COLOMBIA: 20.02. - 21.03.2008

Route: Pasto, Popayan, Cali, Armenia, La Mesa, BogotaRoute: Pasto, Popayan, Cali, Armenia, La Mesa, Bogota
 
Cycled kilometres: 1021 km of    Ascent: 15870 m
 
Preface: If one thinks of Colombia so occur to a spontaneously catchword like drug cartel, terrorism and kidnapping, however although everything is heard of course also to this country far less than only half a truth. Has lain with the northern runner of the Andes Colombia, primarily, first extremely mountainous and with the tropical climate here one comes with the long and precipitous increases extremely to sweating. However presumably just because Colombia can look back at a very violent past we the Colombians as very friendly, helpful and hospitable experiences (of course with regional differences), and the people anxiously whether were often one to us also would well treat and that we should on no account cycle also At night then there it would be dangerous. In no other South American country we have spent so much time in families and we have got our first invitation already by email as us still in Ecuador were. Nevertheless, difficultly it was to be found a camp site, because along the high streets Colombia is fenced in, actually, completely, so that we could find a camp site in the nature only 4x. Otherwise we had to fall back on filling stations or with farms ask whether we our tent may be based.
 
A reunion! Shortly after the border it goes all at once just 1000 m under it and when we see coming just below in the bridge over the foot we on the other side of the street Heinz Stücke stand. Heinz who makes the world unsafe since 1962 constantly by his bicycle has hit we quite exactly one year ago in Patagonia. Nevertheless, this time differently than at that time we are content not only with an only 2-hour chat in the street edge separate decide to check in a Hostel on the other side of the street. Luckily, because shortly after it catches substantially in by which at least from the planned restaurant visit nothing becomes. While now Nadine in Heinz Zimmer the dinner cooks Heinz with his stories adventurous now and again "maintains" us, to him during all his years happen are. Sometime about 01:00 o'clock in the morning we look at the clock and creep away afterwards fast in our beds. Also the next morning the breakfast lasts longer than planned and, finally, thus we are first about midday again on the street. Although Heinz that is who has travelled longest as well as that who has travelled mostly by a bicycle (about 600,000 km in 46 years of long-term trip) he has become road-rationalised after the Umorganisation of the Guinessbook simply from the book. Now, nevertheless, he wants, before he wants to finish, perhaps, his trip in 2012, so exactly after 50 years, nevertheless, again back in the Guinnesbook. Because he has already travelled around all countries now and again several times needed he yet some territories around the record for most visited countries and territories to agree. Nevertheless, unfortunately most territories have lain some somewhere in the oceans Heinz this tries islet and thus, arms by a folding bicycle (a sail boat would be presumably better there) to conquer. Time see, maybe Heinz, nevertheless, sometime once more comes back to Germany if he all islets has seen.
 
Trend turn: In the beginning still from Moscow and Cuba supported the Colombian guerrilla warfare lost group FARC after the breakdown of the Soviet Union their financial support. Nevertheless, for financing of her war against the government (why the FARC against the government fights stands in no guide) has devoted itself the FARC now to the drug business and kidnapping. Hence, main victims of the kidnapping are rich locals and foreign managers. In 2002... people were kidnapped thus for ransoms from up to 1 million US $ again were released. At the moment there should be about 700 - to 1000 hostages. However, the Colombians have stroked apparently meanwhile the nose fully from the guerrilla war and the kidnapping and thus there were at the beginning of February this year gigantic demonstrations in some towns with only 2 million demonstrators in Bogotá. The demonstrators carried everybody a white T-shirt with the label "COLUMBIANO SOY YO" "for COLOMBIAN I AM". On the backside then the clear message: "NO MAS SECUESTRAS, NO MAS MENTIRAS; NO MAS MUERTES, NO MAS FARC." "NO MORE KIDNAPPING, NONE LIES MORE, NO DEAD PEOPLE MORE, NO FARC MORE". The demos were not organized by the government and so presumably a clear signal and the FARC and the other guerrilla warfare groups that they with her fight no more backing in the population have. If we want to hope that Colombia comes after the civil war continuing for four decades, finally, to rest and peace.
 
Mountain and driving downhill: Anyhow we have hoped that to Peru and Bolivia now, finally, a few loose cycling days come once more, however, also Colombia is extremely mountainous. Even if the passports completely do not lie so high so it goes for it the deeper under it and because it is level seldom sometimes more than 100 m more or less we have, actually, every evening more than 1000 m of increase on our altimeter stand. It is muggy-warmly with regular showers and I sweat so strongly that my T-shirt is constantly dripping with sweat during several days and not even dries overnight. Nevertheless, the scenery with her precipitous green valleys is absolutely breathtaking!
 
Camp sites: Ordinarily we camp always somewhere in the "bushes", however, here in Colombia this is complicated more than only., On the one hand, it goes because almost constantly precipitously uphill or downhill and in the steep mountains good places in principle are sowed scarce. On the other hand all Colombians have settled apparently directly in the Panamerikana, because we go past to a house after the other . If there are just no houses, at least all free country is fenced in and thus there is, actually, no possibility to camp wildly. There are not also the announced tent possibilities at police or military check post, because there are only mobile check posts and the boys themselves virtually no place to sleep have. We try it, nevertheless, every evening on new, nevertheless, up to once it is never to be found to us successfully an even more or less satisfactory camp site, and thus we landed once in a filling station, once lower to the roof of a family and once behind a school. When we with the family under the roof slept a group of soldiers of a nearby check post came in the evening all at once to refresh around itself with a glass of water and around her mobile phones to load to deliver. Unfortunately they did not pay attention to her dog, nevertheless, completely so well and this the opportunity was of use to pounce on the dog of the family and to knock flying the motorbike, besides, also immediately still. While the soldiers watched only still reacted the son of the family quick as a flash, water got a bucket and separated thus with a cold shower both fighting dogs. The thing was obviously embarrassing for the soldiers, because after the motorbike was lifted itself again crumbled them rather fast, however, without apologising for the whole action!
 
Exotic fruits: Already in Ecuador this pod-like fruit has struck us, however because we thought that she bought became contain only one kind of beans we them to us never. Now we found out that one, actually, only the white creamy mass are embedded in that the cores eats and thus we buy to ourselves a few pods. The white mass tastes mawkishly however, thus properly it cannot inspire us and thus we are actually quite glad, as the son of the schoolhouse master one of the pod asks whether he can have!
 
Attention university: No notion what at the university soooo should be dangerous. Does the danger insist here maybe that one is attacked by knowledge, data and facts or do the even new ideas lurk here?
 
Lunch break with family: We make just our lunch break under a footbridge as a Marisol we go past and means should eat instead of here in the cold rain weather to sit, nevertheless, rather with her at home comfortably at a table. Without further ado we pack our things again and follow her. Hardly in the house come we are immediately welcomed by the whole family and there the interest in our trip and our photos is rather largely we do not come of course to food. Then together with Marisol and her both children in the pre-school age we go one more place of pilgrimage Marias phenomena visit in already twice has given and many assistants hung up on the church wall they testify from many healings here have taken place. Here back in the house of Marisols parents, how 3 generations live so often also under a roof, we are richly presented (bracelet, soft toy, mussel follower, liqueur, penknife). Financially the situation of the family seems tensely to be then the grandmother wants to sell her hardly used electric rice cooker to us. Although to us Marisol offers to spend the night here, nevertheless, we do not lean with thanks because from us of the family even more want to be a burden.
 
Military check posts: If they should be Michi S. from castle Lim, please this article leap over:-). We have crossed just a bridge over Rio Cauca which is guarded like almost all bridges in Colombia by soldiers when we are stopped in the accompanying military check post. It is apparent the soldiers boringly then cyclists ordinarily always become waved through! During the control of our personal details one of the soldiers catches without asking to the pockets in Nadines searching bicycle. The head of the troop is not quite friendly and thus I ask whether also he can identify itself, because I do not know whether he a guerrilla warfare is. Nevertheless, crustily he shows me his military identity card he forbids to write down to me his name which I would like to have for the case, if after the control something is absent (as at that time as us the police has pinched money in Georgia). Nevertheless, this does not fit him at all and because he talks now fast and incomprehensibly to me and allows never to talk out me from now on I decide to communicate in "German" with him. Now they control my bicycle during us to us comfortably besides in the grass placed, because the search stretches in the length. Particularly the search of my pocket with all spare parts lasts forever, because they constantly on new things do not bump them also do not know and it get to pack everything again into the pocket and to close. When they want to tear open now the next pocket Nadine makes clear to them that they are allowed to do this when the other pocket is again to. There occur several fruitless if the pocket tries to pack of the soldiers again and before they still help to make what broken we to them, finally. The leader of the troop is still extremely unfriendly and thus I write his name and his rank on a slip of paper which he takes from me, nevertheless, and means he would return him to me only if I sign to him that nothing is absent of our things. Thus he sends to his messenger boys around him paper and pencil to bring and puts on the text. Free of charge, because of course I do not sign him (although he offers us that we can control before all our things whether also really everything is there). Meanwhile the before very haughty soldier is not more and more unsafe, even if more friendly. I explain to him that if he to us our slip of paper (at which back we a copy of hotels in Cuba do not have) returns that we will indicate him with the next police station because of theft. Nadine demands that we immediately want to speak with his boss, however, he also does not want this of course and, finally, he returns us with bright red head our slip of paper, after he has painted to his name black! As if we were so silly to us his names not to be able to notice. Nevertheless, for us the thing is not completely finished yet (The search has lasted 2 hours!), because now I want to know about the boss of the check post whether a such behaviour is normal here in Colombia. I talk very well to the boss who apologises in the course of the conversation several times for his soldiers and even means in the end, nevertheless, we should also visit the area to the north of Bogota, because the people would be much friendlier there!
 
To guest with Hernan in Cali: Already before we in Colombia came we have already received our first invitation from Hernan from Cali. Hernan had before Stefan and Anita, two Austrian cyclists guest just with her tandem the world unsafe make and which we had met in Patagonia (www.ohne-grenzen.at), and from them of us belongs. Hernan lives together with his parents and his brother in a house in the south of Cali and works at the university. In the garden stand several fruit-trees and thus the mother of Hernan with several tasty fruit juices spoils us. As if the fruit juices from the garden were not already enough we go with Hernan still to a juice store. The fruits here in Colombia are unbelievable and so wildly they look and are so inexpressibly the names also, they are so tasty also. Hernan and his family are absolutely moving and because they would like to help more cyclists they build just two new rooms on the first floor and thus I help in the wall of a wall. No fear I has nothing built with mortar separate only with Hernans father the cement mixed with the shovel  and then with high on the roof brought!
 
Modern times I: I want to go just fast in the nearby Shoppingmall to buy a few little things. I push my bicycle about the pedestrian's entrance on the parking bay, nevertheless, about 50 m farther I am stopped by Securetymann on a motorcycle he means I would have to go on the other side of the Shoppingmall, because there is there a bicycle parking bay. OK I want again leave from the carpark, nevertheless, now another Securetymann stops me at the exit who requires a proof from me that the bicycle is mine! Because I can persuade to him that I have walked in just one minute ago along him he infuses me generously. On the other side at the entrance then the same play: "Do you have a proof that the bicycle is theirs?" - "No, but I go on with it a world trip and ordinarily one nowhere needs a proof that his bicycle heard. Moreover, I have the keys for the bicycle castles including. "-"Well well, then give you with please her mobile phone number!" - "is sorry me, however, unfortunately, I have no mobile phone. I am as said on a world trip." - "may be, but I need, nevertheless, your mobile phone number." - "However, I have no mobile phone and therefore also no mobile phone number." - "OK. then they give me your mobile phone number from Germany." - "however, is sorry me I also have no mobile phone in Germany and also no fixed network connection, because I have no flat." Now the woman at the entrance to the bicycle parking bay is confused a little bit and there follows a longer postpause for reflexion. Nevertheless, finally, she is content leniently with my "good" name, writes this instead of a Handynumer on my park ticket and I may park my bicycle on the bicycle parking bay! This is the communication age purely if one may not even make purchases without mobile phone any more!
 
We have the info’s to the reports following now from the TV. Although we always if we lacks of clarity had with our Colombian friends over again have asked we hope that because of difficulty with a language, nevertheless, small mistakes have not crept.
 
No. 2 of the FARC killed:  In my birthday it goes all at once like a brush fire by the Colombian news: Raul Reyes, the number 2 of the Guerillagrupe FARC, was killed yesterday night in an attack on a guerrilla warfare camp in the Ecuadorian border with about 23 other guerrilla warfares! The address a little later then of the Colombian president in he, however, the killed guerrilla warfares with no word separate mentioned merely to his generals for her work thanks and afterwards of the family of the soldier who has died in the attack, his condolences finish speaking. There we are not we unnerved know what now passed. Is occupied the FARC now for the time being with the new organisation or will sound them directly to the counterblow. To go Certainly on number we remain only once again a few days with Hernan in Cali to us know like the situation will develop.
 
The situation is getting more serious: The next day then we find out that the guerrilla warfare camp stormed by the Colombian troop on Ecuadorianischem was a ground. The camp was exactly said 1.8 km behind the border in the middle of the ecuadorianischen primeval forest. This must lead not amazed to diplomatic difficulties with Ecuador us, however, nevertheless, the vehemence with the ecuadorianische president Correa surprises reacted us. Nevertheless, as the first president Hugo Chavez announces himself of the Venezuleanische to word, and in an extremely aggressive Ferhnseansprache he speaks constantly only of war. Further he expels the Colombian ambassador, fetches back his ambassador from Colombia and sends, finally, 10 battalions to the border. And everything live before running cameras! Then the ecuadorianische president Correa follows in the evening his example. OK. though the injury of the ecuadorianischen sovereignty was not in order, however, nevertheless, the fierceness of the reaction confuses us very much. Should not everybody be glad that Colombia has got closer to the ending of the guerrilla war continuing for just 40 years 1 step? Luckily we have Hernan, because he explains to us that the venezuleanische president sees himself as a successor to Simon Boliviar (To. Simon Boliviar has together with gene. San Martin from Argentina South America of the Spaniards releases and afterwards was the president of Great Columbia). Great Columbia, at that time from Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador existed, however, disintegrated still of relatively short time into the respective single states, however, Hugo Chavez would like to rebuild it. Of course under his guidance! Interesting in the connection also that already maps have appeared in Venezuela on which parts of Colombia are already assigned to the venezuelanischen state area as to us Hernan tells.
 
Diplomatic crisis: The next day (day 3 since the death of Raul Reyes) is announced that were discovered in the guerrilla warfare camp 3 Computer with information to internal information about the FARC as well as with the personal letter correspondence by Raul Reyes! The information on the computers appears are more than only explosive! Thus Hugo Chaves should have supported the FARC with 300 million US $ which as an aim the Colombian government has to fall (what comes along it for Chavez then of course easier of Colombia to seize). Also was on the computer information and photos which book connections between the Ecuadorian government and the FARC! Was the FARC with knowledge or even with the help of the Ecuadorian government in Ecuador?! The situation is tricky, nevertheless, to luck preserved the Colombian president a chill head and cannot be provoked by his neighbours. The only reaction beside an excuse for the injury of the Ecuadorian sovereignty is an announcement of Hugo Chavez before the international court of law. The situation has proceeded meanwhile so that, actually, from no side (FARC, Venezuela and Ecuador) an aggressive reaction is to be expected what feels well for our security of course. 
 
Dissolution hurts: Then the resignation of Hernan and his family was one heavier of our trip. In the eve we have with Hernans father a few more rounds "person does not annoy you" played, nevertheless, as us to us the next day again on the way is a matter making the resignation in particular Hernans near the mother who loses even some tears.
 
Hermes: On the Rau's way from Cali a lawyer we is shortly after the way ask thus from our trip enthusiastically that he took us in dearest immediately with to himself home, at least on a fresh fruit juice, however, because he just by an important court appointment has to go he leaves us with a heavy heart. We have come just 43 km away as in the middle of the sugarcane fields a car stops and an absolutely excited Hermes from the car we jump and means would have to spend the night tonight absolutely at him. Hermes has lived 20 years in the USA and thus we speak half in English and half in Spanish. When to come accepting we and ask as far it still up to him is out it puts to itself that still scanty 45 km are absent what is too wide of course a little bit, because already in one hour the sun sets. Hermes remains stubborn and thus we load the bicycles onto the roof and the bicycle pockets in the boot in, nevertheless, already the bicycle chair of the friend lies whom Hermes has fetched just from the hospital. We have set down just the friend of Hernes as an unbelievable storm gathers and we in the flowing out rain with him come. It pours so strongly that in unloading do not intend is although the car under a preroof stands. As the rain something decreases though we get the bicycle pockets more or less drily from the car, however, few minutes I with the unloading of the bicycles in rain stand are sufficient that I up to the underpants am wet. Hernes lives in a small barchelor flat and we spread out our Isomatten in the sitting room, while Hermes sweeps with repeated  (with various funguses and pesticides) tries to gain control of the towed rainwater.
 
Road company: The next morning then Hermes his racing bicycle catches himself at the breakfast to accompany one more little piece to us. After a few kilometres I offer him to yest my bike and Herman is so enthusiastically from our travel bicycles that he alternately with Nadines and my bicycle even 50 km to Roldanillo goes. While just Nadine on uphill sections to us pitilessly with the 8 kg of light racing bicycle depends we gasp two with the heavy load donkeys behind, however, Hermes makes it gigantically to fun!
 
Sugarcane juice: Sugarcane squeezer in Colombia. While in Asia the sugarcane juice is served with pleasure with pineapple or orange here it adds a shot lime. After the family has discussed fully first a small family discrepancy and then still somebody fast by the motorbike ice get has gone we already get our chill soft drink!
 
Museum of Rayo in Roldanillo: In 1975 the meanwhile 80 year-old painter Omar Rayo here in the small place Roldanillo founded an art museum in beside his works and sculptures also other artists are issued. Omar Rayo counts to the best known Latin-American artists and derives inspiration to his art towards the geometry how is to be recognised only hard.
 
Parque del cafe: In the small province of Quindio lies of the Parquedel cafe to the visitors not only the history and the production of the coffee gives an understanding separate besides still a big experience park offers. Already we are welcomed by the park guard extremely warmly and our bicycles immediately to one protect place are stowed away. While I just in the toilet am Nadine von Jaqueline, the people responsible is demanded for public relations, and asked whether we could not come later still to an interview. We turn a comfortable round by the museum and the coffee path of the Parkes where one of the employees the whole process of the seedling up to the ready roasted coffee bean explained. We are just again in the visitor's centre when it starts to pour like from buckets and thus we are more than gladly to have to go now not back on the bicycles. Nevertheless, Jaqueline has just an appointment with the park manager because of the upcoming vivitors about the Easter holidays and thus nice Guard of the entrance with a tasty makes the interview with us to fresh cappuccinos. However, unfortunately, the rain is stubborn and, however, finally, we have to go again out in the flowing out rain.
 
Coffee: From the seedling in the cup: The Café tree (or according to kind also Café tree) grow at a height of 800 - 1800 m. After 18 - to 24 months the young coffee plants can be already harvested the first time. Nevertheless, differently than in many other coffee countries only the ripe red coffee fruits are harvested in Colombia. The harvest is carried out traditionally by the women, because they would be more patient for it. Afterwards the coffee beans from her cover are peeled fermentiert and are washed. To the coffee beans are spread out Drily simply in the sun, although the big coffee farmers meanwhile also by machine drily. In our journey through Colombia we have seen over and over again in the street edge to the dry to recumbent coffee beans and have always thought that it would concern around peanuts there the raw beans to the peanuts very much look similar. Then after the dry the beans are threshed and therefore over again a hard bowl removes that the coffee beans surrounds. Also the high-class control of the dry and threshed beans (café pergamino seco) is also carried out again by women. Then as the last the coffee beans are still roasted and often any more here in Colombia does not happen separate from the big coffee houses overseas is made. Like the coffee then, finally, in the cup comes, nevertheless, everybody itself hopefully knows.
 
Attention dangerous words: Although up to the Brazilians and some Indigenas all South Americans in Spanish speak so, nevertheless, there are very strong regional differences. While the Chileans speak very fast and hardly open, besides, mouth, the Argentines and Uruguayos with the verbs have a special form. While one speaks in Paraguay so fast that to himself a whole sentence like one single word in hears one speaks in Bolivia very slowly and clearly what of course really for us was. It was not difficult in Peru and Ecuador then, nevertheless, that just in the rural areas many so certainly knew which word now from the Spanish one comes or which is descended from the Quechua, the Inkas language, and thus everything multi-coloredly by mixed have. There came in Peru, Ecuador and in Colombia that here many words have another meaning. Thus became in Peru for filling station from "Estation de Servicio" just "Grifo" what is called, actually, tap. Difficultly also the word Mountain passport beside "Paso" also "Abra", "La Cumbre", "Corona"... can be called! However, beside small ones is distinguished with some words, nevertheless, absolutely care compulsory: The sign here in the Parque del café means, that one no chickens (actually: Birds) should steal, however, the same sentence would mean in Argentina and Bolivia: "Please, no coitus with the birds!".
 
Strong differences: As so often in South America there are also in Colombia extremely strong income differences. While the relatively wide middle class lives in modern flats, new big cars drives, in super modern Shopping malls makes purchases and on the week-end with an expensive racing bicycle gets a little movement, there are on the other side still a lot of Colombians in poverty live and just have the most necessary one. These farmers had to make her milk during three hours on the horse downhill to sell them here in the street to the milk company!
 
Modern times II: Nevertheless, the pointers in Colombia seem to go clearly in the direction of prosperity if even already instead of the traditional input wire donkey a modern full-fitted with springs mountain bike on the street signs is illustrated.
 
Gonzalo and Pilar: Because wild tents are difficult in Colombia because of many fences we have with Gonzalo, to a member of the Warmly Shower cunning (Worldwide organisation of bicycle travellers the other bicycle travellers offer with them to spend the night at home), requested whether we can spend the night at him. Gonzalo and Pilar have freshly married on the last week-end and have entered scarcely on Monday in her new flat, however, nevertheless, they take up us with open arms with themselves. Though, nevertheless, in the sitting room still the move boxes stand we can spread out our Isomatten in the still empty guest-room. Though we are meanwhile already some weeks in Colombia, however, here we enjoy limited our first hot shower!
 
Other setback for the FARC and reconciliation: Hardly with Gonzalo and Pilar come it goes all at once by the media that meanwhile the FARC is in a moderately severe crisis, and some sub-groups turn against her leaders. Today thus has announced itself of the Security Chief of Ivan Rios (which number 4 of the 7-headed group of leaders) with the military here in the area of Armenia and has explained this that he has killed just his boss. As proof he has the separated hand of Ivan Rios whose identity card and his Memorystick with many internal data hand over to the military. Few hours later then the news that Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have officially overcome her diplomatic crisis and have shuddered at a summit of the Latin America countries on Haiti the hands. On the sign stands, by the way: "Sure trip: The national army is on the distance".
 
Bicycle excursion: Together with Gonzalo we make on Saturday with Gonzalo a bicycle excursion. On the way we still fork Raul, a cycle friend of Gonzalo on, before we screw ourselves further high in the mountains. Gonzalo is a mountain biker and thus it also does not last long to us the tarred street desolately. Then, nevertheless, after a while we also leave the grit runway and follow some footpaths, meadows and cow's beaten paths. We cross several brooks and when Nadine and me already start to doubt the orientation arts of Gonzalo we are all at once again on the tarred road! The luck does not last long him sometime the nice tarring also stops again and we cycle on grit further, however, at least it does not go back on the cow's pasture. We pass a group of soldiers here in the valley which was 5 years ago still in the hands of the guerrilla warfare after which to rights see. At the end of the street, meanwhile it rains, we strengthen ourselves in a small restaurant on 2500 m. On the way back we make a small excursion to Salento, a nice tourist place with his brightly painted houses where we allow ourselves a tasty cappuccino in an earthy traditional coffee house before we the long departure home line up. Then back with Gonzalo we have 63 km on our speedometer we stand and to us more than 1000 m upwards screwed, nevertheless, there no luggage had we are exhausted not too.
 
Wax palms: To believe hardly, however, here in Colombia still palms grow in more than 2500 m! The wax palms belong, by the way, to the biggest trees of the world and are protected here.
 
Coffeemaker: The fresh cappuccino him this marvellous old gas-pursued coffeemaker does magic tastes simply deliciously! 
 
Museo del Oro: already long before the arrival of the Spaniards the South American Indians have controlled polished technologies in the golden treatment in Colombia. A popular method was the "method of the lost wax". With this method were made the production of golden vessels only the inside form of the vessel. Afterwards the form with a wax layer was covered in the supports were inserted. Now the outside form was put on and afterwards melted the wax layer. Nevertheless, by the before built-in support the hollow cavity remained between both forms receive as a result with liquid gold was filled. At that time the gold was already washed, just as well as even today, with wooden bowls from Rio Vieja.
 
Bananenfincas: Although Gonzalo economics has studied deservingly he his bread rolls with his both Fincas. Finca is the Colombian word for farm and the word is used for a small garden as well as for gigantic plantations. The Fincas of Gonzalo on which he bananas grows are big enough to lead around a well-to-do and unconcerned life without coming, nevertheless, to big wealth. However, Gonzalo does not want this also at all. He cycles rather comfortably with his MTB to his Fincas, sees according to the right and wages the paper war before he again home cycles. Of course still all the other tasty Colombian fruits grow in the Fincas, however, they are merely for the own use.
 
From Bananos and Platanos: Gonzalo grows bananas on his Fincas and we get cooking bananas (Platanos) and thus a briefly introduction to the banana cultivation. Interesting we think that a banana plant yields fruit only once in her life. This means that every shrub is beaten off after the harvest. Nevertheless, the banana plant floats constantly from her rhizome bit by bit to some months the shrub blossoms, yields fruit and dies. On the photo one can well see three generations of a banana plant. On the right the "grandmother", in the middle the "mother" who already yields fruit and on the left the daughter just in grow is. Nevertheless, the banana plant is no massive wood separate one exists of single layers we in the "grandmother" well can see. However, "grandmother" has not still retired long. Banana plants will strike because with pleasure from beetles below eats itself in the trunk  and thus "grandmother" is cut in the trunk, a poison deadly for the beetle agrees inside in the trunk smeared and serves from now on as a beetle case. So that his banana plants are not eaten up by the dreaded sheet guts ants Gonzalo still has other fruit-trees between the banana plants stand, nevertheless, from the ants are preferred, so that they leave alone his bananas. On almost all banana plantations the bananas are ordinarily still wrapped up in the tree hanging in plastic bags, for the protection against birds and insects, nevertheless, Gonzalo renounced on it for environment protection reasons just as on the sputter by pesticides and herbicides from the airplane.
 
Planned boat excursion and Don Antonio: After we do not want to could make a paddle excursion we at least here the last time in South America by our boats a small tour in Peru because of the incoming rainy season already like planned make. Rio La Vieja had been recommended us and after the visit one of his Fincas Gonzalo brings us to the river. The river should be dangerous and thus Gonzalo enquires with several locals on the way after possible difficulties, nevertheless, everybody expel him in Don Antonio below beside the bridge should live and should well know the river. We find Don Antonio and he means the river would be extremely dangerous, with rapids and 15-m-deep whirlpools and without life jackets we would be allowed by no means on the water! We by chance Don Antonio also has two life jackets for this he, nevertheless, a small exorbitant price of 11, - € to us wants to lend (in comparison with that a booked boat tour a little further Upstream with complete equipment, guide, lunch and transport costs 33, - €). We turn over in the mind long, in particular because Gonzalo seems surely concerned, however because we cannot believe the information of Don Antonio so surely (15-m-deep whirlpools on such a small river are a thing of the impossibility!). Also the other infos of Don Antonio look serious a little and our impression still increased, as a Don Antonio briefly after he his price of the life jackets has embarrassingly all at once without a trace has disappeared! At last we trust our feeling, insure of Gonzalo particularly to pay attention and to get out in the case of doubt with one of many Fincas and to run, and get on the way to us without life jackets.
 
Rio La Vieja: Then the river is also as dangerous by no means as is predicted what may lie, however, also absolutely with the high water level. Though we come by a few rapids and once we get such a Sloshing water in the boat that it is half-filled and we must scoop quite a while with our caps to it again there is empty, however, from the dangerous whirlpools far and wide no track. Nevertheless, we must pay attention in particular before many bamboo poles floating on the water. Thanks to the quick current we come well at the head without to have to paddle a lot and we can do thus the marvellous tropical wood and the Ficas in those past enjoy. Nevertheless, in a thing Don Antonio was right, because after exactly two hours we come to Puerto Alexandria in from where we start our home rice to Armenia.
 
La Linea: Already in completely Colombia the people have warned us already about the dreaded La Linea. In Colombia the Andes divide in three runners and the passport crossing about the middle Andes chain with Armenia was called after the high-tension pipelines run also there simply La Linea. The real one rose briefly begins behind Armenia and starts within 22 km of from 1500 m to 3350 m. For non-cyclists and non-mathematicians: this is precipitous sow! Gonzalo accompanies to us the first pair of kilometres still, nevertheless, then we torment ourselves alone further high. We have brought during the last months already quite a lot of increase behind ourselves and most others were prevailing because of the bad street relations (Peru) or because of the climate (muggy-hotly or rainy coldly) strenuous, however, here it is just the precipitous mountain everything of us demands. There is only one level segment, however, otherwise it goes virtually constantly with 10% of gradient uphill. Our thighs glow and hurt, behind every curve we hope for a short level piece, nevertheless, the street no compassion with us has. Lighter have it there the drivers BMX who simply hold on to the truck and infuse upwards. Once also tries to hold on to Nadine, however, because of her hard loaded her strength is not sufficient in the arms. Then particularly I am so exhausted shortly before the summit that I am really grateful that it starts to rain and we can build up our tent. The next morning then I get a truck to hold on and thus I infuse myself letzen 1.5 km upwards. However, I believe the arm with I has held on me now is some centimetres longer.
 
Hot night: We have spent our presumably hottest night in South America in a filling station with 29°C in the tent. Whether we could hardly virtually sleep because of the heat or because of the constantly one and delivering trucks is still unsettled. At 6:00 o'clock in the morning the air was cooled in the tent then, nevertheless, at least, on 28°C!
 
The last ascent: Our last increase in South America leads us from the hot valley situated on 300 m between the Andes combing about a small passport high till the Bogotá situated on 2650 m. The street rises slowly and comfortably and after the La Linea the increase works almost like a comfortable Sunday stroll. We whip the last night then 40 km before Bogotá our tent in a marvellous valley.
 
Protoect him: "Protect him, because he could be your son!". Cycling is a national sport number 2 directly after football in Colombia!
 
Ciclovia: Every Sunday some of the big streets are closed in Bogotá for cyclists, Inlineskater and joggers. To come for us of course the best possibility around without big traffic to directly to the city centre. The Ciclovias take pleasure to an unbelievable popularity and during on the streets around Bogotá still in hundreds of racing cyclists on the way were we hit the closer we to the centre more and more families come. Especially wittily we found two brothers who were on the move together. According to the model child bicycles with a pole in the bicycle of the parents are fixed both bicycles of the brothers were connected here with each other. Nevertheless, here unusually the maybe 6 year-old brother was that his 3 year-old little brother by the area has moved!
 
El Dorado: The myth of "El Dorado" comes here from Colombia. El Dorado is called "the gilt" and refers to the king of the Chibcha Indian who was "fitted out" once a year first with resin and afterwards with gold dust. Now the gilt king was paddled by a ceremony ship on the Laguna de Guatavita. The king disappeared in the lake and when he appeared again resin and gold were washed by him. However, besides other valuable objects than offering were also thrown in the lake. But the supposed incredible wealth was found neither from Spain nor from the Colombians in spite of massive strains.
 
Museo del Oro: In the Museo del Oro in Bogotá one can admire the unbelievable number of more than 35000 golden exhibition pieces. Before the arrival of the Spaniards were made. The technologies of the goldsmiths from the precolombian time took second place to technologies of today's goldsmiths in nothing and thus alloys of gold and other metals (e.g., copper) were also made beside pieces to "Lost Wax Method". Nevertheless, unfortunately, the museum is just in the rebuilding and thus we could admire "only" one smaller exhibition with about 3000 exhibition pieces.
 
Fernando Botero: Fernando Botero born in 1963 in Medellin is probably the best known Colombian artist and famous he became for his paintings of thick people. Botero has donated many of his works to the Museo Banco de la Republica where one can admire them free of charge. The painting carries the title: "Pareja of bay country" - "Dancing pair" from 1987
 
Festival: In Bogotá is just "Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro" with artists from the whole world and thus we can admire a French group on the Plaza Bolivar. The Violinisten are hung up on a gigantic mobile and float a good 20-30 m above the place during them, accompanied by a group of drummers give her concert. The musicians thus before the scenery illuminated in the evening light of the Plaza Bolivar float fascinate not only us but also the Colombians and I miss the otherwise so famed temperament of the Latinos once again. Nevertheless, unfortunately, we did not have our photo including! 
 

Violence  in Colombia: Actually, almost since the independence of the Spaniards Colombia is them never in a spiral of the power seems to want to end. In 1948 the forcible discussions led between both big parties in "La Violencia" ("power") to more than 300000 dead people. Then though both big parties came to an arrangement in 1957 around the power to share during 16 years, however, they poked with it guerrilla warfare movement them till this day continues. Colombia has seen a good one saying 'du' guerrilla warfare movements during the last 60 years, now every with his own ideas, however because the military did not become ready with them were based the Autodefensas. The Autodefensas were to be resisted such a kind of civil weir around themselves against the guerrilla warfare, however, they were not crude less, they often existed of criminals and were also responsible for many massacres. In the 70th again big drug cartels originated in Medellin and Cali. In particular in Medellin the drug cartels were extremely violent and in the 80th particularly the poor suburbs became in Medellin of gangs of youths (16 - 20 years old), nevertheless, money) whacked and thus the dirty work rules everybody for nearly any reason (mostly for the drug barons made. As if Colombia did not have already enough problems with the guerrilla warfare, the Autodefensas, the drug cartels and the gangs of youths the military has not always bespattered himself in the past also with fame and was involved now and again in criminal machination and acts of violence. Hernan means on the subject just: "Not all guerrilla warfares are bad and not all soldiers feel well." After the breakdown of the Soviet Union in particular the Marxist guerrilla warfare group FARC (18000 strong) lacked the financial support and thus she financed herself from now on with kidnapping and drug shops (after the drug barons in Medellin and Cali in the 90th were caught). At times 40% of Colombia were controlled by the guerrilla warfares (mostly Amazon primeval forest), however, with the topical president Uribe the Sicherheitssituatuion has dramatically improved. The streets are sure mainly again and in many rural areas peace has called in. We were already already in some (partly former) civil war zones (Georigien, Kurdistan, Kashmir) and every time had struck us that the people on us shyly and closed partly even anxiously or hostilely worked. The Colombians look very open on us, nevertheless, helpful and happy. The mass of the Colombians has neither started from the constant wars and forcible discussions them are fed up nor support, actually, completely. One wants to live peacefully. Though the inhabitants of the other civil war regions want to have this also, nevertheless, anyhow to stay open the Colombians created fun-loving, happily and what seems to us under in view of the history of the last 40 years, nevertheless, like a miracle. Painting of FOLLOWING Botero: "Masacre de Mejor Esquina"

 
Salt cathedral I: Although only in 1995 privy, after the original salt church had become too unstable from 1954, the salt cathedral already counts to the big places of interest of Colombia. The cathedral was built in the not more used part of a salt mine and lies 180 m underground. The cathedral itself is 75 m long and 18 m high and catches 8400 believers. To reach in the cathedral one can run either 700 m by the former tunnels in which 14 stations of the crossroads, each were put on by another artist made (everything of course of salt). If one is really important, however, one can also go by the car to directly before the cathedral. The cathedral "Nuestra Seńora del Rosario", the protective patroness of the mine workers is dedicated. The cross in the cathedral should be, by the way, the biggest subterranean cross of the world.
 
Salt cathedral II: Nevertheless, to us the crossroads and the salt cathedral were lighted up a little bit too meagerly. For it that Jesus "the light of the world" is, the whole cathedral is too sombre what is strengthened of course still by the fact that the salt is white here not beaming like in the Salar Uyuni separate because of pollutions rather dark grey to black. Beside the cathedral there are still some other halls in their sandstone sculptures of the holy family or some archangels stand and here the discreet lighting looks rather very good. Interesting also the baptismal washbasin of salt, because to the baptismal ceremony is used here only with salt saturated water, because fresh water would dissolve the salt stone.
 
Backyards: Many of the backyards in Bogotá are true oases of the rest!
 
Preparing for yet another flight: For us flights always mean a lot of "stress" and work and also this time it should not be different. Thus we are occupied with photos copy and to the respective families sends, Internet site update, checking the whole equipment and the pointless sort out (to the weight relief), books for exchange, guide for Cuba look, bicycle boxing organize and of course also repair the bicycles and clean. Our room resembled now and again a desert battlefield. A main problem were this time my pedals which did not want to allow to unscrew themselves anyhow. After neither well try to persuade nor oil or primitive power unsuccessfully remained I went, after my spanner travels around was bent to a bicycle mechanic. Also here we have no light play. Sometime even the big fork wrench of the mechanic turns Rud, we must drag the pedal with a Flex in such a way that we another tools began are able and after half an eternity we get the pedals then loose. Although I the mechanic several times please the pedals only quite easily screw shut again firmly with it I them at the airport also again can unscrew Finding I, nevertheless, no hearing and when I back in the Hostel try to open with my spanner bought anew the right pedal I do not get open it again. So over again back to the mechanic to open, however, now (after extensive cleaning and greasing) everything claps again and we can safely cycle to the airport. 
 
Rotten deals and crooked things: Because monetary withdrawals in the cash machine on Cuba are very expensive here we want to remove money and then exchange in euros. Ordinarily also a nice losing deal, however, because the Colombian monetary moneychangers cheat the foreign tourists hard (buying 2400 pesos, sales 2650 pesos, official exchange rate 2890 pesos!) if it runs this time, nevertheless, optimally for us. We lift 350, - € from our account, receive for it here 1,011,500 pesos and after we the preserved peso again in euros exchange we have all at once 381.70 euros in the pocket. Power virtually a profit of just 32, - €!!! Ordinarily there lie the buying and market values a little lower or a little higher than the official course value. Because the monetary moneychangers have placed here, nevertheless, both value under the course value the impression originates that the exchange rate is deeper than in reality, which is why the monetary moneychangers the tourists about 10% of worse exchange rate, without these notice it! We have made so at least a profit of 10% if they have turned on no counterfeit money to us.
 
Farewell: Now at the same time with South America we must also say goodbye to a loyal road companion. Now after over one year we must separate because from this water bottle. We have got the bottle on Tierra del Fuego and there she was very solidly she has accompanied us to Colombia. Nevertheless, to Cuba we do not want to take them. 
 

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