COLOMBIA – We are in Colombia! A country we’ve been looking forward for a long time, because we heard so much good stories about it. Off course we are also familiar with the more negative image that Colombia has and it’s past of cocaine and guerrillas. So we do enter Colombia with some caution, but more so we are hoping to find a hidden gem!
On the border between Ecuador and Colombia we are a little bit shocked with how many people are in line for the migration office. Aiks! It looks like it will take us all day to complete the border formalities. Apparently this is because of the political situation in Venezuela. A lot of Venezuelans are making their way down South America to find a more peace full place to live. We feel lucky we are traveling for a different reason. After asking around we feel even more lucky, because there turns out to be a special line (much much shorter) for people traveling with young children!
Our first impressions of Colombia is mostly from the windows of our truck. We still have to drive a lot because we want to meet our friends Dirk en Tati in Medellin, who come to traveling with us for a month. We find-out travel can be slow in Colombia, we drive hours behind slow trucks crawling up steep hills. Nevertheless we really enjoy these first days, Colombia definitely has something special to it.
One of these special things is the fact that we feel welcome, we get a big thumbs up every where we go. It looks like the Colombians are really enjoining the fact that their country is doing so much better after decades of trouble, and travelers like us are the proof of that. Even the soldiers on the side of the road show us their thumbs and smiles. We quickly learn this actually has a meaning, thumbs up means the road up-ahead is save to drive, thumbs down means they can not guaranty this. Luckily we only see thumbs up!
Meeting Dirk and Tati is a real fiesta. It was a plan already for such a long time that now that it finally happens it makes us realize how far we travelled over the last few months. And the best thing they are staying for a whole month so we will be celebrating Christmas, New year and Dirks birthday together!
We celebrated these parties in the little town of Palomino on the Caribbean, what a great and crazy place this turned out to be! Palomio is a sleepy little town but at the same time there is a lot going on, for example everybody has a sound system and is blasting his favorite music all day! I love it 🙂 There is a touristy part in town (boring ;-), but also a part where pigs, dogs and children play in the street. In the end the best party turned out to be new year. Even more friends and family from Holland joined in and in the end we where with eight! We baked oliebollen (Dutch tradition on new years eve) and had a great party with the neighbors. To me that sounds like a good old traditional Dutch new year!