Colombia

20th of December – 07th of January 2017

After a two hour flight and a short turn over the active volcano Nevado del Ruiz (5000 m.a.s.l) we arrived in Bogota located 2600 m.a.s.l and host to around 7 million people. There we had an apartment together with a Colombian guy for three days in the centre of Bogota, close to Parque Bavaria on the 13th floor with an awesome view towards the mountains and over the thousands of house roofs. Bogotá has almost the whole year the same average temprature with some months with a bit more or a bit less rain. Like almost in whole Central and South America here are no train rails and we had to travel on the 23rd of december by bus from Bogotá to Medellin for spending christmas. The bus station in Bogotá was big like an airport and full with thousands of people traveling for the holidays and it was a big adventure to come through the wall of people with our bags in order to get on our bus. The 12 hours ride to Medellin took place in a really comfortable bus with the Football World Championship 2014 in the TV. After 3 nights in Medellin for celebrating christmas, we continued to Guatapé for 4 days and again back to Medellin for spending the New Year. After relaxing the first two days of the new year, our next stop was the coffee region of Colombia and Salento with around 7000 people and coffee wie aus dem Bilderbuch. We went for a day tour to Cocora Valley and came perfect in time to a festival in the town during the colombian holidays, before we went back by bus to Bogotá. GT!!!

8th of January – 5th of February 2018

Since beginning of 2018 we are back again in Bogotá and live in an apartment close to Parque Bavaria. I started 4 weeks ago to study Musicproduction/Djing on the Musicacademy Bogotá and Åsa takes some photo courses in the School of Arts here in the city. Until June I will have lessons from Monday to Thursday and also to survive this city full of hidden dangers:

The air in 2600m high mixed with exhaust of millions of vehicles brings my lung in uncomfortable state, the traffic rules itself does not open to me at all, some areas and streets are better to visit over day, our balcony in the 37th floor of a skyscraper has a too low railing for me and the gouverment take decisions, what brings every weekend a lot of charged demonstrants on the streets. The “highlight” was, when I got victim of an unspectacular blackmail and some Colombians got in a fucking unlucky situation my bag with laptop, passport and all other important documents and articles and I had to drive with one of this Colombian Cheesecakes on his motorbike to a ATM, to buy free my own things.

The next burner came last week in the night, when suddenly the fire alarm awakened us from sleep and this in the 37th floor – in the end we run down in our pajamas to the main entrance and got to know that something with the electric was wrong and no fire. I still have a tinitus from the insane load alarm, but better as versenkt wie verrickt. Last Saturday the biggest shock: Explosions, fire, dust, shoot-out, broken cars entangled in accidents and panic people on the streets directly infront of our house – it also turned in harmlessness, because it was a set for an american action movie. So I am sitting since three days on my balcony and follow this movie called “Mile22” with Mark Wahlberg. I am not a regisseur but a attentievely observer and see this movie as a flop.

In summary I can say, that every day is excited here and somehow I really like it. Pictures as always on the page here, or at Aasas page “www.everydaydetour.com”. Btw.: The view is from this balcony and the arena you can see is not a football stadion, rather the bullfight arena, which is every Sunday location of a controversial event.

6th of February – 14th of March 2018

After almost three months in Colombia and mainly in Bogota, I look back and marvel at the fact, that I have been and still am able to stay in such a huge city for this long time. I am surprised how we have handled and also not handled all the new and unusual new situations and how we have worked with our barriers, which definitely have blew my imagination.

After traveling for a while trough Latin America I thought I was prepared for staying here, but then I often have had the feeling that I am surrounded by the original Spinnerbande, because its so different if you are traveling in this country for a few days, or if you live here with a kind of task and try to be a part of the system, which I would consider to be in need of improvement. You get confronted with some results and conditions as a consequence of a non working politics and a past with civil war and conflicts, which is probably not solved the next years. From this point of view I am happy that my days here are limited.

In the beginning Åsa and I were wondering about so many strange things, we were amused, saw things as miscommunication or searched explanations from ourselves with humor, but if it is and was about serious things like our apartments, the schools, the immigration office or just the everyday activities like purchase things, meetings, times at the doctor and errands, you get stressed, tired and sometimes even disapoited how things work here, or from my point of view not work and to keep your words and be honest is not so popular here – more the opposite. However that is maybe in my case a bit more intense, in terms of my German punctuality and I just feel more comfortable with a regulated process around me. In this connection: We got a gift from the maybe soon to be new director of the Nacional University of Colombia, which is a book written by himself, where he describes exactly these theme, which confirm to me and have helped me to not see myself  too pessimistic. Of course I did not read it myself, but Åsa told me.

The last time we left the city was when we used a free weekend to get the morning bus to the region Boyacá and the village Villa de Leyva, in order to travel a bit and flee from this hectically life and see something else. We had good luck with the weather and the place we did choose. We visited there the astronomical festival, the chocolate museum and just enjoyed that nice place and I ate in the Italian restaurant my pasta out of a huge Parmesan wheel – that’s holiday!!!

Back in Bogota again, we got hidden by the message after a MRT-Scan, that Åsa did the week before: She has had a broken foot since three month and do now walk with crutches, what makes the situation a bit difficult. Tomorrow she finally has a new time at a specialist doctor in hospital Santa Fe and we get to know how, when and where we continue the next months and where we will end up.

To summarize I can say, that Colombia is the nicest and most diversified country with the prettiest people right now (what confirm this cliche) and special Bogota is an everyday adventure with some positive and negative surprises and I look forward to, when we will again get a bit more out in the nature and in better weather. I am happy that we got to know some friends, who helped specially me as the Spanish Ass I am in some situations and hopefully I can persuade them to take the trip to Europe some day for visiting us. My phone got a few travel damages, so only Åsa is taking photos, which you can see on her page http://www.everydaydetour.com.

I hope all who read that and friends I did not have contact to during the last time, that you are doing well and I am looking forward to see you and am excited to come back to Europe, to tell what happened, changed, developed and just to see you again. I hope that I will be able to update this blog a bit more often when we leave Bogota, but also keep the focus here, enjoy being in this new places and just enjoy what I am doing at the moment.

15th of March – 16th of April 2018

The time in Bogota have come to an end and I am looking forward to change place after a lot of new experiences in school, with new people and to get the ordinary city life. Åsa got good news at the hospital Santa Fe and we can continue traveling and continue planning the next months with some small limitations like a few hours more of physiotheraphy here in Bogota, Voltaren and painkillers.

At the same time Åsa had her last day in her photo school and presented a photo project about the election on the national university of Colombia, whilst I went to visit Dave Gahan and Depeche Mode at an Open Air concert from the Global Spirit Tour in Parque Simón Bolivar.

Over Easter we drove by bus to Guaduas in hope to find some better weather there, but only the temperature was a bit higher and the rest the same like in Bogota – rain and thunderstorm. At least we had a nice hostel with a pool table and hammocks, where we could watch the catholic Easter ceremonies from our balcony.

The last two weeks we have had a visit of a friend from Costa Rica and we picked him up early in the morning at the airport. For four days we went by bus for a trip to Melgar, a popular vacation place for Colombian citizens, whilest the rest we spent in the city with people, in our apartment or went up by cablecar to Monserrate on 3100m over sea leavel, which is a catholic church from where you have a great view over Bogota.