Saturday 24 February 2024

First impressions of Colombia

Hello from Colombia!! This is country number 7, and sadly our last before we head back down to Chile. 

We have been in Colombia for 4 days now and I'm already seeing differences: 

Firstly, the currency. In Colombia, they have the peso, like they do in Chile and Argentina, but it feels a bit confusing because they are all worth different amounts. 

Second, there are a lot of migrants. As we crossed the border, and for the first few hours travelling up north, we saw so many people walking along the road, some travelling north (to North America?), others walking south. Ioanna said they might be Venezuelans going to southern countries. It made me think how lucky we are to be travelling with our family to see new places and meet people. It made me feel so sad that these people basically have to leave their home and travel, often very far and in very dangerous circumstances, for a better future. Some of them were walking with their family, some had babies and young children. Ismene and I find the trip difficult at times and we are in a car. Imagine how hard it would have been if we had to walk the same distance. I can't really imagine it. 

Third, the landscape, as we journeyed across Colombia. I lost myself looking at the jagged mountains as we whizzed past and the lush trees in a more rocky environment. It reminded me of the best bits of other countries we've been through, blurred together in a confusing and surprising mix. I have a very good feeling about Colombia!

We stayed in a pretty colonial city called Popayan, which is also known as the Colombian Oxford because it has many universities. Although it had a huge earthquake in 1983, it has been recreated beautifully and has old buildings of Spanish architecture. It was nice to walk through the city looking at the houses and the big plaza (square). 

Ioanna and Dan seem ecstatic with the coffee since we arrived in Colombia. Personally, I can't comment but if it makes them happy...

Apparently, Popayan has also received recognition for its food and is named as the first ever city of gastronomy. We went to a food market and tried a traditional meal of chicken and rice with some beans in a soupy sauce. It was nice but we had similar dishes in other countries, I am not sure what the fuss is all about. But I enjoyed a traditional crispy corn carantanta which is created after cooking ground corn and drying and scraping the bits stuck to the pot after. It was delicious! If anything, I would give the Popayans an award for inventing a new delicious way of eating corn :)

1 comment:

  1. Loved all your Galapagos tales! I never made it to Colombia on my trip so am really interested to hear all about your experiences! The carantata sounds yummy and I’m glad Dan and Ioanna are getting quality coffee. I can imagine them drinking it going ahhhhhh! I’m just on my way to work with a flask of coffee on the tube. I will say cheers to you all with my next sip! Love from Steph and the Keenans xxx