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{ Tag Archives } colombia

bogota to the border (in ten and half days)

I can’t say I recommend the border or bust approach but after my unsuccessful Venezuela visa wrangling I find myself with only ten days to get to the Ecuadorean border from Bogota before my Colombian visa expires. It’s only around 800 kilometres, which seems doable, but there are some serious mountain ranges to cross and […]

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bogota reprise

I arrive back in Bogota at the central transport terminal at 5AM after a 7 hour bus ride. Stopping only for a restorative cup of coffee, I head straight to the Venezuelan Embassy where I am redirected to the Consulate a further 5 kilometres away. It is like any Consulate anywhere – queues, security, stony […]

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model mountains (and the real world)

Full disclosure: I caught the bus from Soata to Guican to start my walk… and I caught the bus back again, stopping off at El Cocuy where everything is whitewashed with green accents and the town square boasts a scale model of the mountains I’d just been trekking. My plan to go to Venezuela appears […]

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taking a stroll in the hills

El Cocuy National Park: I’ve left it too late to try to record this experience in words – sitting in an apartment in Bogota with swish of cars on rainy streets. The hum of fridge. Static of florescent lights. Wi-fi. The silence is gone. A never empty silence filled with the seep and trickle, the […]

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heading north

Suddenly, in pursuit of my loop the loop Venezuela – Brazil – Colombia again route plan I find myself tangled up in bureaucracy with my passport in the hands of the Brazilian Consulate for three weeks! Fifteen days, the Consulate staff explain to me, means fifteen working days. Fascinating though Bogota is, I do not […]

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The road from Rio Magdalena to Bogota is largely uninspiring – or I, at least, am uninspired, which might say more about me than the road.The closer I get to Bogota the harder it is to avoid, if not major highways, then heavily trafficked paved roads. Mauricio in Villa Maria had told me that people […]

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back to the rio magdalena

I can leave Murillo with the promise of a straight downhill run into the next town, Libano, and, if I want it, all the way down to the Magdalena Valley. A easy way to cover a lot of ground but it will shoot me out onto the central highway. Another option, sticking to the high […]

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I drop out of the clouds into Murillo, a tiny, charming town that sits at almost 3000 metres in the shadow of Los Nevados. A hiker I met on the road told me that there is a place – called Casa Murillo – in Murillo that offers accommodation free of charge. It seems like such […]

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los nevados

Despite already climbing to over 4000 metres out of Santa Rosa, I have managed to end up – due to the road forbidden to me in Los Nevados – still on the wrong the side of the Cordillera Central. To arrive in Bogota from Villa Maria, I have no choice but to cross the mountain […]

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villa maria

I arrive in Villa Maria sodden, freezing, filthy. I am exiting a hotel that is so dire even I won’t consider staying there. The rooms are raw brick windowless stalls that fit a bed and nothing more. No room to unpack. Everything is wet. There is no place to hang clothes, tent, sleeping bag, to […]

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