What we learned in Colombia...
Trip Start Aug 08, 2010
34Trip End Oct 18, 2010
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1. The fruit and the juices!! Guayabana, guayaba, maracuya, granadilla, tomate de arbol, lulo, feijoa. Some better than others. Many unique to Colombia.
2. Soups...yum. Martha made some of the best.
3. Set meals for lunch and dinner. Cheap and often delicous.
4. Arepas... cornmeal patties, like a fat tortilla. Great with breakfast.
Words & phrases that were new to us
2. ¨Chevere¨ = cool, neat.
3. ¨Con mucho gusto.¨ More common, we found, than ¨de nada¨ in response to ¨gracias.¨
4. ¨Tinto¨ = small black coffee, often served with sugar, even if you order it black.
1. Manizales and Salento - the heart of coffee country, laid back and beautiful.
2. Security - We know that may sound funny after being robbed, but we were impressed by the safety of the country overall.
3. La gente - Although we weren´t necessarily surprised, we were impressed with how friendly, welcoming, and progressive the people were.
4. La tierra - Amazing landscapes. Again, not necessarily a surprise, but everywhere we went was absolutely beautiful.
5. Coca-cola, made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, served from a glass bottle with a straw.
Disappointments...bitter sweet memories we will carry
1. The coffee - though we should have learned from Guatemala. Much of the coffee is exported, as it is too expensive for some locals to drink. Coffee farmers are among the poorest people in the world. Another reason to buy fair trade coffee.
2. Cartagena - I think it would be better if you are either rich or like to party a lot. Not our thing.
3. Fried food - We heard this from some Colombianos as well. For a country that grows so much fruit and veggies, most of the choices and set meals at the restaurants are fried food.
4. Shakira sightings remained at 0.
5. Most of the books available for exchanging at the hostels were in German. Still, we managed to get some great reads throughout Colombia.
1. Bring toilet paper with you. Everywhere.
2. Trust the bus drivers and taxi drivers. The lines in the middle of the road don´t mean much. Lots of passing going up steep hills, around corners, on two lane highway. So don't look at the road, just trust them.
3. If there is a terrorist bomb in Bogota on your third day in Colombia, don`t tell your parents.
4. Walking through a little mud or a little horse shit never hurt anybody.