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Oct 17, 2006 - Colombia

Ecuador zeigt sich noch mal von seiner Besten Seite auf dem Weg zur Grenze zu Colombia. Schneebedeckte Vulkane und die imposanten Anden machen meinen Plan ein wenig zu schlafen im Bus zunichte. Der Grenzueberschritt ist ein wenig enttaeuschend fuer mich. Keine Kontrollen, alles relaxt. Und das soll nun das Land der Drogenbarone und der meisten Entfuehrungen weltweit sein? Die Fahrt geht weiter durch absolut grandiose Landschaften bis zu meinem ersten Stop Popayan. Sie gilt als eine der schoensten colonialen Staedte Colombias- und mit recht...

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Patrick on the road

Aug 3, 2006 - Popayán

Supposed to be 2 hours from Calí but it took 3 after police checks along the way. I've had enough of cheapo divy hostels with rubbishy beds and noisy people... so I went for a more upmarket place (Hostal Colonial) costing USD9 a night with cable tv, hot water and private bathroom! It was nice. The son of the owner of the hotel, Cristian, 13 years old, offerred to take me on a guided tour of the city. As with most people he guessed I wasn't Colombian when I started talking, he looked at my flip flops and thought I was Brazilian and just for...

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May 29, 2006 - Popayan

Its weird how everything works out. When I booked that spur of the moment trip to Cayman Island, I met a girl named Lisa at the airport. I noticed her immediately as she was the first foreigner I met in Colombia in two months. (ahh, why was she leaving) Bummer!! Anyhow, we talked for three hours on the plane, she calmed me down for my assumptions that I am an idiot for going on this trip and I calmed her down b-c she was a tad heart broken for leaving her Caleño boyfriend. Ahhh.... She was a real sweetie, from DC..(actually looked just...

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Oct 6, 2005 - Ipiales

After a night in Tulcan brandon received a knock on the door while i was eating breakfast and having the normal two cups of coffe next door....unfortunately to brandons suprise it wasn`t me returning from my meal but some kind of task force linked to drug smuggling...apparently they searched through all of his panniers on the bikes and made him unload everything from his backpack...i arrived right as they were leaving to stuff thrown about all over the place....they didn`t even want to check El Toro as they probably were a little scared now...

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Whe're in America

Sep 16, 2005 - Popayan

So I was walking back from the internet place in Cali and decided I was outtie, jetted back to the hostel packed and got in a cab and I was on my way, three hours later new town new perspective, well better perspective I would say. Popayan is more colonial and has a better vibe to me, the hostel I am in is empty. So I dropped my bags and went for a walk, walked and walked a bit and then stopped into a sheek cafe for some coffee and to get a glimpse of the Lonely Planet map without looking like Mr. Gringo tourist on the street and I walk in...

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Newman's Journey

Sep 10, 2005 - Rat on a stick

Probably the first of many Terry Pratchett references. Well here I am in the Colombian border town of Los Ipiales. Strangest first impression was where are all the guns? None of the ubiquitous tooled up security guards I have come to associate with South America. Actually it seems only the army and police here have guns, and they have big ones and hide behind sandbags. Generally a bit shabbier than Ecuador, but the people possibly even nicer and easy going, though there are a few more scary looking people around than I have been used to....

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Jun 10, 2005 - Colombia - Popayán

Popayan is said to be one of Colombia's most beautiful colonial cities and on first sight it certainly appears to be a big improvement on the last few places visited! The town is full of large mansions and churches built by the wealthy Spanish families from the sugar haciendas who fancied somewhere a bit cooler to hole up in the summer months! As is common for this area a lot of buildings were damaged in earthquakes, but there has been some serious restoration and the city retains its predominantly white appearance. That said..it was all...

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Jun 9, 2005 - Colombia - Las Lajas

A visit to the Santuario de Las Lagas proved interesting. A neo-gothic church built on a bridge spanning a gorge with the rock face serving as an altar. Lots of thank you plaques adorn the area in gratitude for miracles affected by the Señora de Las Lajas from the many pilgrims who come here. I wonder if she can do anything for my (Shar's) dengue fever?!

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Apr 2, 2005 - Colombia: Popayán

With nearly 2 months in Colombia coming to an end, our last overnight stop was Popayán - another colonised town founded around 1536. An earthquake in 1983 destroyed many of it's colonial buildings but mostly have since been restored. We spent 2 nights here on a 'pit stop' doing practical things: email, burning photo CD's, shopping for essentials etc and I didn't see that much of the town (hence no photos of it). Helene won a 20,000 peso voucher (about $8.50) in the local supermarket which had the customers clapping and congratulating when...

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Dec 3, 2004 - Ipiales

The long day just broken up with a quick visit to Las Lajas before the arduous border crossing. After Popayan, the roads was bordered with the most spectacular scenery ever. The roads are up on the cliffs and the river below is at least two kilometres down. I think I must have overcome my fear of cliff roads through all thse mountain passes and the crazy COlombian driving. The Puente/ catherderal was pretty spectacular, but the hill was very daunting and the taxi driver wouldn`t wait for me, so I had to cart my backpack( the big one) down...

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Sep 23, 2004 - Popayan, Colombia

"Australians are advised to defer non-essential travel to Colombia with the exception of the cities of Bogota and Cartagena. Australians in Bogota and Cartegena, and those who consider their presence in other parts of Colombia to be essential, should exercise extreme caution. Terrorist, insurgent and paramilitary groups are active throughout Colombia and there is a high risk of kidnapping, including of foreigners, in all parts of Colombia." - Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government, 16th Sept 2004. So here I am, in...

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