The World is big enough

“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it” (Mahatma Ghandi)

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Colombian (vision) Song Cover

Hi all

It was Natalie who gave me the inspiration for this video. Being in Salento, THE tourist spot in this region, I of course made some of the touristy things around here. One is the visit of a coffee farm. Well, I did that during my time in Armenia and the farms in the more southern area of the Quindio are not only, but mainly because of the warmer climate, way bigger, but there are few around here as well. One Saturday morning I was taking a walk to Palestina, a neighborhood of Salento and that’s where the farm of the famous Don Elias is located. Going there, not with the intent to make a guided tour, but to maybe meet and get to know Don Elias. He wasn’t there, but Olga Lucia, his daughter was and she immediately asked us to sit down on the porch and to have a coffee. And then she started talking about her career as a singer and gave some samples of her talent. Once having started she performed one song after the other and finally dedicated the song and performance of “mal hombre” to me. To forestall possible questions, I didn’t give her any reason for that 😉 And that was trigger for dedicating this edition to Colombian singers. And I did not need to search for other videos as I met several performers during my travels in Colombia and caught some on video as well. And because of the slow internet here, I wasn’t able to watch the Eurovision Song Contest, so I made my own Song Contest, without voting and without winners and losers though!

Accompanied by the unplugged versions of famous songs see a small collection of impressions of several tours and hikes I made here, such as going on a 3-day hike into the Paramo, the Andean Highlands and a mountain bike tour, which was definitely not my thing. I mean, the scenery was incredible and also the way up early in the morning with the milkman a wonderful alternative to the classical tourist way of making excursions, but cycling down was hard though. It was steep, extremely muddy and slick and parts of the way were more like a natural staircases. On the way down I silently cursed myself for joining this trip, but we made it safely back to Salento and all in all it was a great tour. My favorite was the tour to La Carbonera located 25 kilometers from Salento. A valley a bit similar to the Cocora Valley, one of the main attractions of Salento. Countless wax palms, the national tree of Colombia, in a lovely scenery. And because it is not well known, not mentioned in any of the travel books and because there is no public transportation to get there, there is no one, no tourists and especially no tourists on horses, which on weekends is the most annoying thing in the Cocora Valley. And to top all of that, the weather was just amazing!

Next to that life here in Salento is way more calm and tranquil than in the cities and I did enjoy the calmness after having spend my time since december working in hostels and being in the midst of tourists from Colombia and from all over the world.

But time to move on and my backpack is already packed for hitting the road again. Let’s see where it takes me next 😉

Now enjoy the music and the performances, all the best and bye for now!

Yours, Carsten

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Café de Colombia or Zucker im Kaffee

Hello followers,

It has been more than two months that I left Cali and went a little bit more north and no, I’m not in the country of Armenia, but in the city of Armenia. It’s not too well known but definitely worth a visit being located in the heart of one of the Colombian coffee regions. There is one place well known by travelers from Colombia and from all over the world and that’s Salento, but there’s way more to see and you find yourself in the middle of coffee and plantain plantations and in most of the places being the only tourist and therefore the attraction for locals when siting at the Plaza Bolivar having a coffee or strolling around in one of the villages. And doing so locals start talking to you and it not only happened one time that I was invited to visit their villages and their farms. During my stay I got to know lots of places and going there a second time you’ll be greeted by the people like a long-time friend. In that way I got to know Jenny, Juan Sebastian, Azul and Juan David serving the best food in their restaurant Rio Azul in Buenavista and showing me their village. Doña Maria Luz inviting me to her farm and preparing chaqueta, a coffee made with agua panela (sugar cane water). Don Leo who showed me his farm and the whole process of coffee production. Darwin and Don Fernando making a tour with me in Genova and inviting me to a presentation of the local coffee production and many more. Guess what, I know more places in this region than most of the locals and there’s still numerous places I haven’t been. Next to the landscape, the picturesque villages and the excellent coffee, the climate is like the people, sunny and warm. Wether it’s the bus driver singing loudly Queen songs while driving the TINTO (the public transport in Armenia), the owner of the Bar Social in Pijao explaining the history of his 75 year old italian coffee machine while preparing my café con leche, the guy at the corner selling cellphone-covers greeting whenever I pass by without ever having bought anything from him and Diana, Oscar, Laura, Pilar, Estella, Oscar, Paula and and and….

You might recognize that I fell in love with this place and still, I’m a backpacker and the day will come when I take my backpack and move to the next destination on my journey.

So greetings for now from Armenia and try a Colombian coffee while watching the video

Yours, Carsten