La Guajira Overland – the Pie-crust and the Wayuu

Few places in South America have poverty like the far-northern desert wastelands of Colombia. La Guajira is Colombia’s most northerly region and a marked contrast to the prosperous green lands of the central coffee region where we spent Christmas. It’s wild, remote, windy and inhospitable up there. But at the top sits our Holy Grail destination, the most northerly point of the whole South American continent: Punta Gallinas. On our South American journey so far, we’ve visited the most southerly, easterly, westerly and the geodesic centre points of the continent. It would be churlish to leave without popping up to see Mr Northerly. En-route we have the challenge of driving the mud-pan pie-crust and the dilemma of the poverty-stricken Wayuu children (click here for Map and notes for self-drive to Punta Gallinas).Punta Gallinas

Where the Guajira is that?

So… La Guajira. Ever heard of it before? You have now! At the very top of South America there’s a sticky-up bit, a peninsula reaching into the Caribbean. It’s mostly Colombian territory, but a teeny sliver down the east side is Venezuela. The indigenous Wayuu people are proud that they have never in history been conquered, not even by the Spanish. Given the godforsaken, inhospitable nature of the place, I have a teeny suspicion that the colonisers just maybe didn’t put up much of fight for this patch. But full credit to the indomitable Wayuus, they have historically held this ground well and continue to do so. The Wayuu refuse to answer to the authorities of Bogota and continue their subsistence lifestyle in a state of somewhat lawless semi-independence.

For much of the year the terrain is arid, rough, scrub desert. In the short rainy-season it floods, turning the access tracks into quagmires and the vast salty-mud-pans into treacherously soft swamps. As the rain clouds wander away, a pie-crust coating of sand forms on the surface of the swamps. Under the pie-crust lie thick, slimey mud-pools which just could, should it be foolish enough to stray onto it, swallow an Iveco Daily 4×4 whole. Well… okay, ‘swallow whole’ might be a slight exaggeration, but it would at least get very quickly bogged beyond the axles. We’re keen not to test this.

Local Hero

la guajira

Winching a coach

Before pushing-on with the potentially hazardous schlepp over the pie-crust to Punta Gallinas, we do what the cool kids call ‘hanging out’ for a couple of days in the back-packer/kite-surfers’ spot – Cabo de la Vela. Reaching this far is a relatively easy drive, but it’s still a wee-bit of a rough dirt-road to get there. Certainly not ideal for the snazzy 50-seater air-con coaches that take Colombian day-trippers out there. One might expect that having the cojones to drive 50 tourists to a dirt-road location, the driver might have checked-out which tracks his coach could take which weren’t suitable, but it seems… No! Sure enough, after we have winched a Bogota family Landcruiser from an ill-advised mud-route near the village, we’re asked to help with a huge coach that had sunk his rear axle.

la guajira

A grateful coach crew

We hesitated, wondering whether Cuthbert and his trusty winch would manage to pull such a large vehicle. But bless his little soul, with chocks under his front wheels to stop him dragging himself towards the bus, Cuthbert tugged and heaved, finally extracting the coach. Big cheers from the attendant passengers who stood around, wasting hours of their precious holiday time, watching the rescue.

Following the Dusters

Anyway… it’s time to tackle our Holy Grail destination of Punta Gallinas! Wallace, our GPS, offered a myriad of potential routes across the mud-pans, but remember that pie-crust-thing we mentioned? Our worry was not finding just a route, but finding a route with a pie-crust strong enough to take Cuthbert’s six tons. Tricky.

Renault Duster convoy

Duster convoy

As we’re leaving Cabo de la Vela at early o’clock, we see a load of Colombian Renault Dusters gathering. 43 of them in fact. And they’re all adorned with ‘Expedition Punta Gallinas’ stickers. Hmmm… interesting. We stop for a chat. They’re setting out in convoy across the pie-crust too! Turns out, they’re just as interested in Cuthbert and his rough-road capabilities as we are in their route to Punta Gallinas. They’re a friendly bunch and happy for us to join them.

Now… these Renault Dusters aren’t the most capable rough-road vehicles in the world, but they are 4×4 and well kitted-out with expedition-type gear: jerrycans, hi-lift jacks, sand-ladders and all the Gucci gear. But even loaded-up as they are, they are nowhere near as heavy as Cuthbert. We follow them super-cautiously out onto the pie-crust, watching carefully so see how much of an indent their tyres make into the surface. It’s nerve wracking, but at least it’s a super-smooth drive.

There’s about 30-40 km of mud pie-crust to cross before reaching the final stage of rocky terrain. From here we have no worries. There are no more mud-pans and the route is relatively straightforward on the GPS. The Dusters’ limited ground clearance means they take it frustratingly slowly through rocky sections that Cuthbert handles with ease and speed. They feel guilty holding us up, so we go on ahead without them and enjoy the afternoon at Punta Gallinas.

Eventually as it’s getting dark, we’re settling down for the evening when the Duster convoy comes rolling in. One of them is carrying his entire front bumper and faring on his roof-rack, and all of them look totally whacked and exhausted. It has taken them almost six hours to do the final 25km stage of rocks and deep-sand that Cuthbert did in around 40 mins. Eeiiishhh!!!

Wayuu Kids

So that’s how we dealt with the dilemma of crossing the mud pie-crust. But this drive, and indeed the whole Guajira peninsula, presents another challenge: dealing with the Wayuu kids. La Guajira reminds us very much of parts of Africa: the terrain, the heat and the poverty. These kids have nothing. Well… nothing except the generosity of the passing visitors to the area, a resource which they have been trained by their parents to exploit with some degree of success. From the very tiniest of tots, they are taught to stand at the side of the track and beg. Some simply stand there with their hands out, but many more have adopted another trick: holding a piece of string across the track. Their theory is that drivers should stop and offer goodies in exchange for passage.

So… here’s the dilemma… should we succumb and encourage super-cute tiny-tots to beg at the side of the road?

At the first string ‘barrier’, some of the cars in the Duster convoy ahead of us, give out sweets. We give out some small packets of wholemeal biscuits (I know… not exactly ‘health food’, but far better than boiled sweets). Others in the convoy drive gently but decisively towards the rope, making it clear that they have no intention of stopping and at the last second, the kids drop their rope.

So the first ‘barrier’ is done, but soon comes another ‘barrier’. And another. And another. For several kilometres it’s relentless. The further we go, the more frequent the ‘barriers’ become. In some places, they’re literally just three or four metres apart. We have over a hundred kilometres to go to Punta Gallinas and simply don’t have enough biscuits to feed every Wayuu child in La Guajira!

We decide to ration the biscuits by giving to those ignored by the convoy cars in front of us. The kids are all very good natured and smile/wave even when we drive through their ‘barriers’ without giving. We notice that some of them have arms full of every conceivable type of the cheapest, stickiest candy, and this we find to be part of our dilemma. If indeed it is right to respond to children roadside begging (and we’re not convinced that it is), surely it cannot be right to stuff the poor kids full of sugar? But let’s just say, for arguments sake, that it is okay to dish-out tooth-rotting candies of minimal nutritional value to children begging at the side of the road, should it be done selectively? Or to every single one? And if it’s done selectively, how to select which child? Anywhere in the world, the look of disappointment on the face of a child who another sees another child get candy, tugs at the heartstrings.

We find it all very disconcerting for a while, but soon realise that these kids only beg on the first part of the route, the part passed by visitors heading to a ferry trip. Once we pass the point where most visitor turn north to catch the boat, we can enjoy a ‘dilemma-free’ drive for most of the way to Punta Gallinas.

We manage to save some biscuits to give out on the return journey, but again, it’s simply not possible to feed them all and we’re forced to make random decisions of which to give to and which to drive through. We stopped for a chat and a laugh with some of the slightly older ones. They explained that there is a school where they “learn lots of things”, but few of them seem to attend. Their cute faces are no doubt more valuable to their parents when collecting whatever they can get at the side of the road, rather than learning to read and write in a classroom.

Punta Gallinas

Waiting for the Dusters – Punta Gallinas

Obviously, we have no idea what the answer is here. We can’t speak with any authority and have no understanding of the ‘real’ story. It’s no doubt a complex socio-political issue with great historical and cultural sensitivities. But we understand anecdotally that the Wayuu’s demand for a large element of autonomy from the Colombian government is leading to their community not receiving central funding.

The Wayuu tell us that they reject all police presence out there and that as an indigenous people, they’re entitled to make their own laws and rules. But this is an arid, sandy, unfeasibly hot and inhospitable land. We see little evidence of the Wayuu’s ability to support themselves. Their livelihood appears to depend on organised child begging rackets, supplemented by selling old Coke bottles filled with contraband petrol smuggled over the border from Venezuela. If the children receive no education other than to stand by the track and beg for sweets (a very shot-lived career, fading rapidly when they lose the super-cuteness of extreme youth) the future isn’t looking bright for this community.

We did it!

Punta Gallinas

We made it!

For us, the highlight of this excursion into La Guajira is reaching the hallowed Punta Gallinas. After the south, east, west and centre points of the continent, we are truly thrilled to round off our two year South American trip here at the far north. When we heard about the mud pie-crust route palaver, it disappointed us greatly to think that Cuthbert might be too heavy to get us here. But thanks to 43 Renault Dusters escorting us gallantly across the mud-pans, we not only made it safely here, but we gathered a GPS track to follow meticulously back across the pie-crust!

On arrival back to ‘civilisation’ we received confirmation that Cuthbert’s shipping is now booked to move on to Panama in just three weeks. Exciting times! 😊

Route Map and Notes for Self-driving to Punta Gallinas

If after reading the story, you want to do the drive to Punta Gallinas yourself, we’ve added below a detailed map of our track (zoom in and scroll around) and some notes for the route.

Conditions: important to check at the time. The route can be wholly impassable in the rainy season. Even getting to Cabo de la Vela can be tough in the wet; the whole area turns into a swamp. There is a police check-point at the cross-road where you turn north off the ruta 90, and another check-point in Uribia, so you can ask them about the prevailing conditions. The tarmac stops at Uribia and it’s a good gravel road for around 50 km until the turn-off to Cabo de la Vela. From there it’s rough dirt and depends very much on how much rain there has been.
Provided it’s not too wet and you stay on the main tracks, the drive to Cabo de la Vela can be done in any car. From Cabo to Punta Gallinas, a 4×4 isn’t strictly necessary, but there is a bit of sand in the final section so 4×4 would be an advantage. High-clearance is more essential. The track is a little bit rough in parts and there are some rocky sections towards the end of the route.

What to take: Make sure you have the fuel range and plenty of water and food for the trip. It’s hot, dry and remote, no filling stations or shops out there. Best to be self-sufficient, however, there are a couple of hostals with restaurants when you get to the Punta Gallinas area.

Routing: Our map shows the way we went (starting from the turning off the main gravel road), but don’t follow it blindly over the mud-pan sections. The routes across the pans change every year after the water has dried. Check which way the locals and the tour trucks are taking – use the tracks which look the most driven. If in doubt – don’t go onto the mud pans until you are happy. The tour Landcruisers take back-packers out there almost every day when the route is accessible. They leave just after dawn, so you can look out for them and follow them for the first section of the route (if you can keep up with them). Importantly though, they do not go all the way to Punta Gallinas by land. They turn north up the western side of the bay (the inland section of sea that sits immediately south of Punta Gallinas) and tourists go by boat across the tiny stretch of water to the Punta Gallinas peninsula. They then continue the rest of the way to Punta Gallinas by other vehicles. To drive all the way there, you need to route around the south to of the bay/inland sea and head up the eastern side, past the Taroa beach (see route map).

Timing: depending on how your vehicle copes with the terrain and provided you don’t make too many wrong turns, it should take 4-5 hours from Cabo de la Vela.

Roadblocks: These are obviously flexible. How many you encounter and what you are asked for will depend from day to day. At one or two they will accept nothing but money (just 1,000 or 2,000 pesos per car), but at most of them, the kids just want sweets. With hindsight, we wish we had taken some pens, pencils and kids books to hand-out instead of biscuits. It’s a personal decision, but please don’t let these put you off going. It’s great trip and we never felt unsafe or threatened at any time – just give what you think is right and gently drive through the kids’ string barriers where you don’t want to give. We did this for several and the kids all dropped the rope, smiled and waved.

Mud-roading Cuthbert – The Videos

A belated Happy New Year for 2018!  Over the Christmas chill-out, Marcus ‘Spielberg‘ Tuck has put together some more video stuff from our 2017 moochings around South America in Cuthbert. Four short videos: hiking through Colombia’s towering wax-palms, a super-moon setting at dawn, and the mega-adventure double-feature-set: mud-roads through the Amazon jungle of Guyana and Brazil on the infamous BR-319.

First ‘proper’ blog of 2018 coming soon, but in the meantime… get your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show 🙂

Cuthbert across the Amazon – July 2017. Brazil’s infamous BR-319 mud road: over 850km from Manaus to Porto Velho. At the end of the wet season, a bit of winching and towing was required (click here for the blog story)

Cuthbert across Guyana – July 2017. A long, slow drive dodging pot-holes and some rather ‘iffy’ sections through the jungle and southern plains of Guyana (click here for the blog story)

Cocora Valley – December 2017. A hike through the stunning Cocora Valley of towering wax-palms, near Salento, Colombia.

Super-moon set at Sunrise – December 2017. Great drone footage of a super-moon setting at dawn in Aguadas, Colombia.

Colombia: Down to the Heat

It’s a curious thing this overlanding. Who’s to tell you when to move on, where to go next? Time in a country is obviously dictated by visas and permits palaver, but other than that we kind of ‘go with the wind’ or sometimes not. Colombia is a particularly ‘stick-around’ place for us. We’re staying here longer than any other country in South America and the cool central highlands/coffee region is our favourite. Here we’re hanging around doing… ummm… not a lot. Just avoiding ‘the heat’ really.

overlanders steel horse finca

Our reason/excuse for not having blog-posted for ages is that we’ve had rather little to say. It would be a less-than-fascinating overlanding blog to ramble-on with tales of mooching around villages, drinking coffee and generally pottering about with other travellers. So let’s skip lightly over the last few weeks before we sign-off and wish you all a Happy New Year for 2018…

Braking and Cooling Cuthbert

puppy under truck

Someone came along to help

Regular Cuthbert followers last found us arriving back in Medellin to collect our long-awaited order of Iveco spares which kept Marcus busy with routine maintenance work for a couple of weeks. One such task was replacing the brakes. This should have been a day or so work, but not with Cuthbert. Pressing the hub from the wheel bearing proved to be a teeny-tad more tricky than anticipated. Our 4 ton jack/press wasn’t man enough for the task, so we borrowed a 10 ton jack/press from another traveller. Hmmm… no good either. So off we went, carrying the whole 35kg swivel hub to a workshop down-town Medellin where a 100 ton press did the trick! Not wanting to have more than one wheel off Cuthbert at a time, meant that the whole brake change mission took several days to complete. As luck would have it… we’re in no hurry. We rarely are these days.

santa fe suspension bridge

The first suspension bridge in The Americas (allegedly)

What else with Cuthbert? Oh, the air-con in the front cab. This has been a reoccurring ‘thing’ for over a year now, ever since northern Chile where we got a stone-hole in the radiator and a dirty weld repair by a local workshop. Marcus has attempted various ‘bodge-it and scarper’ repairs (the desperately dull details of which we won’t bore you with here) but these have never lasted. Now however, with the arduous heat and humidity of the Caribbean coast and Central America looming, we decided it’s time to do a ‘proper’ fix. Part of our large Iveco goodie-bag was a whole new radiator. Even now, after just two days of driving in the low-land heat, we are eternally grateful to the God of Iveco Deliveries for bringing us ‘the cool’.

Another mission in Medellin was to extend our visas and vehicle permit. The short 90 days that we received on arrival from Ecuador simply won’t cut-it for this amazing country. The relatively simple process got us our personal visa extentions in one day. Getting Cuthbert’s permit took a rather longer 7 days.

Christmas Coffee

sloth warning

But we never saw one!

So now Cuthbert can brake well, we’re cool, and we’re legal in Colombia for another 90 days (hurrah!!) but we still have a strange trepidation about moving on to ‘the heat’. Just north of Medellin the terrain descends to the hot and humid northern plains. Once we drop down there and head north into Central America, we will lose the comfortable, temperate climate of central Colombia that we have so enjoyed. We’re reluctant to sit in the heat for Christmas, so we decide to head some 250km back south to Salento and Filandia in the coffee region for a while. We found a different slow, winding, back-road route to the one we had taken previously and on the way discovered more reasons why we love Colombia so much. Friendly people, great scenery, good food and even better coffee 😊!

Hiking the stunning Cocora Valley with its towering wax-palms was a lovely day; we did a short drone video of that. Ooooh… and check out the short video-clip of dawn at one of our camp-spots outside a friendly hill-top café….. and the pics of the first suspension bridge in the Americas (which is still in operation today for light vehicles). Cool huh?

The decision to head back south to the coffee region turns-out to be a tippety-top idea! Marcus celebrates his big 5-0 birthday in La Serrana, Salento (probably our favourite campsite in the whole of South America) and we had a great Christmas at Steel Horse Finca, Filandia. So many nice people and waaay too many mention by name, but we had some very British G&T sundowners with overlanding bikers Imogen and James (“Chin, chin! What, what?!” 😊); yummy birthday cake with South Koreans JinYoung and SeonA (very cool people and the first South Koreans we have met on the road ever!!); and a fab fun birthday dinner plus Christmas with lovely Americans KP and Taylor.

Fabulous adventurers

It never ceases to amaze us how many truly fabulous, interesting and intrepid travellers there are out there on the road. If you are reading this and have never contemplated such an overlanding adventure yourself, you may consider our trip to require a measure of bravery and derring-do. Ha hah… think again! Believe us… our trip is really not a scratch on some of the other guys out here on the road. There are many long-distance cyclists and motor-cyclists braving face-to-face the elements that we see through Cuthbert’s windscreen, but what about the intrepid Lucana? Or the slightly nutty Ben Coombs?

Lucana is an amazing and fearless lady from Medellin who has travelled all the Americas alone in her vintage Mercedes saloon car. In a few weeks she is heading off to Korea to begin her solo journey from east Asia across Russia to Europe (follow her @lucanymerce).

Crazy-Brit Ben Coombs is driving Kermit, his TVR sports car from the most northerly to the most southerly pub in the world. The TVR is right-hand drive and unfortunately for Ben, the authorities of certain Central American countries say “No Señor” to such odd contraptions. Ben recently spent eight long days and nights sleeping in his tiny car, stuck in no-mans-land between the borders of Nicaragua and Costa Rica waiting for permission to transport his jalopy, on a flat-bed truck, through Costa Rica to Panama. He has many great travel tales to tell and you can follow his antics at Pub2Pub.

Dropping down to 2018

So after a really fun Christmas and seasonal cheer of the highest order, in the most agreeable coffee region, we really can’t put off the ‘big descent’ any longer. Just north of Medellin, we take a deep breath and follow the signs to ‘Costa Atlantico’ down the steep, winding highway amongst a million (maybe two million) slow trucks. The Caribbean coast of Colombia delivers very much as promised: heat over 35C, humidity over 90% and a torrential, torrential rain-storm on our first night down there. Guess we just need to suck-it-up really… life’s gonna be like this for a while now 😊

Anyway… our New Year’s Eve celebrations have a small history for us. Two years ago we celebrated Christmas 2015 near Ushuaia at almost the most southerly tip of South America with fellow overlanders John and Betti (now settled in Portugal) and Swiss travellers Werner and Rosemarie. Our paths have almost crossed several times over the last two years in South America, but we’ve never been quite in the right place at the right time! Now we’re thrilled to finally see Werner and Rosemarie again to celebrate new year 2018 at the opposite end of the continent. How cool is that????

Fab NYE ’18 – with Werner and Rosemarie

So a massive HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone, we hope it brings whatever fine and dandy things you would wish for yourselves! We’ll leave you with a few random and geeky statistics from our 2017 travels (see below). We’re looking forward to new adventures and moving-on into Central America soon in 2018. Bring on ‘the heat’!!! 😊

Cuthbert’s 2017 Overlanding Stats

We drove:
34,036km (21,149 miles) through…
11 countries (every country except Uruguay and Venezuela, but some were return visits to countries we’d been to in 2016) using…
5,658 litres of diesel (16.6 litres/100km, 6km/litre, 17mpg UK, 14mpg US), 11kg gas/propane, 2 water filters (0.5 micron) and 325 kwh generated by our solar-panel system.

Cuthbert did:
1,825 engine starts
851 hours engine running (556 hrs below 1,000m asl; 112 hrs between 1,000 and 2,000m asl; and 183 hrs over 2,000m asl) and
87,150,000 total engine revolutions

We did:
169 different park-spots, 11 river ferry crossings, 37 museums and 17 National or private parks.

Getting out of a pickle we did 16 winch rescues: 2 to rescue ourselves; 12 for others (10 on Brazil’s BR-319 Amazon mud-road!) and 1 to move a tree fallen across the road.

 

New Map, New Brakes!

Look, look, looook……. a new map of all our favourite bits of South America!  Zoom in, scroll around, click on the links!  If you’re itching to find out how we came to have such a fab new South America highlights map on our website, and how Cuthbert came to have such beautiful new brakes… read on below 🙂

 

New Brakes and More Parts

fitting new brakes

New brakes surgery in the campsite work-shop

Okay… we know… it’s been a bit quiet on the blog front recently. We’ve been holed-up in Medellin, Colombia for a whole month now. Regulars may recall that over two months ago  we ordered some spare parts from Iveco for Cuthbert maintenance. Well… the parts arrived in Medellin two weeks late, but at reasonable prices – the same as we would have paid in Europe with no shipping or import fees added. Can’t complain!

Down-town Medellin workshop

Down-town workshop

At a great campsite of Al Bosque just outside Medellin, Marcus cracked-on with the truck maintenance, so Cuthbert is now the proud owner of new front and rear brakes (discs, pads, drums and shoes), new universal joints in the front axle, new front shock-absorbers, new bushes in the rear anti-roll bar and a new aircon condenser. Phew!  The work was relatively straight-forward (well… straight-forward if you know about that kind of stuff 🙂 ) but there were a few of the old bits that refused to come apart. Our 4 ton jack/press couldn’t press the hub from the wheel bearing. So we borrowed a 10 ton jack/press from another overlander, but that wasn’t up to the task either. We ended up spending three days schlepping swivel-hubs and nefarious truck parts by bus and taxi to a workshop down-town Medellin; a 100 ton press finally did the trick!

New Map and More Time

Meanwhile… there’s only so much shopping and sight-seeing to be done in Medellin… so I did a bit of messing around on our website and found a WordPress plug-in to create this rather stylish new map. Given my limited IT skills, I’m rather proud of this!  It has icons, links, photos, videos and all-sorts!!  Please have a zoom in, scroll around, click on the links and let us know what you think… always room for improvement 🙂  (credit for the snazzy little icon designs goes to Maps Icons Collection, https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com).

What else? Oh yes… we also used our time in Medellin to extend our entry-permits and the vehicle temporary import permit (TIP).  Colombia gave us 90 days on arrival which has almost expired, so now with the extension have can stay another 90 days. The personal permits were pretty quick and easy (once we had mastered the compulsory on-line application process), but the TIP took a whole week to arrange. Good job we weren’t in a hurry!

Anyway… now that we have almost become permanent residents of the Al Bosque campsite and familiar faces in the local hostelry, it’s time to move on. Just got to decide where to go now…

South America Overlanding Video Fest!!

Central Colombia is as good a place as any to take a bit of time out and rustle up a few much-overdue videos of our South America travels. We love it here and are more than happy to stay-put near Medellin for a while, but if we’re honest… our sojourn is actually less our choice and more enforced by Iveco. Remember way back, weeks ago, we placed an order for spare parts with Iveco (Navitrans, in Colombia) which were going to arrive second week of November? Well… surprise, surprise, they didn’t arrive on time and we had a week of sitting around waiting. Anyway… here for your delectation and delight, are the results of our South America Overlanding Videos Fest week:

Lencois Maranhenses – March 2017. The deep-water drive to the stunning Lencois Maranhenses in north-east Brazil (click here for the blog)

Salar de Uyuni and the Laguna Route – July 2016. Driving across the gob-smackingly beautiful scenery of the worlds biggest salt-pan on the Bolivian altiplano (click here for the blog)

Climbing to the Skylodge – Sept 2016. A rock-climb and zip-lining adventure to stay overnight in a bubble hanging at 400m off the side of a cliff in Peru’s Sacred Valley (click here for the blog)

Click here to see more of our South America overlanding videos

Click here to see our South America Blog page

Bogotá

Bogotá is big. A city of over ten million people. Ten million!!! It’s a gritty working city, full of graffiti and certainly not known for its colonial charm. A trip up the Monserrate cable car for an overview of the metropolis provides a small clue as to the scale of the place, but never let it be said that we judge a book by its cover.  We’re here to give Bogotá a fair crack-of-the-whip and we find it a nice city to mooch about! Also, we’re here to do some gadget shopping. Hmmm… sounds expensive!  Bogotá BlogBogotá blog Continue reading

Central Colombia

Help! We need an adequate superlative for Colombia. Bit unimaginative to say that it’s just the loveliest country… but trust me… it really is. After the friendliest welcome, countless scenic small towns, the finest coffee, the ancient history and the fascinating former drug-lands… we’re heading east and south a bit, on a very roundabout route through central Colombia to Bogotá.central colombia Continue reading