Traveling in Colombia- there is no way you won’t like it no matter who you are

I arrived in Bogota at night. Alone. To a city that I just new from a free download map. Hello excitement zone! On one side I was happy to finally travel to an Spanish speaking country (no more undefinable food!), on the other I imagined it to be like in my time in  Mexico City where it was not very recommendable to be in the streets alone after 10:00 pm. But arriving in Bogota  was surprisingly smooth and I stayed in la Candelaria for 2 days joining the Graffiti tour and climbing the Cerro de Montserat.

It was nice to be welcomed by the people, you find yourself greeting strangers in the streets, people in general in Colombia are very polite and ‘alegre’, what is a mixture of lively and very socially interested to me, haha. You can always get into the wrong place at the wrong time but even traveling alone as a woman I had just friendly and inviting encounters mostly talking about why I chose Colombia or how I like Colombia.

Arriving at the coast in Santa Marta I got kind of caught by surprise by the wheather- we had about 32 degrees there for about 2 weeks! Constantly! This must be one of these magic places that us Germans only know from our dreams- and I already winded hords of equals here but surprise! This time I found plenty of Israeli instead, of Argentinians and French. After some days of chilling with Adelia and updating each other cause we hadn’t travelled together for a while, we decided to go to Tayrona National Park in the rainforrest on the Caribbean coast. Can you feel that? Maybe? Just by naming rainforest and coast I get goosebumps! We had that before in New Zealand at the Abel Tasman track and really liked it. Well, Adele was not so amused after the last costal track due to the heat and after some hours of trecking in the Sierra Nevada we were laughing about each other because some parts of the walk (especially to Pueblito) were kind of demanding and I saw her grumpy face.

So we decided against the Ciudad Perdida-trip (way toooo hot!) and instead I did my diving course and Adele visited Minka and Palomino, small villages at the cost in the tropically covered mountains. Arriving in Taganga I was just asking for a discount at the hostel Casa Gypsy and 1 hour later I was officially accepted to work in the bar for a week getting free food and accommodation. Nice!

Visiting some beautiful reefes in the morning and at night serving drinks was my first kind of “routine” and it was such a hilarious time! We made lots of jokes and I could test the nightlife of Colombia for the first time. But I already knew what to expect: either reggaeton, salsa or a caribbean beat because you hear this music ev-ery-whe-re and I´d go even further and call the Colombians the most music- (and football-) obsessed nation I´ve ever visited.

On partys it’s nearly impossible to not get in touch with marijuana or cocaine but you can also have great nights without. At least I heard about that🙃

img_9097

Us after our float in the mud vulcano

Passing by Cartagena for just 2 days to jump into the mud vulcano Tutumo was enough for us at that time as we perceived the city too touristy and expensive. Further, I snapped up some news about a techno festival in Medellin so we wanted to arrive in Medellin soon. Regarding transportation it´s really easy to go pretty much everywhere spontaneously, it´s so amazing- you just go to a bus terminal and anounce your destination and there is always a helping hand around:o)

Discovering Parque Arvi

In Medellin, a really good place to learn Spanish as the colombian accent is quite clear, we met some friends from a spanish language school and went out to dance salsa. In general, this city hooked us up with its enormous crazy party scene, passion for music and we enjoyed again a stunning time for a week.

The BAUM festival was one of the hardest techno parties I´ve ever joined, dancing for 12 hours and enjoying a sweet stupor caused by becoming one with complete strangers and dancing and sharing everything! Unfortunately also our hangover was exceeding the 12 hours but luckily we stayed in a very nice hostel, the Jaguar hostel where we could chill and regain a clear mind. It was also this place where I fell in love again with the Colombian hospitality because I immedeately felt home and got lots of good recommendations such as Comuna 13, various parks to chill out and a wonderful visit in the Botanical garden.

After that, nature was calling and we continued our trip to Jardin, famous for its waterfalls, mountain tracks and rivers.

Yoga in the morning, a track at lunchtime and a good chill in the afternoon, something like this. Hearing about Yerico, a very original village about 50 km north of Jardin we decided to do a bicicling tour there. What was actually very very hard overcoming the mountains (we even hitchhiked for a while!) but sooo worth it because this village is stunningly beautiful, lovely and welcoming!

Colombia really showed its vibrant joie de vivre so far, talking about nature, big city life, culture, food, party and value for money it has everything combined. We are currently dreaming about opening a hostel in Choco- this is also what this country allowes: dreaming about an upright, autonomous future ✌🏽✌️✌🏿

Next destination: Salento and Cali!

Stay inspired

Advertisements

Nepal Part 2

After surviving an eight hour bus ride from Kathmandu to Pakhora (and imagine its a distance of only 200km) i arrived in this lovely city by the lake. Its not only i was lucky enough to make it in eight hours, i was also blessed with the company of an elder nepali women who took care of me the entire ride. And i really mean the entire time:we started talking about where we were from in a really bad english. She was singing some nepali songs, which was nice, but the last few hours she felt the need to show me all her photos she had on her phone, including her entire family and dozens of selfies.

As Flo and Mella took off to explore the Annapurna mountains i decided to visit a Tibetan Buddhism Meditation Center for three days. I had no previous experience in any of this. I had no expectations but i felt after the adventuriuos time at Everest Base Camp Trek i needed some time off. The center was set up on a hill with a stunning view of the lake. There was also a giant fortune wheel at the terrace and a nice garden to hang out.The people i met where from all over the world, a good mix of interesting characteres.
The days were completly filled: yoga in the morning, breakfast, meditation, buddhism teaching, lunch, group conversation, yoga, dinner and meditation again. We learned the basic of buddhism and discused wheather happiness depends on previous suffering and how to reach the enlightening. It was super interesting and i definitly found my peace in this place.

“welcome to karma cafe, you get what you deserve”

I spent the following days exploring the town and its surroundings with the people i met. We went for a hike to the World Peace Stupa on the top of a mountain. We stopped by at the Devrils Falls, but it was pretty disappointing. The view from the Stupa was very pretty, you can see the entire lake and the lake side town. We did not walk all the way back, instead we descended the mountain and took a boat, which was very convenient exept for a heavy rain fall which caught us while we were in the middle of the lake.

DCIM102GOPROGOPR8956.

 


Another highlight was the sunrise at Sarangkot as we were a group of 10 we shared two taxis and left the buddhism center at about 5:30 in the morning. Just in time we reached after a crazy drive through the steep and curvy streets the viewpoint. Apparently our taxidriver was a stuntman in movies like ” fast and the furious” or “speed”, i am glad i had breakfast after the ride 🙂
The sunrise was just stunning. The Annapurna mountains were still covered in snow and luckily the weather was as clear as possible.

After 7 days on ” my own”, which was actually the first time for me travelling alone, i finally met Mella and Flo back again. But our reunion was not meant to last long. After Flo suffered horrible and painful food poisoning (i will spare you the details – let’s just say there are things i can never unsee) 🙂 he left for the National Park to do a Safari tour and Mella and me took the bus back to Kathmandu were we finally got our Tattoos!!

“living on the edge”

Back at the Hostel Fire&Flies we spent our amazing last days with some friends:
Our “aussie”  Luka, who shared my destiny of regressing from the Base Camp Trek unwillingly with a helilift
a guy from India, who wished to be named “Chris or Richard Parker”, Bishal from Nepal, with an icredible life story like that of”Slum Dog Millioniare”
Esme a mexican-american who now lives in Japan, who turned out to be my nepali tequila sister
…. and many more!

tmp_27254-17841747_10155175803347902_2647149_n665815257

We spent our evenings singing, playing silly games and not to forget listening to some really creepy but catchy songs as: ” monday morning loves you, tuesday morning loves you…. I waaana loooove you eeeevery daaaaay!”
We shared everything and these days will always remain very special in my memories. Thank you for being part of our journey ❤ .
Namaste Adelia

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nepal Part 1

Coming to Nepal was already an adventure! After we sold our car in New Zealand three hours before our flight (oh my gosh…i dont want to remember this day),we took the longest flight ever to Dubai (14 hours ). Beeing a backpacker means you can not always afford a hotel, so you just sleep like a homeless on some random seats. Thats why we decided to sleep at the airport as our connection flight was on the next day. According to Mella this wasnt a good idea at all. Horrible things must have happend while i was asleep, which involves babys vomiting next or actually on Mella and some rude bahaving people doing disgusting things next to our “sleeping camp” while boarding an airplane. Well, i dont really know what was going on, but i never forget the pale face of Mella saying to me ” you just have no idea what f*** happened” when i woke up in the middle of the night. You must have seen her eyes… . 🙂

Finally we found ourselves at tiny Kathmandu Airport. After paying the visa fee (60$) we got picked up by our hostel (the happily ever after hostel 5$/night). Way to expensive, a taxi would have been the half price (500R). We stayed at Thamel, where probably every tourist ends up. Kathmandu is super dusty, the streets are in bad conditions and the whole city looks like it is under construction for ages. Nevertheless i fell already in love with this country. I liked the flair, the coulorful shops, the bustling streets and i really liked the hostel we stayed at: Fire&Flies (4$/night).

DCIM100GOPROGOPR8594.

View from hostel fire&flies

All the people always smiling and wishing you a great day,something you dont find everywhere. After our friend Flo arrived from Germany it was all about getting prepared for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Flo was organizing a lot for our stay in Nepal and we are very thankful for that. In the first days we manage to hire a Tourguide and a Sherpa, buy/rent hiking gear and get mentally prepared for this adventure. There are many cheap gear you can buy in Thamel like jackets, pants, gloves….but i highly recommend not to buy hikingboots AND socks. Mella bought some fake hikingboots and after 2 days she brought them back, they were just very bad. The three of us bought fake North Face Hiking socks and we all ended up having really smelly feet on the trek. 🙂 Good sleepingbags (-20 degrees) you can rent in some shops!


Our tourguide Jag and NJ were so kind to take care of us before the trek even started. We were lucky to join them on a holy festival called Sariswati. They took us in the evening to the Pashupati Temple (Pashupatinath Tempel), where thousands of people were waiting to enter the holy place. On the way we were able to see cremations along the riverside, which was a very interesting but also disturbing experience. We entered the temple, which was very crowded. People were singing, meditating and praying. Holy people “Babas” where around and everybody tried to get a foto with them. I have to admitt i also own a few hundred but only because i was kind of forced to stay next to a very special Baba while NJ proudly took millions of fotos. Some of the “babas” were selling Marihuana for spiritual purpose, which is consumed by many people in this temple on this particular day. The celebration was going on the whole night. It was a very unique experience for us.

On day 5, fully equiped and prepared, we took the cab to the airport.We supposed to fly to the most dangerous airport in the world “Lukla” and start our 16 days hiking tour to the Everest Base Camp, cross the Chola Pass and walk back to Lukla through Gokyo.
Bad luck for us, on this day we didnt fly to Lukla due bad weather. The airplanes are only landing by clear sight. After waiting for 5 hours we were send back to the hostel, next day new try. Unfortunately the weather was still bad and all the flights got cancelled again.
We had to make a decision, loose one more day or fly with a helicopter. Of course it is expensive but we met 2 other hikers and split the costs which was actually a good price. We also got our money back for the cancelled flights. We took the helicopter (420€).

DCIM102GOPROGOPR8609.
Apart from the tourguides it was the first helilift for all of us. We were super excited and took as many selfies and videos as possible during the 45 minutes flight. We must have looked rediculous, especially mella focused on filming the poor pilot all the time 😉

In Lukla we met our Sherpa who was carrying our common backpack which we filled with extra food and sleepingbags. I insisted to carry our own backpacks and equipment as it is a part of the adventure. It was already very cold in Lukla and it suppose to be much colder the next days. The official hiking season starts in March so we were still trekking during off season. As i got ill i will only describe the 7 days of our trekking:

The 1.first day we hiked only 3 hours and reached our first teahouse. It was cold and we all got together in front of the fireplace. Who would know that this was one of our warmest nights by that time.

The 2.day we woke up very early. The target was hiking (mostly uphill) 7 hours to reach Namche Bazar, a beautiful village surrounded by the highest mountains in the world. On this day we passed one of the most beautiful swingbridges ever. The day was sunny, but once the sun is behind a mountain it gets super cold.

Day 3 was our acclimatisation day. We did a 5 hours hike with a descent elevation to a viewpoint (thats the birthplace of the “famous” himalaya dance video) and to a close small village where Edmund Hillary onced build a school and back to Namche Bazar where we stayed overnight. Here we had our only one hot shower during the whole trek.Last teahouse with running water aswell!

Day 4 we hiked 5-6 hours to a tiny village which seemed only to consist of three guesthuoses and a monastery. The teahouse we stayed at was in front of the monastery. Each day it was getting colder and colder. It was already so cold that the waterbottles got frozen during daytime. In the afternoon we visited the monastery and had the chance to watch the monks praying. At this point i was already not changing clothes for bedtime because this would be the same as commit suicide.

Day 5 we walked 5 hours to Tingboche where we had a fantastic view on the famous Island Peak. We stayed at a nice and friendly teahouse where we meet the germans who shared the helicopter with us. We decided to buy a bucket hot water to shower and wash some clothes…bad idea as the clothes got totally frozen after a few minutes outside.

Day 6 we had our acclimatisation day. We hiked up to a viewpont at an altitude of 4700 meters. The view was just stunning. All this peaks appear to be unreal und you feel so small being surrounded by all the high mountains. We stayed the night at the same teahouse and spend the evening in front of the fireplace like every night.

Last day we hiked up 3 hours to a teahouse at an altitude of 4620 meters, on this day we supposed to reach Lombuche.

Even after this trip brought me to the hospital (where i actually spend the first night since almost 7 months alone) it was one of best things which happened to me. The nature was so stunning, i always felt attracted to the mountains but around the Everest i thought i can stay forever. Even the hikes were exhausting i felt every day good and balanced.It was one of the toughest things i have done so far. We saw many different birds as Jag turned out to be a professional bird watcher. We met interesting people on our way and we spend our evenings sharing funny stories. No television, radio or cellphones, just great company, blue rivers, endless mountains and clear skies.
I he i can come back one day to finish the trek ❤

Adelia

This slideshow requires JavaScript.