White sand and fresh fish

I write this post with a heavy heart, as my thoughts and prayers are with the families and community who are living through the nightmare of the tragic events that took place in Connecticut last Friday. So many innocent lives lives lost, and so many people left suffering. On a more personal note, my grandfather is unwell at the moment after suffering from a stroke; so too are my thoughts and deepest love with him as we pray for a speedy and full recovery.

Despite the hardships in life, things must go on. We are continuing our journey through Columbia and are loving the sunshine, beaches, colourful fruits, different culture and fascinatingly beautiful towns. Especially that of Cartagena, a real feast for the senses. Immaculate colonial architecture, brightly coloured walls lined with greenery and flowers

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Fruit carts on every corner

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and old school horse and carriages pass through the narrow steers and plazas.

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Some quality beach time too (a bit more relaxing on day 2 when we were used to the vendors hounding us and we didn’t bring any valuables with us so we spent most our time in the water without a worry)

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And beautiful sunsets!

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Our friends, Jared and Ryan (who were with us in Salento and Medellin) raved about this ice cream on a stick. So guys, this photo is for you! And yes, dulce de Leche ice cream dipped in hot white chocolate sauce was AMAZING! We went back for 4ths 🙂

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Now Josh, the accountant did some quick calculations, and came to the conclusion that our budget needed cutting until we make up for our unexpected flight to Columbia (remember it wasn’t on the agenda). So we resorted to beers on the sidewalk.

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The old tuna sandwich for lunch (and home cooked pasta for dinner)

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We also paid a visit to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo- the mud volcano! It was a real experience of a lifetime.

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Floating in this thick, dense, slimy mud- you experience the feeling of zero gravity. It was really fun! You stay in the mud for about 45 minutes, while you can pay people to take photos of you, massage you, rub you down etc, and then you head down to the lake and wash off. **budget cuts allowed us to choose one, we chose the services of the photo man.

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We refreshed ourselves with watermelon. Our daily routine here is pretty much x followed by fruit followed by y followed by more fruit followed by z followed by even more fruit… It is just so sweet and plentiful!

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Great day, smiles all round 🙂

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Next day, bright and early we caught an overwhelmingly speedy speed boat to Playa Blanca, the nearby Caribbean beach on Isla de Baru.

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Our 3 blissful days on this small island beach consisted of this. Heaven on earth!

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Life seems pretty simple when you are staying in a small cabana (approx $7 each a night), with only a bed, just a few meters from the waters edge.

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Hop out of bed from (a)

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to (b)

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Before you are spotted, smooth talked and basically forced into having a massage from one of the local ladies

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Only one option for lunch and dinner! Fresh (and confronting) as it gets…

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Devoured and enjoyed every last bite

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Followed by…

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and a piña colada!

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and as the hours slip away, this

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becomes the backdrop to a magical evening sunset

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From both of us here, cheers, salud, la chaim.. to good health, healing and happiness.

And an extra toast to my amazing dad on his birthday today!

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Happy birthday Dad! I hope your fun-loving spirit stays young forever. Wishing we were home to celebrate with you, but we will have a drink for you tonight. Love you lots!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

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The secret side of Medellin

From the lush green coffee fields of Salento, to the interesting city of Medellin.. Also commonly referred to as medi-yin or medi-gin . Now this city has a hidden side, a history of murder, drugs and scandal. But today things have changed and we enjoyed a hassle free time roaming the streets, eating good food, drinking in the cool bars and basking in the good weather. The coolest area by far is Zona Rosa – great vibe with bustling bars and restaurants.

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Columbia has got to have the juiciest, sweetest fruit and best part about it is the street vendors cut it up for you! Perfect refreshment when walking the busy markets in midday heat

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After struggling to find this mysterious park, failing to appear on any of the street maps we eventually came across it- Plaza Botera. This cute plaza houses endless statues of voluptuous figures

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We stopped for lunch at a local joint near the markets. Always a great vibe at these types of places, perfect for people watching 🙂 my lunch was a bit boring- egg salad as choices were limited, but the guys enjoyed their chicken.

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A fun thing we did was take the Metrocable which gave us an awesome view of the city and forests. It was way longer than we expected and at the end there were awesome little markets where tried every possible type of market food.

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We even climbed a mountain.. Not. Self timer pic 🙂 have to post to pay respect to the effort it took to take it.

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We then enjoyed sunset…

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At a beautiful spot

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And in good company!

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Dinner time! Dessert was frozen yoghurt that Jared snuck out and sneaked in 🙂

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It was time to say farewells to the boys, great fun to travel with! Back to being me and Josh, which isn’t that bad 😉 we went on the Pablo Escobar tour hosted by Pablo’s brother, and right hand man, Roberto (here he is with us, and there he is in the wanted sign,) they were the head of Columbias infamous Medellin drug cartel

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Crazy huh? I am rushed for time and can’t share too much about it now but read up about it if u get a chance!!

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On a lighter note, visiting the Christmas lights was the perfect way to end up Medellin stay!

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It was exquisite!!

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100s of 1000s of people, markets, lights and buzz!

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Off to the Caribbean coast now, rushing to take a bus! Adios amigo

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

Coffee fields and friends!

After being on the road and hearing stories from other backpackers, we knew we needed to make time to visit Columbia. So we shuffled around our plans and before we knew it we were on our way from Lima to Columbia! First stop Salento, the seriously beautiful coffee region, with a quaint and charming town.

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We stayed at a place 20 minutes walk out of town called La Serrana, an Eco farm and hostel.

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Such a peaceful and magical place, with panoramic views of the valley and mountains.

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Our stay here was going to be amazing no matter what as we met up with 2 friends from home, Jared and Ryan. It was great to catch up, drink, eat, share travel stories and enjoy being in this cool place together!

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Our first night got rolling with the delicious hostel dinner, some drinks and then we headed out to play the local game, tejo aka hit the gunpowder with a metal weight. Only in Columbia.

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The next morning we headed out to the Valle Del Cocora, all tightly squeezed into the jeep

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The views were breathtaking, ground muddy and fields green and lush.

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It was fun to be in the wet, rainy, muddy wilderness together

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And the highlight was of course paying a mysterious ‘park’ entrance fee in the middle of nowhere to a mans restaurant which came with a complimentary hot chocolate and cheese. FYI Break the cheese up and put in hot chocolate.

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After a tiring day, drenched and hungry we ate and relaxed then night time called for a poker game… Excuse the awkward pic but the runner up is staring right back at ya 😉

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The next day we went to a local coffee farm, where we took a tour around the family run farm learning about the coffee plants and how they produce their coffee.

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Salento is the type of place you can really lift your feet up and be swept away by the slow-pace, tranquility and beautiful surroundings. It was so great to spend a few days here, surrounded by nature and great company 🙂

Next stop Medellin! For those of you just tuning into our travels now, be sure to check out our travel page and of course foodies and runners feel free to stay and explore!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!