Monday, 25 August 2014

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

 (and then the heavens opened...)

Well, this weekend was certainly an experience! I'll have to tell you the story in order, because that's the way things go, but let me just say that it includes mud baths, torrential rain and plenty of Colombian dancing to top it all off!

Early on Saturday morning a group of us set off, direction Cartagena, to the Volcán de lodo Totumo - which roughly translates as 'The Calabash Tree Volcano of Mud'. Catchy, eh? Well, if you haven't already picked it up from the subtle hints I've been dropping (or if you've had a sneaky peek at the photos below), the main activity at this volcano wasn't exactly sightseeing, but rather getting our hands - and all the rest of our bodies - rather dirty!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Two weeks in and Colombia continues to give. I am enjoying a lot of free time at present, mostly because my work at the University doesn't seem to start until the end of the month, and nobody seems too bothered about the fact that I'm just chilling at home (T.I.C.). However, the weekends are still as busy as ever. We decided to head out along the coast again this weekend, this time a little further along, to Parque Tayrona - a National Park, and place of outstanding natural beauty (especially for us foreigners!).

Our route to Parque Tayrona
When talking over plans with the group, there was a great discussion about what we'd have to take (everything), where we'd be able to sleep (on a campsite) and what we'd be able to eat (what we'd brought). There was even some talk of supermarkets and hotels. Given that Parque Tayrona is, basically, a jungle, this seemed unlikely. And faced with the question of what there was to see in the way of attractions, the appeal of a place with no wifi or good restaurants to go to seemed limited to some. But for those who went, the appeal was clear: naturaleza (nature)! And nature, on its part, definitely delivered...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

T.I.C. (This Is Colombia)

View from Monserrate, Bogotá
Barely a week has passed since I arrived in this country and it's been a crazy mix of new experiences, words and faces. Having made it on the 11-hour flight from London to Bogotá, I was very glad to be met at the airport by a group of similarly tired English people also waiting to be picked up. We were promptly whisked away to a hotel in the middle of the city, to be greeted with 4-star service, and - more importantly - some beds to crash out on for a couple of hours and regain our strength. When we eventually surfaced, we headed out to see what Colombia's capital city had to offer - and at a height of 3,152m above sea level, Monserrate mountain definitely delivered! From the top, the sprawling mass of the city stretches as far as the eye can see, giving a stunning impression of what it must be like to live in this huge metropolis, and leaving you, quite literally, breathless (altitude is a strange phenomenon).