On foot you can visit here many beautiful beaches. After about 3 hours of walking to get to Cabo San Juan, for eg, a paradisiacal spot in this world. Unfortunately, this is no longer a secret, and then at the time was also a national holiday. But even if we were not the only visitors are the beaches in Tayrona Park some of the best we have ever seen. However, the flows in these creeks are almost everywhere so unpredictable and dangerous that swim with extreme caution is to enjoy. Time and again people killed.:
most beautiful campsite in the world?
Even if the sea thus not really ideal for swimming, it's definitely worth visiting the beaches of this National Park. Alone the many trails hide some secrets and there is much to discover.
A few days later, we have made us with a huge group of other tourists on the way to Ciudad Perdida. A four-day hike through the jungle of the Sierra Nevada. A partially extremely strenuous and steep path, but by an impressive landscape and endless vistas. In addition to the hour-long hike over hill and dale, it was, especially for me, as great a challenge to stay for the first time in a hammock. It was cool, loud snoring by neighbors, and somehow restrictive with all the warm blankets and mosquito net over the hammock. The fact that we "go to hammock" just before a scorpion on one of the ropes have seen her sitting, the situation has not exactly improved.
After 3 hours of sleep we went on the second day ie in the direction of "Lost City". The second and third night we stayed in something like an open air Dorm what I have, however, felt more comfortable than some.
On 3 Day we have finally found the city to be the first people in history to be understood why the place now since 1/15/14 "found the city" is J!
The efforts have paid off, the view was stunning:
The city was built between the 11th And 14 Century by the people of Tayrona. At one time this people were hunted down and wiped out by the Spaniards and the city disappeared for a very long time in the jungle. Only in 1975 it was rediscovered and exposed. Ciudad Perdida is located at 950 - 1300 meters and is to Machu Picchu, the second largest pre-Columbian cities.
Today, still 3 indigenous peoples in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, including the Kogi that we have encountered on our way again and again live. One of them has even taken an hour to tell us their stories and rituals, which was incredibly interesting course.
After a few days of recovery in Santa Marta (we had sideways down the stairs and were able to put only with great pain loo) went there by bus 12 hours south to San Gil. The city looks like a Swiss mountain town but with too much traffic. The region around San Gil is best known for her wide range of sporting activities such as cycling, paragliding, river rafting, etc. However, we still had to recover from the hike and were apart of tours for nothing to have.
Villa de Leyva, 9600 inhabitants
After San Gil we drove 4 hours to the southwest to Villa de Leyva. An extremely quiet and clean colonial town founded in 1572 and consists solely of two-storey buildings. The place is destination for the wealthier layer of Bogota, as the journey takes only four hours here. The pretty town is surrounded by beautiful scenery and hiking trails and is probably also the case of foreigners at a premium. Many gringos are building their house or buy a place to stay for retirement. You can really imagine longer here to stay or will definitely be back. There are countless cafes and a variety of desserts, fine restaurants, museums, galleries, great hotels and small boutiques. Until now it has still managed not only known chain store up to this point, and hopefully it stays that way. Also, for our friend Ted, we still had in their luggage, this was a reason to stay two weeks in the city and to study the real estate market J.
No matter where we are, the dogs love Andy ... :-)
In near Villa de Leyva is the world's largest Tonhaus the world, built and partly inhabited by a Colombian artist:
Bogota, 7.4 million inhabitants, 2600 meters above sea
For us, the trip went after a few days in the beautiful Villa de Leyva continued to Bogota. Shock! After this rest, nature and car-free city of Bogota was stunning not only because of the altitude. It was cold, noisy, dirty and crowded with people. Ordinary capital haltJ. But the Bogota also has quite her beautiful pages. The students Candelaria district is dotted with hostels, extremely cheap bars and restaurants, theaters, museums, and trendy boutiques.
Especially the Sunday flea market in the center was interesting and entertaining, and the world's largest gold museum also has impressed us. We also went for months again in the cinema, for CHF 6. When we saw the huge poster for the Oscar-nominated "El lobo de Wall Street" with Leonardo Di Caprio, who was still only shown in English with Spanish subtitles, the case was clear. And we were not disappointed!
Find the error:
For 12 francs I have gotten a couple of suitable height, warm shoes. Pimped down to my style:
Guinea pigs betting on the street (at least we have not seen in Colombia not grilled)
Photos Gold Museum:
Colombia has us really excited and we can recommend to visit this country only warmly. Unfortunately, Colombia probably has a problem similar to Mexico, because most of these countries combine with negative headlines about drug cartels and guerrilla fighters. Only these problems are now largely solved or the situation has improved, at least in most regions.
I also want to mention that Colombia was the first country where neither on the beach, drugs were offered to us nor in any one city. In any other country we have up to now always be able to buy everything. If you do not mean that in Colombia not everything is available, but that's probably a sign that the country is generally not as touristy as Central America, and not set the locals too firmly to the lucrative drug sales to tourists apart have.
On the subject of coke, a hostel is in my opinion extremely well expressed on his website:
Colombia has so much to offer, climb of a beautiful Caribbean coast to mountain towns, river rafting and glacier and rides like a cowboy, of great coffee to delicious arepas. And all this at extremely affordable prices.
Well, but now ready raved and stay on the bus from Bogota 9 hours south to Cali once and then fetch the next 11 hours night bus to the border in Ipiales, Taxi, stamp, Taxi, Breakfast in Tulcan and from the bus after Eduador towards Quito, another 5 hours.
Population: 47 million
Duration: 01/06/14 to 01/29/14
Used Beds / Hammocks / open air mattresses: 10
Quito, 1.8 million inhabitants, 2850 meters above sea
The first 3 nights we were in New Town, also known as the Mariscal district or Gringolandia! Here is lined with the hostels, laundries, restaurants, clubs and karaoke bars. Until now I've never seen outside of Asia such a density of karaoke bars! The most amazing thing is that all bars and clubs also usually are full, Fridays, for example, already afternoon by four clock. However, the share of gringos is rather low compared to the local Party Kids.
Quito has much more to offer than Gringolandia! It is the highest capital in the world and is located 20 kilometers south of the equator. There are countless museums, a lot of parks with playgrounds and sports facilities, as well as an old town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From various vantage points one has a impressive overview of this seemingly endless city.
The rates in Quito and Ecuador in general are extremely deep. A haircut costs just 2 -, an empanada 1 -, a ride on the bus 0.25 -., And also the Cafecito's for only a Dollarito!
for all the cupcake lovers ... they were delicious!
There are soooo many bakeries with perverse offer:
Nutella ice cream in a chocolate cup:
Otavalo, 40,000 inhabitants, 2550 meters above sea
From Quito we took a trip into the 2 hours north town in Otavalo, for there is one store on Saturday with a huge selection of handicrafts and local specialties:
Already in Central America, we noticed that people are extremely on the "ropa americana", so all the clothes brands that originally come from America. In Otavalo, it seems downright to be a must to carry at least one, probably the most fake, Hollister or Abercrombie Sweat jacket or shirt. The women were mostly traditionally dressed with skirts and golden necklaces, plus a cuddly Hollister hoodie. On every other street corner, there was a corresponding stall with good and less good copies, but we have even seen real boutiques, obviously nachgeahnt from shopfitting and even the scent forth the great role model. Here, then, were the prices "original" is to be hoped that it is the quality and origin as well.
Galapagos consisting of 13 main islands and about 100 small and tiny islands
In Quito we have a long morning travel agencies scoured looking for the best deal for a Galapagos tour and have finally something "affordable" found. Ridiculous 2,200 francs per person cost us the eight-day tour, including airfare. That's a fortune for us, but if you know that this boat normally with flight costs 4'000-on, then it does not hurt quite so .
We also had an uncanny luck with the eight other passengers, our guide Patricia from Switzerland, and 6 crew members. They were all extremely nice and interesting people from all over the world!
Andy with the birders Pamela and David from Canada:
The extraordinary and unique scenery and wildlife of the Galapagos Islands are a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and are protected by the National Park. As soon as one enters the first island it becomes evident that one is at a unique place in this world as in another universe. These islands include sea lions, iguanas, birds, turtles and hundreds of other living beings. Most plants and animals on this archipelago are endemic and all live in freedom.
Some islands are inhabited though, most people are here but only visitors that are accepted patiently by the animals. Accordingly, we have also never seen such clean beaches.
sometimes we had to wait patiently until the bridge to the boat was passable
This small and large sausages with face are just incredibly cute. The hang out all day, side by side or one above the other and make sounds that we call "submitter" only know of . Oh yes, now and then she still climb and since all only feed on fish, you already smell it from a distance:
The underwater world was overwhelming:
suddenly a sea lion swims past ...
then a penguin:
a small shark:
and then THIS!!
our home, The Beagle:
our messy nice room :
and vieeeeele more photos to the Galapagos Islands can be found here as always here :
Population: 16 million
Duration: 01/30/14 to 02/13/14
Used Beds: 4
Then we desperately want to mention that Andy is since 29/01/14 the proud godfather of Maxine Machete Tellenbach! Congratulations again to the place where the parents Kile and Adi, and for the sweet twin sister!
See you soon, best regards from Peru!