I already spent five days in Bogotá now and time has flown… I have to admit it felt good again to stay in one bed for longer than a day or two again. I bumped into some fantastic people in the hostel and so things also just kept happening. Of course focus was on getting my Visa done so I could proceed with my PCT planning. Two separate appointments unfortunately on two separate days, one for pictures and fingerprints and the second for an interview. So I knew I would be “stuck” in the city for a few days and could take it easy.

Unfortunately crime and robbery still seems to be a major problem here. One of the girls had been robbed from her hostel room with all belongings including passport, credit cards, notebook and more. And every day somebody else came to the hostel who had experienced similar or knew someone. And people have been mugged right in front of the hostel or on the house mountain Monserat during daylight. The danger of losing stuff was omnipresent and I actually for the first time in South America had the feeling that I needed to be more careful…

I stayed in the Fatima Hostel which is located in the centre of Candelaria, a very lively neighbourhood. During the day very vibrant with many bars, cafes and shops but during the night also not a place to hang out on the street. I explored the neighbourhood with Laura and Matze who I met in the hostel. As soon as we sat down for lunch another girl entered the restaurant – Eva, who Laura and Matze had met before a couple of weeks ago in the northern part. It’s such a similar pattern. On travels like this you very often run into the same people in different places over and over again. We went out for dinner with a few more people to the restaurant Andres D.C. – probably the biggest restaurant I have seen in my life. It covered at least 4 floors with individual kitchens on each level, a life-band and dance floor and more.


Their signature dish was steak.We had a great evening out with one of the best steaks ever. Grilled on charcoal and then covered in a salt crust and further baked.

The next day was dedicated for some more organisational stuff. First I had to go and have my pictures and fingerprints taken at a service centre of the embassy. It seems like there are many people on a very regular basis that apply for visas. The process was better organised than in most similar places in Germany. Impressed. I bought an external hard drive to backup my computer and all the pictures. We explored the city a bit more, visited the Boltero and the Gold museum which both were very interesting. And at night Kristin and Andreas who I had met in the jungle in Bolivia arrived in the hostel. Such a small world. We had a great evening with a lot of card games, beers and laughs.


Next morning was the day of my interview at the embassy. Same picture here – strictly organised and I was out of the embassy after 15 minutes with an approved visa. Now I only have to wait for my passport to be returned which apparently can take up to 2 weeks. So, stuck in Colombia for the next two weeks. Could be worse… We all went to Zipaquira with the local busses to visit a salt mine which hosts a church in the old mines. We were so late that all the tours were already gone and we had the entire site more or less to ourselves. The lightning of the place was really nice and offered unlimited photo opportunities.


Also Felix and Alvina joined us again for the next evening with beers and card games before Kristina and Andreas left again. It was fun to have some stability again and also not having to rush. Next morning I got up a bit earlier and started to update my CV and to formulate an application for a guide job in the Antarctica. It’s really interesting to sell yourself for a course where you are technically lacking the skills and background for. A streamlined business and corporate profile has little overlap with a nature guide in one of the most remote areas of this planet. Well, let’s see how much enthusiasm and committment can do… 😊 We went to town to do a bit of shopping.



And what can I say – it’s great that my old life randomly but regularly sends me reminder of itself… Found this in a random little street store in Bogota. 😂


I showed the guys pictures of me in my business outfit and life, streamlined, without a beard and glasses and Matze just commented: “Dude, if I would have met you like this I would have not wanted to hang out with you…!” 😂 We ended up in the Karaokee party of the hostel and it was another long and sleepless night – a lot of fun! But also the laziest stops will be over at one point of time. Matze was gone already, Felix and Alvina left in the morning and so only Laura and I were left over. Next stop Salento – hopefully for some hiking in the last part of the Andes.

The ride in the bus to Salento was another highlight. We arrived 10 minutes before departure at the bus terminal and thought we are good for a nice 7 hour sleep until we arrive. Not really a surprise that 260km are again scheduled with 7h of driving time. The most annoying thing about Peruvian roads is that they have speed bumps everywhere – even on backcountry dirt roads. This makes it impossible to enjoy a ride or to sleep. In Colombia some of the roads are just hell on earth + speed bumps. Our driver apparently wanted to set a new speed record which was “great fun” sitting in the last row almost hovering over the seat most of the time. But after about an hour the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere and nothing seemed to happen. And then suddenly everybody left the bus and we transferred into another one which continued the journey. It was 01:30am and we tried to sleep. At 6.30am we had a stop for breakfast and Laura and I were craving for a coffee. We ordered a cafe con leche but when we took the first sip we almost vomited on the table. Que pasa? We are in THE land of coffee and what we received was definitely the worst coffee of my life. Hard to describe but there was not really a taste of coffee left in the drink. It was tons of sugar, overheated milk and more undefinable flavours…

IMG_7035I hope our coffee tour tomorrow will give us a better one!