Monday, July 04, 2011
I went on to Chihuahua and then slowly headed south towards Mexico City again, stopping in beautiful towns on the way like Zacatecas and Guanajuato. There you can dance through the streets at night with a musicband (Callejoneade), eat yummy mexican food and marvel at colonial architecture between colourful houses. Returning to Mexico City I had a week left, which you can spend here very easily: loads of museums like the "blue house" of Frida Kahlo, many different quarters to discover, and once again: yummy food in all those "Taquerias"... unfortunally it was raining every day a bit, but I found that Tequila is the best medicine ever if you have a cold.We also went to the pyramids of Teotihuacan one day, as you can hardly miss out on them when you are here....well, and that's it !!!! I'm off !!!!!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Getting out of Colombia came with a bit more excitement than necessary : my flight to Cancun/Mexico included a stopover in Miami / US ... knowing about the strict us-policies when it comes to enter the country, I still couldn't be bothered to check, hoping I could just hang out at the Miami Airport for 2 hours without actually entering the country... what might have worked out for Tom Hanks in the movie "Terminal", surely didn't work out for me - of course they wouldn't even let me check-in in Colombia. But not a problem - that online-form for entering the US just needs 10 minutes to fill out, right? Well, yes - but there is no internetcafe to be found (at least not before check-in) on the BOGOTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, and being one of the rare and almost extincted species of travelers without internet-facilities implemented, I set myself quite a challenge. Anyway, I made it to Cancun, just stayed long enough to hike around the "Isla de Mujeres" and watch some giant turtels in the turquois waters. I headed on to Merida, and spend a day at the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza - impressive, although crowded and too many vendors that sell souvenirs for "almost free". The "zona arqueological" near Palenque/Chiapas, a small town an overnight-busride southwest, actually gives you the opportunity to climb up the steep stairs of the pyramids, while you can spot tucans in the surrounding jungle. The next stop on my journey was "San Cristobal de las Casas": brightly coloured houses, churches with richly ornamented facades, many streetmarkets and locals selling their goods on the pavement. Also exploring the surrounding villages- especially "San Juan Chamula"- was very interesting: althrough the Hispanic introduced Catholicism, the indigenous managed to preserve their Mayan customs - with a form of Catholicism that leans heavily towards Pagan. There are no services in the church as we know them. You see the locals kneeling in front of lines of burning candles, placing offerings like "posh" ( local moonshine, not bad if it is flavoured ) or coca-cola.We saw shamans healing people with a rite that includes swinging a chicken over the candles, then sliding it over the sick persons body to take off the illness, followed by breaking the chickens neck. The nearby "Cañon del Sumidero" was certainly worth a visit aswell, not only an impressive canyon, but also a good place to spot wildlife like birds, crocodiles and monkeys. I continued to the town of Oaxaca, loads of things to see and do here aswell, like the cultural sites/ ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla.
Monday, May 30, 2011
My last stop in Colombia: Cartagena de Indias - a beautiful place with lots of colonial architecture, wooden balconies, horsecarriages roaming the streets (chased by taxis) , the old town is partly surrounded by an old city wall, creole woman in colourful dresses selling fruits ( and pictures with them),a lot of bars on the plazas, steet performers at night....and loads of things to see and do: some fortresses nearby, you can go to ¨playa blanca¨ and enjoy some days in a hammock right next to the beach, paddle through some mangrove forest in a canoe or get all muddy in the volcano Totumo.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I headed straight up to the caribean coast, to the town of Santa Marta, to join a 5 day-hiking-trip to the ¨Lost City¨. We left on a jeep, passing several police officers on the way: one was checking our documents and joking how we plan to find the city when it is lost, another one accepted a handshake with some nicely folded-up money from our driver. That afternoon we started hiking for about 4 hours, mostly uphill through beautiful colombian landscape, we were pretty tired when we reached the hammock-camp that evening. The next day was very easy though, only 3 hours of hiking and crossing some rivers now and then, and we got spoiled with food. On the third day we finally reached the lost city/ Teyuna - which I found quite spread out and impressive. And as the hiking turned out to be quite easy, one of the chinese girls decided to make it a bit more challenging by twisting her ankle on the next day on the way back - this was supposed to be a day with 3,5 hours of hiking in the morning and 3 hours of walking in the afternoon - and while we could kind of keep up with the others of the group in the morning, as some guides carried her for a bit of the way, chasing down a hill with neckbreaking speed while I could just try to run after them to catch up with them later, the afternoon hike turned out to be a torture - me, her and our guide needed 6 hours, making it to the camp just after sunset, the guide staying behind often to rest as he was carrying 2 backpacks, leaving us to cross the small rivers by ourselves. Well, at least I got to see a lot of animals: a group of tucans that sounded like pigs up in trees, poisonous snakes, a tarantula, a crab, moths and butterflies... and I had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The last day the chinese girl got a mule, which we were all chasing, so we were very fast that day. After resting for a day in Santa Marta I had a look at the fishing village of Taganga and then headed on to Tayrona National Park - where we were greeted by a crocodile and a bunch of crabs, beautiful beaches in front of palm trees and lush vegetation and some monkeys that were chasing each other next to a mango tree.