BOGOTÁ
Nov 1 - Bogotá Traffic

We flew into Bogotá and the weather got a bit chillier. The city is a massive tangle of roads and the traffic is horrible. Like a parking lot. Except I can´t get out of the car.

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NUMBERS 14.11.01 BOGOTÁ




BOGOTÁ - JARDÍN BOTANICO
Nov 8 - Flowers Everywhere

If there is a God, he's really creative with all these flowers. And he put them all in Colombia. And if you look carefully, you'll even find the fabled scopolomina plant. Here's a video if you want to see why scopolomina is so scary.

flower
flower
flower
tree
flower
flower
flower
flower
flower
flower
flower
furry cactus
greenhouse
flower
flower
flower
flower
flower
flower
lulo fruit
scopolomina

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LA MACARENA - CAÑO CRISTALES
Nov 9 - The River of 5 Colours

If you do some searching for the most beautiful places in Colombia, you'll come across this place. It's in the province of Meta, which is in one of the "red zones" of Colombia--where anti-government forces still have influence. As you drive around the area, groups of army soldiers do their daily march alongside the road and sometimes give you a friendly thumbs up. The area is under surveillance--it's a bit disconcerting when we are enjoying the beautiful scenery, and then suddenly spy a guy with an automatic rifle doing his rounds nearby.

But the river, although not as pimped out as the photos you find on Google, is full of colours. Black and yellow from the riverbed stone, white from the gravel and pebbles, and green and a striking red from thick growths of aquatic plants just beneath the water line. In the sunlight, the colours are really vibrant and the rush of the flowing water really does turn it into a liquid rainbow.

The hike was hot and sweaty but well worth it. We got to dive into pools of crystal clear water and have natural showers in the waterfalls. Muy chévere (very cool!), all of it!

la macarena airport
rutas caño cristales
tour bus
examining the water plants
red aquatic plants
felipe and the parrot
caño cristales
caño cristales
caño cristales
caño cristales
caño cristales
caño cristales
river of 5 colours
caño cristales
caño cristales
waterfall
underwater
us under waterfall
splash
colombia group
meditation
hiking in caño cristales
final beer

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VILLA DE LEYVA, ZIPAQUIRÁ, TUNJA, SAN GIL, BARICHARA, CAÑON DE CHICAMOCHA
Nov 14 - Road Trip!

Car rentals are a bit of a hassle in Colombia. It took us one hour to get the car even though we had already reserved it online. It makes me grateful for those rare times in North America where I rented a car and was out of the parking lot within minutes almost without talking to anyone.

I learned that Felipe is a really good driver--we never had to drive in Toronto so I didn´t really know. He's very patient with the stupid traffic in Bogotá, very skilled with the super windy roads on two lane highways around the mountains, and very focussed with the tough night driving (on the super windy roads). He took us all the way up to the Chicamocha Canyon some 350km away, and then back again. 350 km may not sound a lot, but the roads in Colombia are far from straight and it takes a loooong time to drive around.

The towns were excellent. A different face of Colombia. Where every town has a main plaza with a cute church, people gathering in the plaza to eat and socialize, and their own local monuments and treasures. Zipiquirá has a salt cathedral with vaulted rooms and symbolic crosses all made of salt. Villa de Leyva has its cobblestone streets and long picturesque buildings flanking the main square. San Gil has all that white stuff hanging from the trees. Barichara was just a really cute town. And the Cañon de Chicamocha was amazing to see--I really liked the Monumento a la Santandereanidad--what a crazy and random sculpture!

Overall a good road trip. Many thanks to Shawn's map app which stopped us from getting lost.

road trip
catedral de sal
el espejo
salt miner
eating morcilla
sunday market in villa de leyva
villa de leyva
cute streets
monastary
tunja
tunja
san gil
san gil morning
colombian cheese breads
rooftops
Monumento a la Santandereanidad
Monumento a la Santandereanidad
cañon de chicamocha

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