Posts tagged: Colombia

Couple of The Week: Jerome & Maru

By , April 27, 2011 7:27 am

Say hello to our couple of the week, Jerome and Maru. After working two years in Chili, South America, they couldn’t get enough so took off to see the rest of the world. We enjoy reading the couple’s blog, especially how they hire tour guides for their sightseeing and excursions. It’s a fun and an educational way of traveling.

Jerome and Maru

Jerome and Maru

Relationship Status: | Married.
How long have you been together? | 10 years.
How long have you been traveling? | 1 year and 1 month.
How long is your total planned trip? | 1 year.

How do you organize world travel among the both of you?
Jerome: Maru does the planning; I carry the bags and eat a lot at the restaurants. 😉
Maru: Every time we arrive in a new country, I draft out a basic itinerary taking in consideration of the time we plan to stay. Then Jerome does his magic and finds out the most amazing places close to each area. I keep track of budgets, he takes care of maintaining the blog and preparing the platform so I can write the Spanish version. We figure out transport and lodging together.

What did you learn about each other?
Jerome: That we could spend 1 year being together 24/7 without killing each other, and in fact, without any problems.
Maru: The harmony of a couple traveling together comes with a small netbook and a digital camera EACH.

Would you do it again? What would you change?
Jerome: We will… maybe on a motorcycle, maybe with kids. I wouldn’t change much. I think the preparation we did helped us avoid many mistakes. Maybe spend more time by the beach. Oh and yes, investigate the visas before going into a country (like Indonesia where we could have stayed longer if we had gotten a visa before arriving).
Maru: Absolutely! I would add a couple of kids, and a bit more of beforehand preparation, mostly investigating the countries we want to visit. I think we did not visit one or two really awesome places because we did not know we could easily get to them.

What was your most recurrent disagreement?
Jerome: Apart from being in India, no disagreements really.
Maru: mmm…none.

Do you have any tips for traveling with your partner?
Jerome: Let go.
Maru: Talk, always talk. Never let the misunderstandings get bigger.

What was your favorite country you visited? Why?
Jerome: There is not one favorite country overall actually, different countries for different things. But the top 3 are: Colombia (atmosphere + friends we met there), Nepal (hiking), New Caledonia (friends, memories, and beautiful place).
Maru:I agree with Jerome. We really liked all places we visited for a specific reason … well not all places. I still have mixed feelings about India.

Adios Colombia!

By , November 5, 2010 5:00 am
We LOVE Colombia

We LOVE Colombia

After three very great weeks in Colombia, it’s time to say goodbye and cross the border over to Ecuador. During our entire stay, we felt very safe and had zero issues. Many travelers we met along the way, also felt the same. The kindness the locals showed to us really went a long way. I wish we could spend more time here but I’m sure we will be back for a future visit. We highly recommend Colombia and warnings about Colombia should be kept in mind, but should not discourage you from visiting this wonderful and friendly country.

Tips:
– Have basic common sense when in a new country.
– We played it safe and only took transportation during the day. A few travelers we met took night buses and said it was fine.
– If an area is declared unsafe, it’s best not to go since there are still guerilla-dominated areas.
– We didn’t bargain much since we didn’t know we could, but once we learned, it was very easy, especially with transportation and hotels.

Colombia: The White City Of Popayán

By , November 4, 2010 5:00 am
Beautiful Sky In Popayan

Beautiful Sky In Popayan

Before we crossed over to Ecuador, we made a stop in the town of Popayán. The white city walls, colonial architecture, and gastronomy draw made Popayán a great last stop in Colombia.

Street View Of Popayán

Street View Of Popayán

We took the long route to the top of El Morro de Tulcan (an Indian pyramid). We didn’t see the stairs so we climbed up and it was not a good idea to do it with sandals. Luckily, we made it to the top and it was a great view of downtown. The spot was also a popular location for young couples that were not shy about public affection.

Sunset From The Top Of El Morro De Tulcan

Sunset From The Top Of El Morro De Tulcan

It got dark very fast and the evening sunset colors exaggerated the white walls. There were lots of students hanging in the streets. While we were standing in Parque de Caldas, admiring the Clock Tower, it started to pour. We quickly headed to a nearby restaurant that looked nice. It was a romantic dinner among candlelight and the food was very tasty. While it would have been nice to celebrate with my family and friends, I still had a great birthday.

Happy Birthday MuiMui!

Happy Birthday MuiMui!

Creamy Trout

Creamy Trout

Thank you Boris!

Santo Domingo Church

Santo Domingo Church

Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora De La Asunción

Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora De La Asunción

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

What We Paid: Colombian
Pesos
1800
USD eRate
2500
Euro eRate
– Bus from Cali To Popayán: 4 hours 8,000 4.44 3.20
– Private Double Room at Los Portales Hotel:
private bathroom, hot water, wifi, friendly staff, clean and nice rooms
40,000 22.22 16
– Breakfast 5,000 2.78 2
– Lunch 6,500 3.61 2.60
– Dinner 20,500 11.39 8.20

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Colombia: Cali, The Salsa Capital

By , November 3, 2010 5:00 am
Reflection Of San Francisco Church

Reflection Of San Francisco Church

When we arrived in the San Antonio area of Cali, it instantly reminded us of home. It was very hilly but the views paid off. It especially looks like parts of Potrero Hill, San Francisco. We tried to look for Shotwell Street but we couldn’t find it. :(

San Antonio Neighborhood

San Antonio Neighborhood

We were lucky to be there for the Salsa Festival but since we were only there during the week, we didn’t get to see any live performances, but we were able to attend a class. After seeing the graceful moves by most of the people there, Boris and I got shy about revealing our two left feet.

When we arrived at San Francisco Square, there were tons of pigeons flying around in circles. While we were standing by the church and enjoying the scenery, out of nowhere, a pigeon flew into a nearby sign. A taxi man standing by the pigeon looked up at the sign and then the bird and laughed. He tried to save it by pouring some water on it, probably a little too much water, but it didn’t look like the pigeon made it.

Pigeons Flying Around The Plaza

Pigeons Flying Around The Plaza

A Pigeon Flew Into A Sign

A Pigeon Flew Into A Sign

In Cali, there are lots of fusion restaurants to try. One restaurant put a little chocolate in everything. The Japanese and Colombian fusion, we thought, was more Colombian. However, we found food in Cali to be good overall.

Japanese-Colombian Food

Japanese-Colombian Food

Tim Burton Like Art Gallery

Tim Burton Like Art Gallery

San Francisco Church

San Francisco Church

Inside San Francisco Church

Inside San Francisco Church

Boris Chilling In A Hammock At Casa Café

Boris Chilling In A Hammock At Casa Café

What We Paid: Colombian
Pesos
1800
USD eRate
2500
Euro eRate
– Bus from Salento to Cali: 4 hours 15,000 8.33 6
– Private Double Room at Casa Café:
shared bathroom, cold showers only, wifi, We LOVE the owner (Paula) who is super sweet and friendly, clean rooms, didn’t care for the flying bugs, great location
30,000 16.67 12
– Breakfast 3,750 2.08 1.50
– Lunch 7,500 4.17 3
– Dinner 9,000 5 3.60
– Local Bus 1,500 0.83 0.60

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Colombia: Pure Deliciousness By Chef Joseph

By , November 2, 2010 5:00 am
Wild Trout SUSHI With Banana!

Wild Trout SUSHI With Banana!

If you ever make your way to Salento, Colombia, don’t miss out on the 9-course meal prepared by Chef Joseph at La Serrana. Joseph was a former assistant of, not one but two, 3-star Michelin restaurants!

Chef Joseph Making Sure Everything Is Perfect

Chef Joseph Making Sure Everything Is Perfect

In each of his dishes, he adds a local element, like papaya fruit, that does not seem like it would complement the dish at first, but it actually got us wanting more.

Sweet SUSHI RICE With Papaya And Mango

Sweet SUSHI RICE With Papaya And Mango

If you know us, you know we can’t resist great food and not at a price of 14,000 Colombian Pesos (7.60 US$) for a complete menu. The dinner takes place about 1 km outside of Salento at La Serrana, an eco farm and hostel.

Strawberry Dessert

Strawberry Dessert

Of course we couldn’t eat without thinking about Demi-Pêche (San Francisco) when having these creative dishes. Thank you to the Chef Joseph for all this deliciousness. You can checkout his website for more pictures and info about his food. We are happy to see our pictures made it to his site: http://republicadeartistas.blogspot.com

Happy Birthday Elli!

Happy Birthday Elli!

Wild Guayana From The Local Farm With Passion Fruit Caramel

Wild Guayana From The Local Farm With Passion Fruit Caramel

Papaya, Peppers and Carrots Stewed Sticks With Guacamole Icecream

Papaya, Peppers and Carrots Stewed Sticks With Guacamole Icecream

Organic Tomatoes Stuffed With Cucumber and Farm Feta Cheese Topped With Strawberries Thick Vinaigrette

Organic Tomatoes Stuffed With Cucumber and Farm Feta Cheese Topped With Strawberries Thick Vinaigrette

Norton Argentinian Cabernet

Norton Argentinian Cabernet

MuiMui & Her New Friends After Catching Fireflies

MuiMui & Her New Friends After Catching Fireflies

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

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