updated blog

•December 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Dear blogger,

as technology evolves, and ways of presenting blogs and information as well, I have revamped the whole blog with a new theme, a new organized way of posts as well.

You will find the updated version of this blog plus some upcoming post at this address :

 

http://mysaadventure.com

Enjoy!

Colombia – part 2

•October 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

After a year, and thinking a lot about my next South or Central American destination, I have just made up my mind and will go back to Colombia. But this time to discover other parts of this big country. The purpose is to spend new year in Leticia in the heart of Amazonia and go for a wildlife spotting guided tour in the jungle, hopefully the weather will not be too wet (Violet Trace on map).

Then the major highlights of the trip will be Cali to dance Salsa! (see the blue trace). A cool bus ride taking me slowly from Bogota till Bucaramanga throughout nice trekking places and colonial villages (Yellow trace). And finally hit the Carribean coast for a bit of sun and a pre-carnaval ambiance. (Pink trace)

The adventure will begin on the 30th of December 2011 for 3 weeks.

Resume – Colombie

•December 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

Après 3 semaines de voyage, le retour en Suisse est difficile, hiver, froid, travail, etc…

Je retiens de mon voyage en Colombie les éléments suivants :

Sécurité (le sujet tant attendu)

Le pays n’est, à mon sens, pas plus dangereux que tout autre pays d’Amerique du Sud. Il est clair qu’à Bogota il s’agit de se veiller un peu plus qu’ailleurs, il s’agit d’appeller le taxi qui vient nous prendre pour des raisons de sécurité. Sinon comme dans chaque ville du monde, il y’a des quartiers qui ne sont pas recommandés, voir dangereux.

Pour les autres lieux visités : Manizales, Salento, Medellin, Cartagena, Baranquilla, Santa Marta. Tout est tranquille, on peut sortir le soir seul, on peut prendre le metro et le bus à Medellin, aucun soucis. On peut randonner seul dans les parcs Tayrona et vers Minca au dessus de Santa Marta. En résumé: oubliez totalement ce que les médias (spécialement les médias français) donnent comme image du pays, et faites vous plaisir en découvrant la Colombie.

En ayant déjà voyagé dans 5 pays d’Amerique du Sud précédemment, je dois dire que je me suis senti plus en sécurité en Colombie qu’au Pérou ou qu’en Bolivie.

Après, il y’a toujours le touriste stupide au possible qui va se promener avec son gros reflex Canon autour du cou, sa casquette “NYC” rouge pétante, et son polo Ralph Lauren, s’il lui arrive un soucis, il l’aura cherché. Les règles de bases du voyageurs en Amérique latine s’appliquent, et avec un minimum de bon sens, tout se passe sans soucis.

Les gens

Les gens sont très accueillants, souriants, ouverts, les filles y sont très belles (c’est vrai). Les gens vous aiderons lorsque vous avez besoin de conseils. Et le mieux qu’il puisse vous arrivez, c’est de découvrir le pays à travers les Colombiens, liez vous d’amitié, et vous découvrirez beaucoup plus que les seuls lieux touristiques. Prenez votre temps, on a tendance à tout vouloir voir dans un temps records, mais finalement il vaut mieux s’allouer un peu de souplesse au voyage pour toute rencontre sympathique innattendue.

Tourisme

Le tourisme en Colombie est à ses débuts, c’est pourquoi même avec le Lonely Planet et le Petit Futé sous le bras, il vaut parfois mieux se renseigner auprès des voyageurs rencontrés pour avoir des nouvelles “à jour” concernant les lieux ou séjourner et leur propres découvertes personnelles. Beaucoup d’informations ont changés, des hostels ont fermés ou changé de noms, idem pour les restaurants,  et n’oublions pas que le pays est en plein boom économique, et les choses évoluent très vite. La côté Caraibes est bien touristique, surtout Cartagène. Toutefois on est encore aux prémisces du Tourisme, et vu le bouche à oreille qui bat son plein, petit à petit le pays deviendra une destination de plus en plus courrue. D’ou l’intérêt de le visiter avant tout le monde ;-)

Les petits aléas du voyage

Si vous débarquer de Suisse, que vous êtes toujours ponctuel, et que vous espérez que cela se passera toujours pile à l’heure en Colombie, détrompez vous ! En Colombie les gens sont beaucoup plus relax, plus cool, plus détendu, quand on vous donne un rdv, allez y avec 20 min de retard, sans soucis. Idem pour les bus quand on vous dit qu’il arrivera “ahorita”, et que le trajet était sensé durer 1h30, penser 2h30 – 3h. C’est normal, ca fait partie du paysage, donc il faut compter avec. C’est souvent l’occasion de taper la tchatche avec le voisin ou la voisine et d’en apprendre un peu plus sur le pays.

Barranquilla

•December 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Last part of my travel was in Baranquilla, famous city for it’s singer Shakira. The city itself is not a tourist attraction and it will be difficult to find a good hostel, so go to Howard Johnson hotel, it’s more expensive but for a couple of days it’s a great value. And avoid the Barahona 72, it’s really bad, noisy and not worth the prize of it.

Baranquilla doesn’t really have a one street to go out and party, and the information you will find either in Lonely Planet or Petit Fute, are not up to date anymore at all. So your best move would be to get to know someone there to show you and guide you to different places. I spent a couple of nights there and I have to say you may end up in surprisingly great ambiance such as Coco beach, on a rooftop. Nice Coktail, nice set, great music, what else would you dream of ?


Colombian Music ambiance

•December 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Without music Colombia wouldn’t be the same, famous music artists are Colombian natives. Shakira, Juanes, Carlos Vives, Fonseca…. and the list goes on.

To give you a sense of what music ambiance you will meet in Colombia here are a few video clips of what you can hear right now in most of the clubs in Colombia. Please do not forget that most of latin music  are to be danced with a girl (not stupidly alone on some techno beat ;-) ),

Reggaeton :

Merengue :

Salsa :

Bachata :

Carlos Vives

And something which is a bit special : Vallenato Traditional

Minca – Parque Tayrona

•December 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

Monday and Tuesday were about nature and hiking in the area of Santa Marta.

Monday I decided to go to Minca, a little village up in the rainforest of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. I took a collectivo (understand here a taxi, inside which you fit 6 people), so I was between two fat people, so let’s say that the trip was squeezy for me but still good. The village is not that far, but you have to go through the dense traffic and then a little road with a lot of holes on it, so it’s a little bit “adventurous”, especially taking into consideration the car we had, when you look at it you wonder how the engine started ;-).

But anyway, I arrived in Minca, this little village, and after digging some touristic information I had a nice walk for 2 – 3 hours on a very muddy walking path. A lot of birds can be seen in the area, it’s a rainforest environment. The rain usually happens in the afternoon, and it didn’t miss me. So aim of the walk was to see some nice rainforest landscapes and reach a cascade, you go through a lot of coffee and banana cultures.





Tuesday was about Tayrona National Park. To avoid the touristy usual way, I took the “out of the beaten track” option (as usual if I can). So I took the usual bus to Parque Tayrona Entrance, but I stopped at “Cabalazo”, and started a 3 hours hike to reach “El Pueblito”. It was 9 am when I started the hike, and let’s say it go very fast very very warm and humid, I wondered why I was wearing a T-shirt. Water in the backpack was more than necessary. This rainforest – banana culture area is definitely beautiful, reaching “El Pueblito” which is basicelly a little indigenous village, you pass a couple of huge stones, wondering how they got here as we are on the top of a mount.




My overall hiking planning was of 5-6 hours, so I didn’t waist too much time up there in el Pueblito and went back down the other side, to reach the sea coast. I almost lost myself on the last part of the downhill walk, and as it got very muddy and you couldn’t see anything as soon as you are out of the beach (the rainforest meets the beach), but in the end I reached Cabo de San Juan, surely the most touristic part of the Parc Tayrona. You can camp here, or sleep under a roof with you hammock, or you can play the expensive stuff and get a nice romantic room seaside. The place is really stunning, huge rocks are part of the side of the beach, coconuts are everywhere (be careful while choosing your tent place, a coconut might kill you  ;-) )


The weather got a bit cloudy so the colours were not the most beautiful, but it wasn’t bad either.

The walk back along the beach to the main entrance took me another 2 hours, it was also very muddy. And it begun raining during the last 30 min. But, arriving at the exit I have met a big group of people from los Llanos, and we had a good time just waiting for the bus to get out of the Parc. Very friendly people, I just regret that our path didn’t match to meet later on.

If you look close at my poor t-shirt, that tells you how sweaty you get while walking in the rainforest ;-)

Whole album to be found here :

Minca – Tayrona album

Santa Marta

•December 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Santa Marta is a four hour bus drive from Cartagena direction north – east.

I arrived there last Saturday end of day, and it was more a “couple weekend”. My friend from Baranquilla joined me to spend the week end in Santa Marta.


So we tried a couple of nice restaurant, sea food is amazing here I have to say. Highly recommend “Donde Chucho” restaurant.


Then, we headed out the club named “Burukuka”, it’s right over “El Rodadero”, the touristy set of Santa Marta. So from the disco’s terrace you have an amazing view on the beach and it’s coconut trees. The place is amazing, the music is great, only the coktails seemed to have a lack of alcool.


Funny thing to mention, is that although it’s 30 degrees everyday and very humid, it’s still almost Christmas, and the decorations are everywhere, and most of all at the beach side. Quite surprising to see this from a European point of view when Christmas, is more about snow and cold weather.


The second evening was about trying to get a sense of the crazy ambiance which was going on at “El Rodadero”, this is THE Colombian touristy destination on the Carribean coast. At the beach a lot of different group of people where drinking Aguardiente and dancing as some live bands were playing next to them. Cool, relaxing festive ambiance.

 
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